Rumor has it Easter has been canceled. I beg to differ.


The house won’t be full of chaos on Sunday with grandkids looking for Easter eggs. There won’t be the traditional ham cooked by Papa and enough side dishes to feed an army. The day won’t be full of family eating and laughing and then an evening spent trying to get the house put back together.


To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement. Instead of spending quality time putting together Easter baskets for the grandkids with junk they’ll never play with, we sent them cards with money instead to spend on a virtual shopping trip for things to entertain themselves.


Just about the time I was eating my third chocolate chip cookie I decided to snap out of this pity party. I wiped the last bit of chocolate from my mouth as I reminded myself why we celebrate Easter. In the midst of feeling sorry for myself, being angry we’re in a pandemic and wondering if I can keep this up for another two months, I watched the sun set across the green grass and called myself an idiot.


Even though it may not be celebrated the way we want, with family and friends, Easter symbolizes hope, renewal and faith – and I don’t know about you, but I need to focus on all three.


Bombarded by a never-ending satire of news, politics and sickness, it’s been nearly impossible to find any hope in the current situation, although the Easter story reminds us, even in the darkest of times, hope is the one thing you can embrace, within yourself. The hope everything will be OK, the hope this too shall pass.


Everything changed when Jesus was resurrected and it was a time for renewal. This is His gift to us. The chance to start over and renew as many times and as often as we choose. The pandemic offers us a chance to enjoy everything spring has to offer as most times we’re too busy to enjoy. From the green grass to budding trees, it’s a beautiful scenery unfolding right before our eyes. It’s time to dig in the dirt and sing in the rain, and we’ve got plenty of time to do it.


As easy as it is to be scared of the unknown, it’s just as easy to have faith it will be OK. If there was ever a time to reread the Easter story, it’s now. To remember we can have the faith to continue on with our lives and the hope for a better tomorrow.


Easter is a time for new beginnings, new attitudes, a new determination.


“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own,” Jesus says in Matthew 6:34.


The Easter baskets may be empty, but I’m going to focus on being full of hope, renewal and faith because, thank goodness, the tomb was empty first.


Happy Easter.


Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at sandydownhome@hotmail.com.