Firsts: Originally Posted EASTER 2013

Hold the door say please say thank you
Don't steal, don't cheat, and don't lie
I know you got moutains to climb but
Always stay humble and kind
When the dreams you're dreamin' come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride but
Always stay humble and kind

HAPPY EASTER to you all! 
HAPPY 8th  BIRTHDAY to my niece, Emmagene 
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to Dad and Mom.   

I could be sad she's gone but instead I'm so grateful everything she's given me; including the reminder of how precious and beautiful every moment is. 

I originally posted this 5 years ago - the first Easter after my mom passed.
It seemed fitting, being my parents' anniversary, to post it again.  

Every moment is a first.  Let's live in the present today and experience whatever first is today for you.


2013: "Eg" (Emmagene/grandaughter, 3) hunts for Eggs!

2013: Josh (grandson, 19mts) dyes his first easter egg with Mom (Megan)

2013: Lily: "Emmys!! what you got in there?"

Every moment is a first.  But then again, every moment is a last. I could go on about how this is the first Easter in 35+ years my dad is not with my mom.  Tomorrow - April 1st - is their Anniversary-- their 35th Anniversary.  Tomorrow, for the first time, my dad will not celebrate with her. 

But this Easter is also, for so many, your child’s first Easter or first Easter with your wife/husband or maybe the first time you've hosted the dinner.  First time in a new house?  Or on the other end of the spectrum, first time you had to work this holiday and could not make it home or to the family gathering.

For us, it is the first Easter since Mom passed.  But yesterday was the first March 30th we spent without her and tomorrow will be the first April 1st since her passing.  My cousin, Shelli, recently lost her 43 year old husband to brain cancer.  It is her first Easter as a widow.  But his organs were donated and saved 6 lives.  Six people will, for the first time in a long time, have hope this Easter because of Shane.  SIX!!

“Firsts” are what you make them out to be.  Do I miss Mom today?  Absolutely.  But I missed her yesterday and I will miss her tomorrow.

Today is my first Easter spent in Texas (visiting, not living here).  I went for a run in shorts and a t-shirt for the first time outside since I started training for the marathon.  I had pizza for Easter dinner for the first time, ever, because we waited too long to get to the grocery store and now it is shut.  Heidi spent her Easter with our 19 month year old nephew for the first time and watched Josh look for Easter eggs for the first time.  Roth and Christina watched their 3 year old, Emmagene, and 20 month year old, Lily, look quizzically at the empty egg carton in the fridge and ponder what the Easter Bunny did with all the eggs, for the first time.

And so, I will eat a Reese’s peanut butter egg this holiday and smile; it was Mom’s favorite.  And I will reminisce about how much I looked forward to and loved to make homemade chocolate candy with her….candy molds,  chocolate covered pretzels, raisins, Buckeyes, chocolate covered coconut... if you could dip it in chocolate, we did.

But I will continue to live.  I enjoyed my pizza because she would have laughed at my inability to plan and then she would have made me a ham and mashed potatoes next time I was home to make up for it.  I will continue to have firsts and appreciate them because that’s what mom would have wanted.

Even if this Easter was the same tradition as last year and you feel it was routine, it wasn't.   Every moment is a first. 

So I challenge you all to look around and appreciate those firsts.  Because those firsts are also lasts.  Nothing goes according to plan, so if people were late for dinner, or the stuffing did not turn out the way you wanted, or your mother in law or aunt got on your nerves- again….who cares.  Let it go.  Enjoy where you are, what you have, and even what you don’t have.  Breathe it all in.  Look at the person next to you and the people you love and appreciate them.  Because you can.

To all of you:
I wish you a very Happy Easter/Passover/Just another Sunday.
April 1, 1978 - first days as husband and wife (Mary and Dan)
Easter 1980 something....
Easter 1993 - Nanny and Grandpop's, New Jersey
Another photo in the dining room (have you caught on to the trend yet??) - Easter 1994?

Looks like we moved to the living room this year for the Easter shot!

1999 - Home - Last year we'll all fit on the couch together (L-R Heidi, Betsy, Tina, Adam, Megan)

First time on a bicycle built for two - Mom, Heidi, Tina, Megan, and Me at the beach . All taking turns and enjoying the sun!

2001, Mom visits her first daughter at college.  

~May your year be full of many firsts~