dear diary :: Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday today, but one of course with a difference and one we will always remember for being in ‘lock down’ if nothing else. Today feels quite a sombre one and as I looked out over our cul-de-sac this glorious Easter morning all was just so peaceful and calm, even though so many people are at home nothing out there is stirring.

Easter, like Christmas, is a great fusion of both religious and pagan festivities and as with Christmas in our household we have tended to incorporate a little of everything into our celebrations as well as creating a few traditions of our own.

Over time the Easter bunny, chocolate Easter eggs and now Easter gifts and decorations have been heavily promoted in the shops and it can feel like the message of Easter, like the message of Christmas gets a little lost in all the hype.

The Easter bunny and laying of eggs that are hidden in the garden can be traced back to documentation from 13th Century onwards and for younger children, like the coming of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, it is an exciting day especially if it involves an Easter egg hunt – but for many children this Easter staying in might seem a little dull.

Like our neighbours two little girls, Little L was ‘super’ excited yesterday when I spoke to her on the phone. Even though the whole world is currently in turmoil children still have the ability to accept things and live in the moment and Easter will be something they can celebrate even in the lock down at home – I hope she will not be too disappointed with the one egg (that luckily her mum had managed to buy a while ago) and a lack of a family gathering with grannies, aunts and cousins. I am sure that in the absence of a chocolate egg hunt my daughter will have thought of something creative in its place. Since school closed they have been busy ‘crafting’ for Easter – colouring in patterned eggs, making cards and icing biscuits. Having the theme of Easter to work with has made it easier for my daughter to occupy this lively 5 year old.

The egg, chocolate or otherwise is an important symbol of new life and quite appropriate at the moment whilst the news reminds us daily of the heavy death toll this virus is causing. So many loved ones lost, such unprecedented times to live through – so the meaning of Easter whether the religious one or the pagan one is there to give us hope.

As the saying goes this is not some dress rehearsal – we are all having to pick our way through this as best we can, trying to abide by the ‘spirit of the rules’ that are there to restrict our movements, keep us safe and prevent further deaths. It can seem like an easy task to fulfil, but in reality it is not; every person’s situation is different and making constant decisions as to whether something is essential and in the spirit or not is both testing and exhausting. I am sure at times we don’t always get it right either and it feels a bit like Brexit all over again with so much judgement and criticism being handed out.

Like our family, other families have their own concerns and risks to minimise; giving help and comfort to others whilst also protecting themselves is a fine balancing act. So I thought I would mention some of the issues we are facing as a family and how we are trying to cope with these whilst staying within the spirit.

Just as NHS workers have been criticised by their watchful neighbours for driving off in the car (to go to work) I have heard of the dustbin men being criticised for handling the bins and the postmen for continuing to deliver the post. I am making sure that I have a thank you message on my dustbin and one by the letter box as I think they are doing a good job – I would not like to see our rubbish build up and receiving letters and cards can be a lifeline to some. My granddaughter has been kept busy writing letters to me and then she looks forward to one in return. My Aunt in a care home with no visitors allowed and my mum are two other family members who do not have the internet and look forward to receiving my letters and cards with updates and pictures of the family.

My daughter in North Yorkshire who has just moved to a new area and knows no-one there is on her own with two young children to look after and entertain because her husband is himself looking after and cooking for key workers that are staying in an empty hotel. Because the risks of going home and spreading the virus to his family would be too great they are living apart but this means our daughter has to take the children with her to get food and nappies etc if they cannot get a delivery. It is a risk she would rather not take but not helped by the awful looks that have come her way in the supermarket now that they are limiting the number of household members allowed in, but she has no option as she can hardly get a babysitter! She was using a little farm shop where she could leave the children in the car outside and dash in – but sadly they decided to close.

