Cleaning out those memories
||Catholic Easter was last Sunday. (It was also the week of
the Islamic Haijj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.) As I was writing a
thank you email to the gracious hostess of Easter dinner, I noticed that
all my of Easter memories are of Easter dinners. My family is not know
for its church attendance, we are more spiritual than religious, so my
only church memories are of me falling asleep at midnight mass once, and
a random service here or there. My real memories of Easter are
home cooked dinners and vibrant discussions not religious services.
Last night, as I helped in the kitchen of a friend from work as she
prepared dinner for eight, all the memories of Easters past came forth.
I could not help but remember my mother’s cooking, and how much I
associate ‘home cooking’ with family love. She is the
unrivaled master chef (you think someone’s gonna rate above Mom?!) of
Easter dinner. I can remember specific dishes, but it is the overall
feeling of happiness when she cooked, that I cherish. My Mom’s cooking
came back to me two Easters ago, when I had Easter dinner with the
family of a young lady I was dating at the time. Her mother came close
to rivaling my own, and made me realize how ‘Southern’ my
Mom’s cooking was. Shredded carrots, raisins, and the mysterious sauce
is a desert only someone with the appropriate accent can produce.
Last Easter I dined with the family of my (now) ex-girlfriend. I
accompanied the family to the service before dinner, and enjoyed the
following Easter egg hunt, but last night I noticed something was
missing from both of the last two Easter gatherings. Last night, as we
discussed the horrors of oppression and genocide, a painful but relevant
topic for Easter (JC was a victim of both after all), I recalled the
many great discussions I have had on the timeless subjects in life at my
family’s Easter dinner. Discussions, conversations where positions are
taken, life’s quandaries are examined, and strong beliefs are
questioned, were a common occurrence in the Vota household and whose
ever household was foolish enough to invite us over.
In refection, I think I actually went to church last night, a temple
of worship, where good food and good discussions, surrounded by good
friends is the path to happiness.