how Holy Week actually went

IMG_5115One week ago today, I took my wheezing two-year-old to the emergency room, and she stayed overnight at the hospital.  She is fine now, and I’m not going to tell you the whole story here; this is just to say that our entire Holy Week and Easter were drastically impacted by the experience.  I told you last week what I hoped to do in preparation for Easter … here’s what we actually did:

  • we got served.  One friend cared for Maggie two days in a row while Pete & I hung out at the hospital with Elizabeth and the baby; another brought us dinner when we brought E. home from the hospital after an overnight stay; yet another picked up some incredibly helpful groceries for us the day before she left for Europe.
  • we saw sisterly love.  I brought baby Rachel with us to the ER out of necessity – she’s entirely breast-fed and we haven’t even tried a bottle with her – but it was surprisingly helpful to have her there to entertain Elizabeth.  Especially in her goofy post-breathing-treatment haze, Elizabeth was absolutely fascinated by Rachel, mimicking her movements and little baby sounds.  She was delighted to have her there.  And Wednesday morning when I arrived at the hospital (Pete stayed with E. overnight), Elizabeth cried, “I want Maggie!”  At home, Maggie heaved a sigh and said, “Mama, I miss Elizabeth!”  Sad, but sweet.
  • We lost some sleep and came down with colds.  I felt very sorry for myself since I’d already been sick and because I’d had sick kids for about three weeks.  I struggled about as much as I usually do with sickness, but made it through.
  • Pete persevered through sickness and made it to church for Holy Thursday.  I took Maggie and Rachel with me to Good Friday, strategically: Maggie doesn’t nap anymore, but often needs to, and sometimes falls asleep at church, so I took her there actually hoping she would take a nap on the pew.  I was not disappointed.  Meanwhile Rachel was asleep when we left the house, but woke up right when Maggie fell asleep, so I pretty much spent the entire service holding one of my daughters.  My back and arms were already aching from much child-holding and carseat-carrying during the hospital ordeal, and at one point during the service I just felt a little overwhelmed by how worn-out my body was.  I tried hard to offer it up and join my tiny pain to Christ’s agony.
  • We made it to Holy Week services, we read the Holy Week stories to the girls, but when it came to Easter, we just had to let go.  I did not bake a cake, we did not make a fancy dinner for family, we did not achieve anything remotely resembling spring cleaning.  Instead we cleaned up from the surprisingly messy experience of having a child in the hospital, we called off the family dinner, and Pete grilled some Polish sausages.  (Not fancy but still delicious.)
  • We went to Easter morning Mass, we went to an Easter afternoon prayer meeting, we had the girls hunt for plastic eggs in the back yard … and otherwise we rested.

So after all of this, I am extra-grateful that we have the whole Easter season to celebrate.  I still hope to dye eggs, to bake a cake (or two), and to host a nice family dinner … but we’ll see what life brings.

Happy Easter!

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