We drop off bags on the way to or from the supermarket to our other daughter who lives close by – they have had what seems like colds and been unwell on and off for a few weeks, not knowing if it is the virus or not they have stayed home to protect others and we have helped out with deliveries of food and medicine to their doorstep – the last bag we took included the Easter egg I had decorated – I didn’t take that decision lightly. To onlookers I suppose it may seem like we are visiting.

As many readers will know my mum is 94 and has not been well. She is at that place in her life when she is just on the verge of not being able to look after herself completely and much depends on how well she feels each day. She is waiting to see if anything can be done medically to help her mobility but of course that will not happen at the moment. The virus and lock down have added to our problems. My sister continues to visit 4 times a week and an official carer the remaining 3 days for a teatime slot. She is taking her some food, cooking her meals, washing her bedding, clothes and hair – all the necessities of caring and caring for a vulnerable person is still allowed under the government rules but to the other more able residents it might look like my sister is just dropping in for a chat!

My daughter will reach the grand age of 40 (notice I didn’t say old) this month but the celebration we would have had for family and friends is of course cancelled. It is quite important to me to celebrate the forty wonderful years since she was born and especially because at one time I thought I might not be around to see this moment. (For readers who might not know I was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer that had spread into the lymph nodes, but have survived). So although it might seem a little frivolous in these difficult times, when others are grieving for the loss of their loved ones, I will be trying to gather family members together, courtesy of Zoom, to a virtual surprise party to celebrate her life so far and let her know how special she is.

So as you can see we have situations to resolve the best way we can, nothing is quite so black and white or clear cut but I will carry on using my own judgements to get us all through this safely and let everyone else decide what is best for them and their families. I am sure the very last thing that any of us would want was to think that we had indirectly caused the death of anyone by our actions.

The message Jesus gave us was very simple – ‘Love one another’ and there are so many acts of love out there and we are all trying to do our bit in the best way we can to keep the death toll to a minimum.

I wish you a peaceful day this Easter Sunday. x

35 thoughts on “dear diary :: Easter Sunday

  1. Amen to ALL of that. You have helped me as I was just slipping into self-pity so onwards and upwards to cook the Easter meal and give thanks for small joys. Stay safe. Megan

    Like

    1. It is so easy isn’t it to have moments of sheer fear, and worry. Staying safely in our homes and sharing a meal isn’t any real hardship for most of us considering the battle that is going on 24/7 in the hospitals and care homes. There are small joys to be had through all of this – enjoy your Easter meal and stay well x

      Like

  2. Lovely post for Easter Day and I am sure it will have cheered many folk up. We are all coping as best we can – myson lives quite near but has an invalid wife to look after – he teaches so is at home. My neighbours on either side are my age and we chat from a distance over the fence. I find folk very helpful collecting my medication and the like. Take care and keep safe.

    Like

    1. I am so pleased you have helpful neighbours – ours are both younger than us with young families – they have just as many problems with the children being at home and no jobs to go to. No-one is without issues in this crisis no matter what age. Stay safe and stay well. x

      Like

  3. Happy Easter to you and yours 🙂 I absolutely agree with everything you’ve said and if I were already having to drop essentials like food and medicine off to somebody who was doing their best to protect others by not going out, I’d definitely include an Easter egg or any other treat that might bring a smile to their face. I just wouldn’t make a special trip to do something like that. I’m also very appreciative of the bin men and postman. I think for the majority of us it’s all about minimising the risk. There’s absolutely no way most of us will be able to live a life that’s totally risk free though, all we can do is our best. Take care and look after yourself. xx

    Like

    1. Apart from the shopping trips we are about as risk free as you could get at the moment. If we didn’t need fresh veg and dairy items we would probably get by with dry goods and freezer stuff that we have for a long time. happy Easter to you and yours Suzanne. x

      Like

  4. A very thoughtful and helpful read, I have been thinking so many of the same things but not able to put them into words as eloquently as you do.

