My mother is central to my Easter memories. She made Easter (and every other holiday) special in my life. I don’t know how she pulled it off. I don’t know if she enjoyed it. I know there was a keen sense of duty among her and the other women in my family to do the best for us, to fulfill what, in their generation, was what mothers did.
Mom made Easter outfits for herself, my sister and me and sometimes helped sew outfits for my grandmother and aunts. When my brother was a young boy, she even made suits for him with shorts. Sometimes, she also dyed our shoes to match our outfits. There was even a period when she, my grandmother and my aunt made their own hats.
She pressed and curled my sister, my and her hair – a long undertaking with a lot of squirming and protests on our parts.
She made a huge dinner: yeast rolls from scratch, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, deviled eggs, candied yams, greens, lemon or white cake, banana pudding, sweet potato pie, ham, roast or fried chicken and, sometimes, barbecued ribs or pork steaks. And jello – can’t forget the jello.
She dyed Easter eggs with us and hid them around the house and outside for us to find.
We all went to church – two services every Sunday. Mom typically stayed up half the night getting everything done and then got up and fixed breakfast and got us all ready for church. Easter was extra special. The outfits were more elaborate. One year she made matching linen suits for my sister and me in pastel colors. We had hats with ribbons to match.
They don’t make women like that anymore. Even though I make a big dinner from scratch, I’m not doing all the other things she did. The times don’t require them.
It was wonderful to have the Easters my mom provided as we grew up. As an adult, I can recognize the sacrifice she made and the fact that pretty much all of the preparations fell on her shoulders, including shopping for the groceries for dinner and fabric for our clothes, and buying our patent leather shoes (with matching purses).
(This is not an Easter photo – I don’t have any of those. This is a photo taken in our home by the hospital photographer shortly after my brother was born. Mom made those dresses.)
What has remained, from those times, is that in St. Louis the family will go to church and there will be a sit down dinner (even if not altogether homemade), and everyone will look fabulous (even if casual). The love doesn’t stop.
Thank you, Mom, for all you did (and continue to do) for us.
Such wonderful, wonderful memories. I, too remember all that my mother (who shopped, cleaned, and prepared our clothes) and Dad (who cooked the homemade-from-scratch spread),to prepare the five of us (six, much later) for the Easter “parade” at church. So, thank you Candelaria for the reminder of yesteryear, and thank you Mom and Dad for your commitment to family and tradition.
Ah, the Easter parade at church! Yes. One year, my sister was sick and so Mom made us wait until the week after Easter to wear our new outfits. I wasn’t happy about that at all because I wanted to show off! How nice your Dad cooked. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.
What beautiful memories
My mom also made clothes or adjusted hand me downs for all of and my five siblings
She did our hair, meals, church and took photos with her brownie camera.
Although we are scattered around the country we share stories and photos using text
Love to you and yours Candelaria
Thanks for reading and taking time to comment. My mom also “adjusted hand me downs” and repurposed clothes from thrift stores. It was a lot of work!
Thank you for all the memories of all the many, special things my Mom also did for me and my five siblings. Today, we women do a lot for our children but it’s very different form what these amazing women did and do. I honestly don’t know how they were able to do as much as they did – cooking from scratch, making outfits from scratch – lots of labor- and love-intensive work.
Thanks for reading. I am glad it brought special memories of the things your mom did for you and your siblings.
What a wonderful memory; thanks for sharing it.
I really enjoyed your homage to your Mom. It was so nice. Thank you for sharing. Brought back some memories of my early childhood with my family at Easter. Thanks again.
Wow! Thanks for reading my blog. I am glad it brought back fond memories of Easter for you. All the best.