The Saturday before Easter, Harrison and I sat down at the kitchen table with 4 dye-filled dishes, 6 hard-boiled eggs and a roll of paper towels spread out neatly in front of us. It was a first for both of us…my first time carrying out this Easter tradition with a toddler, and his first time being trusted with an egg in his hands! I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little anxious about the whole process. I’m somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to things like that and Harrison…well…Harrison is an almost 2 year old boy who throws most anything that he can get his little mitts on. I was fairly confident that those fragile little eggs had met their match! We talked a lot about being “gentle” and demonstrated how to set the egg down into the dish versus dropping it like he was highly inclined to do….and much to my surprise, he did really well. Together we spooned the colored water over our eggs, calling out colors as we watched the pristine white shells turn vibrant shades of red, yellow, blue and green.
Everything was going well. Until, that is, Harrison decided to do something horrific. Unthinkable. Deplorable. All that I could do was stand there and watch in horror as my own flesh and blood scooped up a spoonful of green colored liquid and very carefully transferred it into the neighboring red bowl. Every piece of my OCD personality wanted to snatch the spoon away from him and shout “ARE YOU ABSOLUTELY INSANE, BOY!?! WE DON’T MIX COLORS!” My brain hurt. My skin crawled. I still shudder at the mere thought of it.
Harrison, proving to be much less insane than his mother, thought that the whole deal was pretty awesome. As he continued to add color after color to that same bowl, he looked me straight in the eye, flashed a HUGE grin and shouted “Whoa, Mommy! Bwack wawer!” He realized that he made a new color….and he was PROUD.
My heart immediately softened and a similar smile spread across my own face. Don’t get me wrong…I’m still totally against such brazen mixing of colors, but his excitement was heart warming and contagious. Not only that, but as I watched him marvel at his last egg and the “bwak water,” my eyes were opened to something beautiful that was taking place where I initially saw only chaos. I present to you…
Tomorrow, May 1st, is the first day of a very messy month for our family. In just 31 short days we will celebrate Mother’s Day without the one who made me a mommy, send 4 balloons to our 4 year old in Heaven, and do our best to navigate a world of grief as we mark yet another year without sweet Charlotte. I can already feel parts of myself starting to shut down. I’m sleeping less, crying more, having flashbacks of the most awful day of my life. I look at the month of May and struggle to see anything but black water.
The story of Harrison and the purple egg was a perfectly timed reminder of how God is constantly at work in my life. He challenges me to be a better version of myself and helps me through things that I know I couldn’t survive without faith in Him. He uses my children, all 3 of them, to open my heart and eyes to the things that are truly important. He reveals beauty in my brokenness - Throws me into black water with the intention of showing me life’s purple eggs.
Yes, May is a hard month. It always will be. And while I know I have to allow myself to grieve, this May I'm going to do my best to focus my attention on all of the purple eggs in my life. My husband, who is without a doubt the most amazing, kind-hearted man I've ever met. The two healthy baby boys that I get to snuggle with every single night. Memories from the time I spent with the sweetest girl this world has ever known. Friends and family to share those memories with. It's all of these blessings that carry me through my darkest days.
Thank you, God, for purple eggs.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. Isaiah 43:2