Up from the grave He arose!

Published 7:00 pm Wednesday, April 17, 2019

When I was little, Mama would take me shopping for a new dress a few weeks before Easter. Our shopping day was fabulous fun with my mother. We would trek the 70 miles into Nashville, go to one of the first Krystal’s downtown and eat piping hot doughnuts for breakfast. Then go off to find the perfect dress. 

One spring pre-Easter shopping trip ended with Mama and me not speaking for nearly a day. We walked to a children’s clothing store where my mouth produced a squeal when I saw all the beautiful dresses. I picked up a purple and white dress with a Peter Pan collar and smocking around the waste.

“Mama look, this is the prettiest dress in the whole wide world!” I exclaimed as I held it up for her to see.

She instead was holding a blue, soft brocade dress with a cape and said,

“No, Lynn, this is the prettiest dress!”

I hated it, but Mama made me try it on anyway along with my selection.  The truth is my mother loathed the color purple. Everyone loved the dress Mama chose, but to this day I still remember the prettiest dress in the whole wide world was the one some other lucky girl got to wear because her mama didn’t hate purple.

Every Easter, our Sunday School class started the morning singing my favorite hymn, “Up from the Grave He Arose!” I loved the way the song started out slow, low and sad, then boisterously rises to a mighty victorious refrain.

When I moved away from Tennessee as a young teen, my Sunday School class rose to sing my favorite Easter hymn as my farewell gift.

Easter Egg hunts were a big event at Grandpa’s house where the family gathered to find the rainbow-colored eggs artfully hidden by my grandparents throughout the yard. There was always a golden egg, which would gift the lucky finder a dollar bill from Granddaddy.

Years passed, and I continued the tradition of family Easters when my children hunted for eggs, dressed in finery, went to church, and sang with wild abandon, “Up from the Grave He Arose!”

Life has a way of teaching us lessons every day. One of the pearls I learned is that instead of mourning the memories, celebrate them.  I choose to celebrate the gift of having those shopping trips with Mama, my friends in Tennessee who sang my favorite song, the colorful eggs hidden in the yard and Granddaddy’s golden dollar. I cherish the folks who walked with me through my childhood and held my hand as we prayed.

The Lord in His glory created all the memories for me to take to my own grave and I sincerely thank Him.