Sunday, April 13, 2014

Not Better. Not Worse. Just Different.

Easter Sunday is one week from today. Ahh. I love this holiday. I enjoy it for so many reasons: the first being that it represents the most important event in my faith tradition, but also because it heralds springtime, brings with it chocolate bunnies, and...

.....the Ham-O-Rama.

Yes. The Ham-O-Rama. Mmmmm.

For the last decade or more, at our house, the Easter Sunday Mass is followed by a springtime feast of epic proportions. The cornerstone of this delightful meal is ham -- but not just any ham. Actually, we have two hams both expertly smoked by smoke master John and his awesome Traeger grill, and each of these hams wear a delectable glaze. Each glaze is different, and the lucky folks who taste each of them are required to vote which is tastiest. The winning glaze returns for the next year's Ham-O-Rama to take on a new glaze contender.

It's a delicious contest.

But there's more than ham to this gathering: we fill the house to bursting with family and friends. We laugh and talk and play games, one of which is an Easter egg hunt with varying rules. And after everyone returns home, John and I collapse on the couch and happily re-hash all the fabulous details of the day while we munch on chocolate bunny ears.

This year, things will be different. Not better, not worse -- just different. Because I have very reluctantly come to the conclusion that hosting the Ham-O-Rama this year is just not possible for me. When I scheduled my rituximab infusions, I knew that I would still be in the recovery phase at this point meaning that my energy levels would still be severely compromised. So rather than trying to muscle my way through the holiday propped up by the artificial energy from Provigil and caffeine and then crashing big time afterwards, I've asked my kids to host this year's event.

While this may seem like a very logical decision on the surface, in reality it's a big thing.


I'm trying really hard not to label this holiday hand-off as a concession to autoimmune disease, but I can't say that I've been completely successful in this.

BICJ is throwing a tantrum of epic proportions right now. My Bratty Inner Child Julia is thrashing around and wailing, But I don't wanna give this up! It has to happen at MY house! I get to be in charge of EVERYTHING! I want to order everyone around and make the menu and buy the candy and dictate the order of the day's events! Wah! Wah wah wah!!

Not pretty. I'm glad that at this point the conniption fit is happening largely in my psyche. So far.

I'm so glad that I made this decision many months ago when Easter seemed to be very far off and I could attempt to think logically; to balance my expectations with the probable realities of my physical capabilities, because my assessment of the situation was spot-on. Even though everyone pitches in and helps, the preparation for a houseful of weekend guests and the planning, shopping, and cleaning would have completely erased what scant energy reserves I have.

My kids have very enthusiastically stepped forward to take the Easter celebration reins. We'll all gather at my son's home, attend Easter Sunday Mass, have a wonderful meal, but most importantly -- we'll be together. It will be great. So just can the hysterics, BICJ!.

Easter will not be better, nor worse -- just different. But still wonderful.


ShEiLa said...

The picture you painted ... Ham-O-Rama! My mouth is watering.... Take comfort in knowing that it's your children taking over.... Where did they learn about Easter celebrations???? From you. You are in good hands!!!! Enjoy!!!!

Amy Junod said...

I mourned for you a little bit myself. There's some bit of the same grieving happening with me also I think.

BUT, the big celebration will still go on and it's kinda cool that your son is taking on the tradition.

Thanks for the reminder that being together is the big focus and blessing.

mcspires said...

I used to just LOVE decorating for all holidays, but I am finding it hard to get up the energy anymore. I have not taken out my Easter decorations yet and it would be more work that it is worth at this point because they would no sooner be out and it would be time to put them away. It makes me sad.

Laura said...

I'm sorry that you're having to make this choice - but I hope that you will find just as much joy in this year's celebration, even if it's a different joy.