    I think if we had a better idea of “what / when / how” for our futures then it would be so much easier to deal with all of the changes to our lives, for me it’s the not knowing that is the killer, always has been. I can deal with (have dealt with) some absolute horrors and disasters in my life when I ~knew~ what I was facing, but a constantly moving target with no end in sight is hard. Suspect I am not much different to anyone else.

    Sorry for your daughter. A big birthday with a zero on the end has had to be cancelled here.

    Like

    1. I do keep going back to the words in the bible during this time, though I appreciate not everyone is religious. The idea of do not worry about tomorrow – God has already taken care of that, springs to mind. I have to believe that all will be well in the end like when I was told I had cancer over 10 years ago now and I have only just being down graded from a medium risk recently – I have had to live with risk for so long now that I think I perhaps am used to not over worrying in my day to day life – I usually have a big panic when I have those all important tests once a year and see the consultant though!
      Sorry about the big ‘0’ in your life – it is not quite the same to do the 41st but maybe people will it is like having the Olympics on the wrong year!
      Keep well and stay safe. x

      Like

  5. A crisis will always bring out the best and worst in people, keyworkers (like postal workers and refuse collecters) are having a hard enough time without busy bodies criticising them for doing their jobs. It’s such a worry being separated from vulnerable family members at a time like this. The virtual surprise party is a lovely idea though. Take care. X

    Like

    1. I find it is so hard to get my head around all this – what is right and what is wrong in the grey areas of life that face us all. I even feel a bit guilty organising a virtual party but then I think we have to make an effort to keep some normality going too and it is all I can do for my daughter as none of the family can go and see her and wish her happy birthday.
      Stay safe and well. x

      Like

  6. I think sometimes people are way too quick to judge others and should really limit their concern to their own business. There are situations when people are acting outrageously and should be reported or reprimanded by those in authority, but most of the time people are just trying to get by and do the best they can in the circumstances. Hope the 40th Birthday celebrations go well. Enjoy the rest of the Easter weekend.

    Like

    1. I was shocked to hear that some keyworkers are being threatened for driving to work because they are not going in uniform people have misjudged them and thought they were flouting the rules. I am hoping we all manage to get linked in with no hitches for the virtual party. Enjoy your time at home with your family – your dog looks so cute I noticed him on the allotment pictures. x

      Like

  7. Hello there and a Happy (if a somewhat different) Easter – My Son (also just turned 40) is a Postman – Posties are willing to go out and work and do their own rounds, they then want to go home to their own young families and not be put at any more risk than needed. But they are being seriously and horribly bullied by their Managers to do overtime during this busy period with no PPE whatsoever – a team of 40+ postmen were given one box of 50 pairs of thin useless gloves brought from a DIY store. The gloves lasted a day – theres been nothing else provided since. They are being told that profitability is more important then anything including their safety (that was actually said to them) so could I please ask your readers, to not post items that aren’t absolutely essential – post the letters that are important and that really matter and a Postie will make sure it arrives safely – but please think when you post something unimportant, that a Postie somewhere is leaving his family and put himself at risk to deliver that non essential piece of correspondence.
    I hope your Daughter still manages to have a special birthday and that you all get to enjoy celebrating her 40th birthday together later in the year – it’s certainly one birthday she’ll never forget.
    Sorry for waffling Thank you

    Like

    1. Hi Sandra and thank you for telling us about this. I was rather shocked to find we are still getting leaflets through the door which are for places that are not even open now – but then I presume that is not a decision your son is able to make to stop delivering these. Ours unfortunately go straight from doormat to recycle bin. I will bear in mind about the non-essential post though. I don’t suppose birthday cards are really essential but there was only one or two I had to post of all the April birthdays. I will resort to scanning and emailing where I can but many of my elderly relatives don’t have a computer. So many people require the PPE and so many have no access to it – I am sorry your son is being bullied into working – I mistakenly thought the ones that were working had elected to do so. Enjoy the rest of Easter. x

