When I was growing up, our family celebrated Easter Sunday in very traditional style.  My mother and father dressed in their very best clothes. My sister and I wore out new pastel colored outfits, complete with hats, and my brother had a new suit.  We attended church services and everyone we knew was in attendance.  There were Easter baskets and egg hunts.  As we got older, the neighborhood changed as some moved away and others went off to college.   The group that my siblings and I once spent nearly every day with began to get married and start their own families, often blending their beliefs and making their own traditions.

At some point – due to experiences, education, jobs and life in general – my own views about religion began to change.  Part of the reason may very well have been that I was a child of the 60’s and 70’s, and we questioned everything, especially things that had no answers.   Even after I got married, my husband and I did our best to pass on what we had been taught as products of a Catholic background to our children.  Underneath it all, however, some doubts about what we once believed lingered.

I can’t really define what category I fall into anymore.  I know all of the traditions, rituals, prayers and tenets from my childhood.  Some make sense to me and some don’t.   The rules that were created by the men who oversee the church I grew up in baffle me at times, and I’ve found myself putting more distance between what they want me to do and what I am comfortable doing.

I think that I describe myself as spiritual, but no longer religious.  Those basic guidelines that I learned as a child have remained, and, for the most part,  I do my level best to avoid breaking any of those teachings.  It’s a struggle sometimes, as it probably is for most people.  I do, however, honor and appreciate the holy days, and I do it strictly because they are important to me.  Easter is one of those days.  During this week, I remind myself that one must suspend disbelief – that there are certain things that shouldn’t be explained.  They just are – with no logic or reason at all.

Several years ago, during Easter week, my family experienced an event that was truly life altering.  The details are irrelevant, but I know that it changed all of us.  That Easter of 2003, was both the worst and the best of any I have ever lived through.   My husband and I still talk about it, at times, and we use words like miracle and angels in our discussions.  So now I have a different perspective, albeit a more personal one.  In the aftermath and in my own way, I assigned a meaning to the notion of resurrection and rebirth,  something that would only make sense to the handful of people who were there and lived through it with us.

I want to wish all of you a good day this Sunday, however you celebrate it and by whatever name you give it.   There won’t be the type of observance, here at the Farm, that anyone would notice, but it will be observed, quietly, with gratitude and with an appreciation for things and events that have no solid proof or factual basis.


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29 Responses to Easter

  1. thedesigndiva2 says:

    Empress.. thanks for a walk down memory lane… My Mother would make all four daughters and herself matching dresses, hats and purses for Easter. We were quite dolled up on that Sunday for sure
    Then off to my Aunts house for the dinner after Mass.She had the biggest house and could hold all 50 plus cousins and other relatives. We had traditional pies… ham and cheese..rice pie..YUM my fav and Mom would make these cross type cookies with an egg in the middle…SO GOOD… Of course spaghetti and meatballs…salads and more food than you could shake a stick at…
    On Good Friday we all had to stay in our rooms and do the rosary from Noon till 3 p,m. Seems like it always rained on that Good Friday…
    As we all grew up , got married and had kids..it seemed like alot of those traditions fell by the wayside. We now only do Christmas at Moms.
    I am not sure where I am with the whole religion thing.. I guess I am conflicted. I know I miss attending Mass said in Latin..For me..it all changed when they went to all English.. then of course..the money part…really got to me..It was always about MONEY …..

    I extend warm wishes to All and to whatever the Holiday means to you and yours… and a BIG THANKS for all the LOVE that has been shared between all of us here outside of the blog….. even Mr Ford says having you all has made his recovery easier because of people who TRULY CARE and not just blow smoke ……

    Hugs and Peace
    Diva and Mr Ford…..

    • dd and Mr. Ford,
      Hugs and Peace to both of you, at Easter and always. And that Boston Creme Pie you mentioned ( somewhere) just happens to be one of my favorites. 🙂

      • thedesigndiva2 says:

        Boston Creme Pie.. On sale at Publix…Buy one ..get one.. how could I say NO to that… It thaws just enough on the trip back to the ponderosa , so I can cut in 1/2.. Freeze one 1/2 …keep the other in frig… I also got a key lime pie….. EDWARDS.. They do make a good pie.. Got some 100% frozen fruit juice bars for Mr Ford… He has been eating LOTS OF FRESH FRUIT… Great for hydration… He has been spacing out his eating of meals and has not ( knock knock ) gained any weight. He is very tired..but …baby steps..baby steps… His leg still giving him fits.. We have been blessed and FINALLY have found a DR that will take him on as a patient. FINALLY a Dr that truly cares about people and understands that sometimes it’s not about the money..It’s about caring for people…The original ASSHAT cardio dr will be recieving a call from the State Medical Board about his lack of care and concern for Mr Ford. I am so glad I am a documenting type person… THe SMB is NOT happy with him… and this will not be the FIRST complaint filed against him….LOL LOL LOL

        • melthehound says:

          That’s great news Diva. So happy to hear that you finally found a doc you are happy with and Mr Ford continues on the mend. I haven’t said much but the two of you Have been in my thoughts. Cold Boston Creme Pie sounds Excellent on Any day.

