It was a tough day for our local Easter Bunny.
Nothing makes an Easter Bunny happier than having a new child to prepare a basket for and to hide eggs from. A new pair of bright eyes that flit around the room looking for hidden eggs and candy.
On Maggie's first Easter after we adopted her she was happy to find the large plastic eggs that my mother-in-law had placed around the room in plain site. There were four of them but Maggie wasn't so stable on her feet. She'd toddle over to an egg and bring it back to one of us. We would praise her and then, when she was off retrieving the next one, we'd toss it across the room so that she would have more to find. She must have found each egg a dozen times. I don't know if we fooled her into finding the same ones over and over or if she fooled us into paying her that much attention for an hour.
But this year our local Easter Bunny had to deliver Elena's basket somewhere else.
Maggie woke up and came and got us to go downstairs and hunt for the eggs she had colored and see what candy she would be eating in place of breakfast. She quickly found them all and got dressed for church. I'd told her that we were going to Elena's grave and said it was up to her whether or not she came with us. She thought a minute and asked if she could leave some of her Nerd rope on Elena's grave. Elena had always liked that.
I said sure and suggested she also leave one of her eggs. Maybe a yellow one. Maggie agreed. Kim also took one of the yellow roses I had bought for the dining room table. They were the same roses I had bought for Kim's hospital room while she was waiting to deliver Elena seven years ago.
At the cemetery, Elena's grave was decorated. Her Easter basket stood next to her head as if waiting for Elena to come find it. There were egg trees: little sticks from which plastic Easter eggs dangled. There had been two egg trees at Elena's grave but when one blew over Kim's dad placed it at the neighboring grave of the eleven year old who died a week after Elena. Something for her to find Easter morning as well. My mom left a plant. Kim's mom had left a bunny and a butterfly decoration. But mainly I kept looking at the eggs.
An egg is the one item on a seder plate that is not in the service. At an interfaith seder Kim and I went to, the rabbi explained that it is there as a symbol of life.
Maggie placed Elena's candy on her grave. She made a little indentation so that the egg would stay in place. She laid the rose carefully and lovingly.
I held the hand of our local Easter Bunny and cried with her.