Old Easter

Easter didn’t feel much like Easter this year, maybe because I was already on hols. And maybe because it came later than usual.

It was pretty mellow in my household, with a bunch of hot cross buns but no chocky. I caught up for coffee, went to the farmer’s market, did some cooking, watched the footy. On Saturday night I went out for dinner at the Cheeses. On Sunday I went out for a deeply indulgent lunch. Monday I took it easy.

It used to be that I’d spend Easter with the extended family down at Yarck, where we had a property. More often than not I’d stay in the log cabin separate to the house. The days we’d spend reading in front of the pot-bellied stove or going on short trips to places like Mansfield. In the evening we’d eat well and crack a few bottles of red wine. Occasionally we’d sit down and play a board game or two, something I would always pull a face at but secretly enjoyed.

We did that for about 15 years, long enough that it became a ritual you couldn’t imagine ending. It did though. My step-father, Fred, who I loved, sold the property when he got ill with cancer in 2007. He died that year and a few years later, in 2012, so did my mum. Her death basically decimated the family group. There were about 14 of us, including kids, who would share Easter together. Three of that number are now dead, I don’t see my sister, and the rest (bar my sister’s kids) I lost in the fall-out over mum’s will.

It’s been long enough that I don’t feel the absence of that occasion, though if ever I reflect on it that occasion it seems a golden, happy time. It was a warm and affectionate occasion. It was a cosy sanctuary away from the city and, sadly, there are some I was really close to I’ve now lost forever, and not just the dead.

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