          • thedesigndiva2 says:

            MTH… Thanks for the kind words.. We finally got the good news that this Dr will take on Mr fords caselate Friday afternoon…, Now I call Monday for the appt …. He has a way to go yet..but he will get there….. I got some really good GF’S that are guiding us thru this… and they were there to catch me when I fell apart…. YEA..Thank GOD for REALLY TRUE GF’S…….

            • Lisa Renee says:

              Hi Diva, good news for you & Mr. Ford. I have been lurking waiting to see how you were both doing. FL doctors, no words, I have been lucky, so far. Enjoy your Boston creme pie. I picked up fresh strawberrys from the farm in Milton, I am serving them with cannolli cream 🙂 Lisa

              • thedesigndiva2 says:

                Lisa… I am officially jealous.. STRAWBERRIES from Milton… I remember as kids Mom loading us up and heading to Plant City or Palatka to pick strawberries. Seemed like we had a GAZILLION of them to last into eternity.. My FATHER loved fresh strawberies with anything.. Mom used to make strawberry jam and I can still smell them cooking and doing the wax ring thing on top of the jars as they came out of the pressure cooker… Oh yea..good times… and CHOCO on them… We invented that by accident when we were kids… My brother left a candy bar out and it melted and we rolled a strawberry in it..and ate it… Mom thought we were nuts… Now look.. dipped strawberries.. ALL the rage…. HAHAHAHAHA

              • Donna says:

                OMG real strawberries, I wish I had my mom’s recipe. She used to slice fresh strawberries with some sort of thick strawberry syrup, cut an angel food cake in half, put that mixture on that layer and litterly pour the mixture on the top layer, the hole would fill up, we had real whipped cream on our slice of cake.

        • Adgirl says:

          Best wishes to everyone for the holidays whatever your beliefs.

          Diva, great news about finally finding a doctor for your husband. For sure “A**shat” was the last word I was expecting to read on a Easter blog page. I’m sure that particular doc earned his new handle.

          I’m going to see if I can sneak into a egg hunt somewhere. I still love those.

        • Viewer 5 says:

          You can also lodge a medicare complaint. I write this on the assumption that complaining to medicare is similar to complaining to one’s insurance company, which I have done.

          I have very little respect for many doctors here in FL – it is such a shocking difference from nyc. It took me a while to find the right one(s) – I have walked out of offices who book more than one appointment in my time slot. I have reported two doctors in my life – ironically, both gynos, for different reasons. One wanted to “hide” an abortion in a hysterectomy and have insurance pay for it – nice. Another’s secretary (I was having a low blood pressure spell) assumed I was “high” and called the paramedics when I asked her for some water. (Their a/c was off in their office and it was 90 degrees out.) I lived NEXT DOOR to the doctor, on lower Fifth Avenue. The paramedics (female; thank God) told me to report the doctor. They were LIVID. I did. Lots of letters back and forth.

          I don’t know when Dr.’s started thinking their bank balance was more important than their patient’s health. My doctor (yay!) will do house calls. You can walk in without an appointment, and they’ll squish you in. They are into preventative medicine. They never send me to a specialist who is not AWESOME. I trust them. I even like my pharmacist, who is also old school (like Bigelow in nyc) they talk about side effects and will recommend supplements (like acidopholus or whatever) and check the vitamins I normally take (sometimes E can fuck up cosmetic facial procedures; which I frequently indulge in) and just generally take care and are patient with everyone.

          I have NO patience or respect for people who take an oath and don’t give a shit about people unless they have cadillac insurance. NONE. Not with all the grifting and 61 BILLION dollar medicare fraud our wonderful gov. pulled. (As if he’s the only one – he just happened to get caught) – the whole medical culture has become one of greed and selfishness.

          Ugh. I’m tired and rambling.

          Glad Mr. Ford is doing better, Diva.

