Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Cadbury Eggs


My Column in the 03.29.19 issue of The Grove Sun. 


I ate a bag of Cadbury Eggs.

Normally, I try not to indulge and devour a whole bag of "eggs," but something was off Tuesday, when I made a quick trip to the store.

In fact, this whole week has been a bit "off kilter" for me. 

At first, I thought it was the weather change, or maybe because I hugged a kidlet who since developed a stomach bug.

It might have been because Monday and Tuesday seemed like "hang-over" days for most of us after last week's Spring Break.

So on Tuesday, I found myself buying the eggs for no real reason. I mean, Cadbury Eggs are not my "favorite go-to" candy when I'm seeking comfort.

Yet for some reason, the chocolate bites with a candy shell seemed to be calling my name.

Then suddenly, it dawned on me. Almost like a lightning bolt shock followed by a big thunderclap. This week is the two-year anniversary of Tanna's death. 

Tanna was one of my first children's ministry "kidlets" in Siloam Springs. I watched her grow in faith, through a myriad of activities. 

I was privileged to take her on her first mission trip - to Joplin - where we worked at the Salvation Army thrift store, cooked a meal for the Ronald McDonald House, and helped at Watered Gardens.

The effort was designed to teach third, fourth and fifth graders they could roll up their sleeves and help others, no matter their age.

We'd laughed as she tried (along with her sister and other cohorts) to call China on my mobile. For the record, they got close, but never figured out the country codes.

We also laughed as the girls' small group I led would hijack my phone to call my mom -- to ask her all kinds of questions about me. Really, ALL kinds of questions.

Later I cheered as she graduated high school and started at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville with a goal to become a librarian. 

I cried with her, as she - along with her sister - gave an amazing eulogy at her grandfather's service. The kidlet who made my hair turn grey on trips, became an amazing, well spoken young woman.

She even took part in my wedding. She was my college-aged ring bearer (who said I had a normal service.)

Two years ago, I got the call. One that still brings me to tears as I remember the day. She had gotten sick on spring break - in of all places, one of my favorite spots in the world Navarre Beach/Ft. Walton, Florida.

An unbeknownst brain aneurism snuffed out her light, just as it was beginning to shine in all of its adulthood glory.  

I grieved, along with her family and other friends. Later, I moved on to a point where memories brought smiles, rather than tears.

Then this week happened. While my brain "forgot" the day, my body did not.

No one ever told me your body can develop a muscle memory for pain. I didn't know grief could sneak up on you, out of no where and literally suck the wind out of your sails. 

Monday was the anniversary of the call telling me she was dying. Tuesday was the anniversary of her death.

As I sat at home, eating the Cadbury Eggs, I realized why I purchased them. 

Tanna loved those bits of chocolaty goodness. People always tried to find bags of them for her, so she could "stock up" for the year. 

So, I ate a bag of Cadbury Eggs and remembered my sweet friend, her face and everyone who loved her.

I prayed the grief which enveloped me, like a python snake squeezing its prey, would eventually fade and take the tears away.

So I ate a bag of Cadbury Eggs and remembered the good. 

Kaylea M. Hutson is the managing editor of The Grove Sun. Have an idea for a column or story? She can be reached at kaylea.hutson@grovesun.com or 918-786-2228.

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