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By Cynthia J. Turner
Contributing Writer 

An Easter Memory

 

Last updated 4/1/2021 at 10:21am

Bruno Kelzer

EASTER

I love Easter. It's my favorite holiday. May you enjoy this remembrance from Easter 2004 . . .

It was my first Easter without my beloved father. I was in line at Walmart and noticed the plaid shirt of the elderly man in front of me. He also was waiting to check out. His shirt was worn paper thin and showed hand-stitched patches of repair in various areas. My Dad had loved plaid.

I wanted so much to treat this stranger to a new shirt. But...how? He was ahead of me and could easily and quickly walk away toward the exit after he paid the cashier. Or, he could ignore me, be offended or mad. Well, I just went for it. I asked him if he had a minute to wait for me because I wanted to ask him something. He agreed, stepped to the side and waited.

My father was a dapper dresser. So, for many years it had been fun to surprise him with a shirt or tie, usually for Easter.

After I paid the cashier, I walked over to the man who patiently awaited me. I told him it was my first Easter without my father, and it would make me really happy to be able to treat him to a shirt.

He seemed to understand my heartfelt need to bless us both.

The man said, "A shirt will be fine. I'll wait for you." Then, I realized he thought I was just going to bring him a shirt. He smiled when I explained that I wanted him to select whatever he liked. So, we walked to the men's department. He picked out a coral orange golf shirt.

As we walked side by side toward the parking lot, he said he couldn't wait to put on his new shirt and go visit his wife and show it to her. I asked where she was. He said she was at the Dove Nursing Home, now named Grace Healthcare. That's where my Dad had been. I knew it well. I asked him her name. "Pearlie Mae." I thanked him and told him he'd made me very happy. He said, "Ma'am, you made me happy, too." As we hugged, I realized this dear man helped me face my first Easter-my favorite holiday-without my father.

After that, I stopped by the Dove a number of times to visit Pearlie Mae. Although she was unable to communicate, I enjoyed our visits. The first time I massaged her feet through the covers, I wondered what she thought of her husband's Easter shirt.

HE IS RISEN

"He is not here, for he has risen, just like he said." Matthew 28:6

 

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