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Emma, the new life of Easter

We were blessed with family and friends this Easter Sunday. My brother had come in from Iowa Friday night for a weekend visit; today my son, his wife and three grandchildren came in town; and part of our African family from Sierra Leone came over to join us for dinner, including the newest member, a two week old baby named Emma. It was the first time I had seen Emma and although she slept most of the visit brought joy with her presence.

The dinner my wife, Pat, made was spectacular, including many of our Middle East favorites including stuffed grape leaves. After dinner, as normal, I and the children retired to living room. But soon I found my three grandchildren involved in playing video games on I Phones and I Pods. My African grand nephew, 6, wanted me to show him the legos and toys he remembers playing here when he was young. We could not find much and soon my oldest grandson had taught him how to play a game on the I Pod games.

Eventually as the adults keep talking and laughing my two oldest grandsons and I were attracted to the dining room table where each grandson told the story of how they had shot their first Turkey this week. Although my wife and I were not into guns or hunting my oldest son, their dad, became involved in hunting and was proud father as their stories of the hunt unfolded.

After all family and friends left my wife and I, after doing some of the cleanup, watched the final installment of the Great Expectations Dickensís story on Public Television. When I finally check my email I discover that one our friendís daughters, who suffers from a mental or brain illness had suffered a relapse and had to be hospitalized. Soon memories of my son Peter and his struggles to his death from a brain illness flooded my mind.

Easter by way of family and friends had brought great joy to my life. But as the day ends I am reminded from my friend that death, illnesses and pain are still there. Hopefully the joy and new life of Easter can make the death and pain of life more bearable. Maybe instead of Happy Easter we should say Blessed Easter.



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