      Like

  8. Although we are all in this together, it affects each of us in different ways and we all have challenging situations to deal with. It is important to remember this, as I have also seen many quick to criticise and pass judgement.
    I hope your daughter enjoys her Zoom party. X

    Like

    1. Hi Jules – both sets of neighbours either side of us are at home now – they are much younger than us but their challenge is keeping their younger children occupied and a teenager from spending all her time on a chat App with her friends! Also one of them is Polish and worried for her elderly relatives that she cannot visit.
      My neighbour and friend up the road has a daughter still working – 10 days on and 10 off, She is an engineer and her firm is now making ventilators round the clock but they cannot have the workforce all in together of course. She has had ‘the looks’ leaving her house to go to work!
      Everyone has a story to tell.
      Enjoy the rest of Easter – hope you will bring us more posts of some lovely walks x

      Like

    1. I just copy it on my printer on colour copying setting using agood quality colour copying paper which has a slight sheen and a bit thicker than the ordinary photo copy paper. Set the printer to high quality print. Hope this helps.

      Like

  9. You have so much to contend with and are doing it all wonderfully and cheerfully. A really important reminder of what matters. In Scotland it’s traditionally Easter egg rolling rather than egg hunts. There was a lovely item on the BBC Scotland website about what families in Edinburgh did to manage this year, given that people were being good and not going out to hills in the city (and it is a hilly city!) to roll their eggs https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-52262029. Strangely, my two loved the egg rolling but were never very excited about getting a chocolate Easter egg, and they did only get one each. I would usually come across three quarters of the egg still languishing in their bedrooms in the summer holidays!

    Like

    1. I have never seen or heard of an egg rolling on the Mull where our cottage is – perhaps we are too far south. As a tradition I have always decorated a chocolate egg – first for my two daughters and now instead for the grandchildren. They are only the cheap small Cadbury’s ones with buttons. If the children do get given a lot they are not all eaten in one sitting but instead we would keep them and spread them out over the year, taking one away on our summer holiday with us – I have also been known to melt them down and use to cover a chocolate cake! Loved the ingenious egg rolling reports!

      Like

  10. I really saddens me that people are suspicious of what others are up to and why they are going out in their cars. To assume before finding out the full facts is the root of so many problems in the world, I fear, I would like to think that they might have stopped in these difficult times.

    Like

    1. I think it has been particularly bad for any key workers, not just those in the NHS, and people who are volunteering to help vunerable people.
      My daughter has had some very kind offers from people in her new village that she doesn’t even know but have realised she is on her own with the children.
      We noticed a big increase in traffic through our village recently and it is likely they were not all essential journeys – but everyone would have a reason no doubt (even if it was bending the rules a bit) and very few perhaps just going out for the hell of it.
      On the whole everyone is doing very well considering this is a very strange and new life we have had to adopt very quickly. Stay safe and well.

      Like

  11. What a very fine post Viv!
    I love that you say you are using your own judgement. It’s all we can do. It’s like minding your own business, which more people should be doing. We never really know what others are dealing with.
    Stay well and enjoy that birthday!

    Like

  12. Oh, your Easter cards are very pretty indeed! I agree wholeheartedly that there are many for whom a handwritten note, letter or card would mean so much. I have made a card for my Aunt and will walk down to the postbox to send it off to her today. I have put a little packet of flower seeds in with it as I know she loves her garden too. MegXx

    Like

    1. She will love the seeds as well as the card – we cannot buy any seeds here the garden centres are closed and the ones in the supermarket gone. Luckily I have one or two free packets from last year that came with a magazine. x

      Like

  13. Belated happy Easter. I always love your mis en scene. You create such lovely little spots. I don’t think it is frivolous to want to celebrate your daughter’s birthday. These things bring moments of joy among our stresses, like worrying about your mother.

    Like

I would love to hear from you if you would like to leave a comment. If you are not with Wordpress just click on the comment box and then the underlined Change word and a form will appear. As far as I know completing the form is optional but it would be nice to know your name and blog if you have one.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.