Back in 1963, I was five. I lived with my mother, daddy, and two older sisters in East Tupelo. Life was very different for five-year-olds back then than it is now. We had a black and white TV, no video games, no computers, no gadgets. My days consisted mostly of playing outside from dawn to dusk.
At night, my sister and I often slept on a red Naugahyde convertible sofa in front of that black and white TV. Even though we only had a couple of channels, which went off the air at 12, it was still a party.
On Christmas Eve we would try to sleep in the living room to see Santa, but my daddy would take that red couch and tell us to go to bed. He said Santa wouldn’t leave us anything if we were in the room. Oh to go back to those days!
So, obviously my parents did teach us the Santa fable, and I can remember a tooth fairy leaving a quarter for a lost tooth, but the Easter Bunny seemed to miss our house every year. My parents were older and I guess weren’t up to speed on all the latest happenings in make-believe land.
The Easter I was five, I was in school for the first time. I heard all the other kids talking about this rabbit who was going to bring them baskets with all kinds of good stuff inside. I remember wondering why I had never heard of such. I went home and asked my mother. She said, “A rabbit? Whoever heard of such?” However, I continued to insist that this rabbit character was supposed to bring me something on Easter. I imagined it being like a second Christmas that I had been missing out on for five long years. Time would tell if my dreams would become reality.
So, Easter “Eve” came and I insisted on sleeping on my “red bed.” No one had a problem with it. I guessed that bunnies, unlike Santa, would come if you were in the same room. That night I dreamed of baskets loaded with everything brought by a pink rabbit. Morning came. I opened my eyes to see nothing different than from when I had gone to sleep. No baskets, no toys, no candy, not even an egg!
My mom was in the kitchen cooking breakfast. I remember so clearly the look on her face when I told her the rabbit hadn’t come. She just hugged me close and said, “Honey, I guess he forgot.”
Later that day Mother called me in the house. She said, “Judy, did you forget to look under the end table.” I excitedly ran to the living room to look in that special spot. I reached under the table and pulled out a brown paper bag. Inside were three hard-boiled eggs.
Even though I was only five, I kind of knew that the Easter Bunny wasn’t for real, but a mother’s love was. Bless her heart, she really didn’t get the whole bunny concept I don’t think. And even if she had, we were poor and I am sure my parents would not have been able to afford a second Christmas.
This Easter pull your babies close and hug them tight. Let them know the real meaning of Easter - a Savior, Jesus is alive and loves us all so very much. Life sometimes brings disappointment, but keep on dreaming, for love brings us through. God is love and He loved us enough to send His Son.