Easter has always been one of my favorite holidays.  I love the baskets, the painting of the eggs, the anticipation of spring weather.  But going to my cousin Kristen’s house was always the best part. As kids, the cousins would stuff ourselves with candy then sneak away to play for hours on end.   As we got older, I absolutely relished in catching up and sharing laughs over mimosas ..and of course still stuffing ourselves with candy.

With my cousin Kristin’s recent passing, the Gilsons collectively decided not to observe Easter this year.  To fill the void looming in my heart, I tried to self medicate this year with chocolate after chocolate.  8 reeses eggs, 2 cadburrys, a bag of starburst jelly beans and a dark chocolate bunny later and I was ready for my egg cheese (and extra cheese) and bacon sandwich. Still feeling hollow, I have since got into the pub cheese, the cheese itz and gasp, more candy.
My lesson learned from this is an obvious one.  Eating is not the answer, and will ultimately make you feel even worse; even more out of control.  But the real kicker is that Easter isn’t about the candies.  It’s about the people who give them to you.  The mom who stresses to fill your basket with all your favorites.  Who empties her wallet to see the excitement ooze out of her kids as they rip through the plastic grass.  It’s about the people you share the cadbury eggs with.  The family members, the friends, the boyfriend, the husband, whoever you deem special enough to indulge in something you would feel extremely guilty about eating alone.
I’m hurting.  I’m so mad at Kristen for taking her life and leaving me with no one to share my jelly beans with.  I’m so deeply saddened that I wont get to drink too many mimosas and share my latest embarrassing moment.  Alas-  I would have never realized how important my family is to me, never stopped and contemplated what these holidays really mean to me, if I didn’t lose Kristen.
With that, I wish everyone the Happiest Easter.  I hope that you get your fill of candy, but that you get your fill of family and love as well.  Family is the most precious and beautiful thing, but as I have learned, it can be all too fragile.

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