          • thedesigndiva2 says:

            Thanks V5… Mr ford says he’s LUCKY that he has all these woman looking after him..LOL LOL
            CYBER HAREM… Who could want for anything more…!!!!!!
            Dr Asshat will be very unhappy when he finds out that some people dont appreciate being talked down to or made to feel like less than nothing… and that WE owe him… PFFTTT…….

            Sorry we hijacked the Easter Post Empress…. I will now go say 10 Hail Mary’s….

  2. melthehound says:

    Good Evening, Ladies. Nice story Empress. I was raised without The Church. I was never Told what to believe or disbelieve. My parents let me decide for myself. In part due to some incident with the church when I was an infant. I never really understood the entire story but my parents changed their mind about The Church very early in my life. I do know that if my grandmothers had their way, that would have been different and then the fight would have been on about which denomination. I do remember at a very young age, going to church on Easter Sunday but it was because it was a family thing to do. That was typically the only day of the year we went.

    We did the Easter thing of course, the dinner, the Easter baskets (which of course was the only part I cared about), ect. I’ve decided throughout my life that The Church, is full of it. That isn’t to say I don’t have faith but that faith does not rest in the hands of people. It is within and that’s where I choose to keep it. I won’t dump on someone else’s beliefs nor will I tell them what to believe or not. To each. It’s too personal of a thing for me to force My belief on them. If someone asks, I will tell but otherwise, it’s on them.

    I wish each of you a great day and hope you enjoy whatever you do with it. For me, it’s a day with The Hound and dinner with my sister and her kids.

  3. baronessbeachcomber says:

    Happy Easter to everyone. I’m not conflicted about what today is all about, but whatever you believe, good thoughts are coming your way from the Outer Banks of NC today, especially to Diva and Mr. Ford.

  4. Lisa Renee says:

    Good Morning Empress, thanks for another great thought provoking blog. I too describe myself as more spiritual than religious. It was after a life altering event also. I didn’t use words like angels or miracles to describe what I witnessed. My interpertation was that what I was living was Gods hand at work. Dare I say it felt like “proof”? Did I learn the true meaning of faith? I don’t know to this day. Since then I tell people God & I are good. My relationship with god is very personal & not subject to scrutiny (sp). There was no way I could see Gods hand so clearly if I subscribed to the church/bible literally. I wouldn’t be worthy of such a gift. Thats when I became more spiritual. My exposure to religion & how I was raised was confusing, mom was catholic dad was jewish. While I made out like a bandit gift wise for every holiday, I also had 2 g’mas covering both jewish & catholic guilt. 🙂 Spent every saturday in Temple & hebrew school until time for my Bat Mitzvah. My rabbi told me I wasn’t really Jewish because my mother never converted, telling me I was not entitled to this right of passage. Well, I cursed him out (I was 12 & I do not think anyone had ever spoken to him like that before or since) for ragging on my mom & for not letting me know years ago so I could have watched cartoons instead of wasting my time. Surprise, surprise I was kicked out & haven’t seen the inside of a temple since. When Ashley was born, especially after her dad died, I chose the catholic church. It was like being in a different country, but I see Ashley & her relationship with the church now & it adds to the quality of her life. She did get a basket before she left for church. The house is decorated & Baby Huey (24 yrs old) dyed her eggs. Dinner will be spectacular with dear friends & a few members of the military who are too far away from home to celebrate with their familes. Thanks for all you do, love the comments & all the stories. Lisa

    • thedesigndiva2 says:

      Lisa.. I so understand about the spiritual v the religious aspect. Many a times things that have happened to me medically should have me listed as DEAD… But..yet here I am today.. I joke and tell folks that the Good Lord didn’t want me up there showing him how to run things…LOL… that and I still had people to piss off here..So , He let me stay put…
      My last bruch with death..it was my deceased Father who met me and told me that I had to go back. It was not my time to leave the physical Earth… But that I would know when that time would be… and I do ….. I keep that to myself…. winks
      So in the meantime..I try to make the best of every day….
      Love reading that you are spending time with Military Families… They surely appreciate that for sure…..
      Happy that your daughter has found a path that she is comfortable with.. In the end..it’s what matters….

      Hugs and Peace

  5. T-Wrecks says:

    Happy Easter and Chag Sameach to everyone!
    Ms. Diva: I am truly happy to read your Mr. Ford is recovering, and that you’ll have a new M.D. to act as conductor. Feel free to email if you have questions or need an interpretation of terms on your journey. I think all patients require an interpreter these days…And I think that sucks.
    Happy Holidays, again!

