Most days of the year, we are their memory. We remind them of what has just happened, what will happen in five minutes, and what occurred long ago. But on certain magical occasions, special cues can take them quickly from today’s struggle to yesterday’s joys
Holidays can be difficult. Sadness mixes with the added stress of preparing for visits or traveling to religious services. Still, these occasions remind us of the power that ritual brings to our lives. When we sing hymns or holiday songs and eat special foods used for annual celebrations, we find strange opportunities that can wake our loved ones to moments of bliss.
My mom always followed a healthy diet, though she never hid her taste for sweets. We try to keep her on the straight and narrow 99% of the time. But when Easter rolls around, she enjoys pleasures that elude her most of the time. Her magic carpet comes in the form of peanut butter eggs. This is a treat she always relished at the end of Lent. It marked the passage from solemn winter reflections to spring time joy. While most other tricks fail now, this one still works. She smells the peanut butter, slowly tastes the chocolate, and smiles with delight. You can see her mind shifting to a time and place where she is totally happy.
Mom also made sure that her children would be susceptible to the same spell. Every year she put these delicious eggs in our Easter baskets. I guess I’d better amend my living will: “In the event of extreme memory loss, please administer peanut butter eggs.”