For the past nine years—ten Easters now—I have observed the anniversary of Lev’s death in the midst of Easter anticipation and celebration. This is a time of year when the church calendar overrides those dates in April when Lev died and was buried…and when I assumed the unwanted role of widow.
I can never say never, for last spring I surprised myself by my dread of the approaching Holy Week. Where would I go? What would I do? I do not want to be alone in the pew on Easter Sunday morning or in a place where Lev and I did not worship together. Easter is a time for remembering, and reminders of loss rekindle my grief and pain.
Maybe it is because I have been busy and distracted since the first of the year (perhaps you have noticed the absence of weekly blogs), maybe it is because my son and daughter-in-law invited me far in advance to join them again in Horseshoe Bay, or maybe…just maybe…I have reached that place in recovery where I can remember without reliving that awful week of Lev’s death.
Nine years ago my 16-year-old grandson drove me to his family’s lake house at Horseshoe Bay, in the Texas Hill Country, after the funeral; and I observed Easter with the family at the Church at Horseshoe Bay, high up in the hills overlooking Lake LBJ, where Lev and I had worshiped with family on other, joyful Easters. This year I detoured to Austin to visit my grandson and his wife in their new home, an occasion to celebrate.
I have written here about the three churches I call home—in Corpus Christi, Dallas and Nantucket. But the Church on Horseshoe Bay is my Easter church. This is where the anticipation of resurrection and eternal life overtake my grief. This is where I celebrate God’s promises as we sing the familiar hymns of the faith, which are the poetry of my soul: Christ the Lord Is Risen Today, He Is Lord, He Lives, Christ Is Risen and finally, at the end, Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, which also concluded Lev’s service.
Memories of loss. Promises of hope. Hallelujah!
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RECLAIMING JOY: An Update
Since I last wrote about my memoir last October, a lot has happened!
- I submitted final revisions to the Baylor University Press in early March.
- The cover is in the very final design stages, and I am thrilled with it.
- Publicist Kelly Hughes of DeChant Hughes, Chicago, is representing RECLAIMING JOY.
- Plans for marketing and promotion are well underway.
- Corpus Christi advertising firm MDR is revamping my website and social media presence. Watch for my new look in May.
- RECLAIMING JOY is scheduled to go up on Amazon.com for pre-orders later this month.
- In May advance reading copies will be sent to national media, and I will receive galley proofs.
- June is my last chance to make corrections, and I will also prepare the index. (I never thought I would spend my first month on Nantucket working.)
- September 14 RECLAIMING JOY is scheduled to be released, with a big launch at Baylor in Waco. Y’all come.
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Will Have Books! Love to Travel!
I am accepting invitations to speak and sign books after September 15. I would love to speak at your church, bookstore or club; and I would love to visit every public library in Texas. Day trips from the Metroplex and Corpus Christi are easy. You can learn more about my available programs here. Feel free to comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: The Church at Horseshoe Bay, Easter 2018.