    • thedesigndiva2 says:

      Happy Easter right back at ya T-Wrecks… and THANK YOU for the kind offer of assistance… I may be taking you up on that for sure..
      We are feeling better now , knowing that there is actually a Dr out there that has shown some compassion for our situation.. I just knew our request for some help would not fall on deaf ears. And I know this particular Dr and YES he is a caring and compassionate person along with being a Dr. For him . it’s about the HEALTH of his patients..not the bulk of his wallet. YEA…..
      And so we will be taking our baby steps and getting Mr Ford back to his old self soon…..
      Hugs and Peace

    • Viewer 5 says:

      Wrecksie – hope your holiday was fun. It’s not my “place” – but just a note of warm thx to your offer for Diva. I know every positive thought for Diva and Mr. Ford is helpful, but most of us have no practical experience with any of this crap; we are not in the field. You are awesome.

  6. thedesigndiva2 says:

    ONE OF MY MARINE WIVES JUST SENT ME THIS….. Thought I would share…

    Just Stay

    A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.

    “Your son is here,” she said to the old man.

    She had to repeat the words several times before the patient’s eyes opened.

    Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man’s limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.

    The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed. All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man’s hand and offering him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile.

    He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital – the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients.

    Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.

    Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited.

    Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her.

    “Who was that man?” he asked.

    The nurse was startled, “He was your father,” she answered.

    “No, he wasn’t,” the Marine replied. “I never saw him before in my life.”

    “Then why didn’t you say something when I took you to him?”

    “I knew right away there had been a mistake,
    But I also knew he needed his son, and his son just wasn’t here.

    When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son,
    Knowing how much he needed me, I stayed.”

    I came here tonight to find a Mr. William Grey.
    His Son was Killed in Iraq today, and I was sent to
    Inform him. What was this Gentleman’s Name?

    The Nurse with Tears in Her Eyes Answered,
    Mr. William Grey…………..

    The next time someone needs you … Just be there. Stay.



    • PussyGalore says:

      Oh my goodness gracious me………that is absolutely beautiful and says it all. All we have to do is show up and feel.

      This makes me think of what we all have been sharing with each other. We’re here; we’re staying; we’re holding each other’s hands; we’re lending an ear. We laugh; we cry and it’s pretty dang spectacular. At least from where I’m sitting it is.

      Thank you my friends…….knowing you and knowing you are here has enriched my life immensely.

  7. Donna says:

    Diva I am glad to learn Mr. Ford is on the mend! Prayers continue for you both.

    Oh lotta topics,,, Easter, Religion, etc. Although my parents were divorced my holidays growing up were filled with love and fun.

    I was raised strict Catholic and had a falling out with the church. When my son was 2 weeks old I went to the priest to have him baptized, well the priest royally chewed me out for waiting that long, my son was baptized 2 weeks later on Easter Sunday. Other things happened and I later became disgusted by the Catholic church.

    LOL I am a retired church secretary, the lesson I learned: All men put their pants on one leg at a time (unless you are a fireman). I loved working at the Lutheran and Methodist churches. My step-father and I had a “date” every Ash Wednesday at the Catholic church.

  8. baronessbeachcomber says:

    Empress, your town is being featured on 60 minutes tonight. A farm for training polo ponies. Someone named Owen?

  9. codystl says:

    Empress – my religious journey is very similar to yours. I grew up catholic in a small town of 2000 people that had equal number of churches as taverns. Mom and I went to church and dad went to the tavern. We went to church every Sunday and I continued that practice through college. Then I moved to Boca and started to befriend folks of different religious backgrounds and found it fascinating. After 3 years, I moved to Dallas and living in the bible belt pretty much ended my beliefs in what can be called organized religion. Too much hypocrisy and judgment.

    A few years ago I moved back to the St. Louis area and at the time, the archdiocese had a cardinal who in one word could be described as a bully. That pretty much ended it for me. I was working at a catholic hospital and was able to speak with the lead chaplain, a former priest (who left to become married) and I shared with him that I didn’t think the catholic church is the same now as the one I grew up in. He helped me understand that I wasn’t crazy in my observations and it was a really good conversation. He didn’t tell me I was wrong or persuade me in any way.

    In my small town, we were fortunate to have a great priest while I was growing up. I have a lot of great memories and experiences. But, to me, the church is going backward rather than forward.

    As a side note, I spent Easter with some friends and extended family. We had catholics, jews, lutherans and a couple of Hindu and everyone loved the Easter egg hunt!

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