“It’s going to be a strong sun today,” my husband says, gazing out the window.
“It’s Easter today,” I say, by way of explaining the sun that has broken through the clouds.
“How’s your sense of humor?” Hugh asks me, then, without waiting for an answer, he adds. “He got his son!” The unsteady tone of his voice prompts me to look up from my laptop and turn towards him, his eyes are red and moist. I misunderstand him. Because Hugh sees Andrew as the sun, I think he is saying that Andrew has his sun up there.
“And you have yours.” I say, looking at the new, exuberant sun shining high in the sky.
“I wish,” his voice breaks.
“Oh!” Suddenly it dawns on me. It is not the sun he’s talking about. “You mean God has got his son?!”
“Yes,” he says, and gets up.
Since Andrew died, Hugh has joined the choir at the Church where Andrew’s funeral was held. Hugh used to sing in his school choir when he was a child. A soprano before his voice broke, he is now a wonderful tenor. The weekly practices and Sunday singing are for him what the counseling sessions are for my daughter – therapy.
Ever since we got married, almost twenty-five years ago, come Easter time, Hugh has always been the one boiling eggs and getting us all to paint them. Following an old Northumberland – North England – custom, after the Easter meal has been eaten, the prettily painted-hard-boiled-eggs come into action.
Each with their chosen egg, engages in Jarping. Jarping is a battle of the eggs, each egg hitting another egg at both ends, the skill lying in breaking the other person’s and not your own.
You may find this hard to believe, but over the years you learn how best to hold your egg when hitting another egg, thereby reducing the chances of your shell cracking.
Andrew was one of the family’s best egg holders – the term actually is Jarper – you can see how much fun one can have with the whole thing.
“We should get some eggs,” Hugh said a couple of days ago.
“We don’t need any more…. Oh… Hugh… I can’t do egg jarping, not this year, not without Andrew.”
“Okay,” he agreed.
Hugh has just left, running to join the Choir in time.
Our usual young friends, more like our adopted children (a special group of our children’s friends), will come to lunch and soon I will start cooking.
But for now, sitting up in bed, writing, reflecting, closing my eyes and meditating, I try to shake the confusion that I’ve been feeling since Andrew died.
“He’s dead. He can’t be dead. Why is he dead? He can’t be really dead. How can he be dead. But he is dead. When will I see him again?”
Yes Andrew, when will I see you again?