Our Lady of the Roses in Presale Now

Sunday, May 3, 2020

When Little Things Are the Biggest Things

When my twins, Caitlin and Christopher, were about six, I remember watching a rerun of The Little House on the Prairie with them. The episode was one that took place at Christmas when a terrible blizzard strikes. Mr. Edwards, the Ingalls family’s neighbor, walks miles through deep snow and whiteout conditions to deliver Christmas gifts to the Ingalls children. As little Laura opens her gift, she squeals with delight and thanks Mr. Edwards profusely for the gift, which was a peppermint stick.

I remember my son looking up at me and saying, “He’s crazy. He walked all that way in the snow to give her a peppermint stick? I’d have stayed home!” I laughed and hated to be a scoffer too, but I think I would have skipped the trek through the snow too.

Well, we’ve just celebrated an Easter, and for those who celebrate Passover, a season like no other—almost as simple as one on the prairie. We’d become accustomed to donning new Easter outfits, crowding into churches, and enjoying brunches or Easter dinners. We’d become accustomed to the ease of walking into stores to purchase items for our feasts. We’d become accustomed to participating in Easter Egg Hunts and celebrating with those we love. We’d become accustomed to being able to hold our infant grandchildren and kissing the little ones on cheeks. But this year was different—much, if not all, of that was taken away by the Coronavirus. And what did remain was changed.

Perhaps your holiday was like mine. I attended Mass online, stayed six feet away, cordoned off by orange safety cones, to watch my little granddaughters hunt for Easter Eggs. We ate Easter dinner with only those who resided in my house instead of gathering with my whole family. We went online and Zoomed with each other in rectangular boxes as if we were the Brady Bunch. 

Everything that we’d come to know love and expect when celebrating Easter was changed. But as Mr. Edwards went the extra mile in a blizzard to share the Christmas love, I’ve gained a greater appreciation for each small way that we were able to keep the holiday. Though we couldn’t go to church or dine with family, couldn’t shop for Easter finery, foods, candy, or flowers, though we couldn’t hug our loved ones, it helped to make me focus on the little things. My son and I may have sneered at Mr. Edwards back then, laughing at his simple gift of a peppermint stick, but like the Ingalls family who faced a difficult life on the prairie, we now have been humbled and have learned that little things mean a whole and sometimes are the biggest things.

This article appeared in the May 2020 issue of Northern Connection magazine.