When I discovered my birthday fell on Easter Sunday this year, I felt it a great gift, because it wasn’t just any birthday, but a rather significant one. As the day crept closer, and neither of my kids stepped up to say, ‘Hey mom, since Easter Sunday is on your birthday (and a rather significant one at that), we’ll host Easter this year.’ This did not happen. Then my husband required surgery, with his recovery overlapping Easter. I knew he wouldn’t want to travel anywhere, so I stepped up and said that Easter would be at our house.
My youngest son seemed confused by this announcement, ‘But isn’t that what we normally do?’
‘Yes,’ I replied, calmly enough, ‘but Easter doesn’t normally fall on my birthday.’ Probably not so calmly with that last part. I must admit, I felt put upon.
You see, my father always made sure each of his seven children got special treatment on their birthdays. In fact, it was one of the spouses of one of my siblings who first observed that we McDonalds don’t really have birthdays…we have birth weeks! Now you see where I’m coming from.
So, that was the mindset leading up to Holy Week. And as that week progressed, I cleaned, I prepped and readied the house for our guests.
It was most fortunate that the beautiful liturgies of the Triduum preceded Easter Sunday, because those liturgies, and Fr. Kuzma’s homilies on service and humility, turned everything around for me. One day I grudgingly went about my preparations… and the next day I lovingly and joyfully went about doing what needed to be done. Just like that, I got over myself and looked forward to having everything just so when everyone arrived.
My daughters-in-law celebrate birthdays three and four days after mine and a granddaughter shares her mother’s birthday too. We celebrated Easter and four birthdays on Easter Sunday. My eldest son made an incredible birthday cake, everyone brought food and the day was glorious and special.
If we open our hearts and minds, God can help us to see beyond ourselves; can work with our imperfect souls in very special ways. If we open our hearts and minds everything changes – we change – for the good.
Not only that, but I still had six more days of my birth week, so it was indeed all good (and truly blest).