Easter won’t be the same for me this year – or for almost anyone else who usually celebrates it.

Wearing dresses sewn by their mother, Vicki Sullivan, left, and her sister gather for Easter in 1959 at their grandparents’ house in Auburn, along with their cousins Kathy and Bobby. Photo courtesy of Vicki Sullivan

When I think of my more unusual Easter Sundays – such as the one I spent in the ER at Mercy Hospital, or at the nursing home with my father, or the first one after both my parents had died – I wonder if this Easter could be the strangest of all.

Instead of attending a packed, shoulder-to-shoulder Easter Mass at Holy Cross Church, or, more recently, a serene Easter vigil, I’ll be home alone watching an online Mass at Our Lady of Hope Parish.

For years attendees at church wore Easter finery, although not as much as in recent years, except for the children.

“I guess there won’t be any Easter outfits this year,” my friend Shirley said.

Guess not. No in-person church gatherings and no non-essential shopping.

Displayed on my mirror are photos of my family decked out in our Easter clothes in front of our house in South Portland in 1968. Also, there is an earlier photo from 1959 of my sister and me, dressed in identical blue dresses my mother had sewn, along with our cousins Kathy and Bobby, posed in my grandparents’ place in Auburn. I wish for those times when everyone was closer.

My parents used to give us Easter baskets. Then we’d go to my grandparents’ and they would give us more candy. My family liked sweets. So after discovering Mary’s Candy Shop in Lewiston when I lived there, I still went back long after I had moved to buy their pastel chocolate bunnies, yellow and green and pink.

Due to my senior status and the circumstances, I didn’t venture out to candy shops this year. My friends always tell me they don’t need candy. But I bought a little anyway at the grocery store.

I bought myself some beautiful yellow tulips to celebrate the season and put up three antique Easter postcards circa 1918. To my dear friends and relatives far away, I sent Easter cards.

For the past few years, my friend Lisa and I have had breakfast or brunch together. This year we won’t.

However, I made my “famous” sugar cookies in the shape of chicks, which she’ll be picking up curbside at my place. And I’ll give some to my neighbors.

Yes, Easter will be different this year. But as the sign said in front of Len Libby’s, “Don’t let the Grinch steal Easter.”

So I won’t.


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