On our way home from Easter Sunday dinner at my Granny’s house, my husband chuckled quietly.
“What?” I asked.
“Your family. They’re just so funny. Who buries someone on Easter Sunday?”
I smiled, “The fact that you’re calling Mr. Blue a ‘someone’ shows that you’re being sucked into our weirdness. That’s sexy.”
Well ladies and gentleman, without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Mr. Blue!
Yep, he’s an Easter Egg.
My uncle, whose only a month older than me, created Mr. Blue when he was 4-years-old. When all the other colored eggs had been deviled or chopped up or simply trashed, Uncle Jason begged Granny not to throw away his favorite one. Granny, being the wonderful soul she is, promised to keep him in the freezer. I don’t know if there was any discussion on how long Mr. Blue would remain in the freezer, but I suspect when Jason said he wanted to keep him forever, Granny believed him.
After dessert, when Granny pulled Mr. Blue from his frozen home and told us the story, we all laughed and joked about it, but I don’t think any of us were all that surprised. Of course Granny kept a treasured Easter Egg in her freezer for 26 years! This was the same Granny who used to give us stomach medicine (I think it was called Memos) whenever we liked because it tasted good.
The same Granny who poured the powdered cheese from the Macaroni and Cheese boxes onto plates and let us lick it off because we wanted to pretend we were birds.
The Granny who chased us around the house and yelled, “I’m going to steal your sugars!” then covered us in kisses when she caught us.
The same Granny who got all her grand kids addicted to buttered Cheerios and strawberry milk. (oh man, that sounds so good right now.)
The same Granny who rushes over when we’re not feeling well with some homemade food and a few scriptures from the Bible.
The very same Granny who laughs right along with us when we’re picking on her about her crazy driving and running over the small children in the neighborhood.
OF COURSE this same Granny would keep an egg for 26 years because her youngest child begged her with tears in his eyes not to throw him away. She’s the best person in the world!
So after all the jokes were told and we wiped the laughter-tears from our eyes, we watched Grandpa grab a shovel and head out to the backyard. Grandpa is the perfect partner-in-crime for Granny. While she was giving us powered poison and letting us jump head first into tiny kiddie pools as children, Grandpa was always there to make sure we knew we were going to die.
“You kids be careful on those swings! You’ll fall off and bust your heads open and die!”
“You kids better watch out playing baseball. That ball will knock you out and give you a concussion and then you’ll die!”
“You kids be careful squirting those water guns! If you get water up your nose you’ll drown and die!”
Sometimes we’d wonder why our grandparents would let us just die, but most the time we mumbled, “Okay, Grandpa” and tried to find something less hazardous to play. (It’s hard to find something less hazardous than paper airplanes. “That plane will fly right into your eye and you’ll die!”)
But here was Grandpa, giddy as I’d EVER seen him, rushing to the backyard, shovel in hand, and Granny right behind him, just as giddy, holding Mr. Blue in a Styrofoam casket. Not even our enormously full stomachs could keep us from missing this spectacle!
The whole family gathered around the ‘plot’ to pay our respects. My aunt Boo and I jokingly hummed Amazing Grace. My cousin Dusty made a smart comment about wishing he’d prepared a Eulogy. And Cousin Jason pretended to sob, “He was such a good egg!” The only person who was not in attendance was the person who started it all, Uncle Jason. I believe it was all too much for him and he just couldn’t handle the pain of letting go of his good friend. The last thing he’d ever said about Mr. Blue was, “Why do you still have that thing!?!?”
Mr. Blue was placed in a shallow grave only steps from a beautiful purple Lilac bush. His last home is tiny, a little warmer than the freezer, and unmarked. Not because we were too poor to buy a gravestone and not because we didn’t care, but because we just didn’t think of it at the time. Perhaps one of us will have created something by the time we gather together again for Memorial Day Dinner.
Every time we get together at Granny’s there’s always some point when everyone starts sharing their favorite stories. Whether it be my Granny telling about hiding from Grandpa in the bath tub when he wanted to go on a date cause she didn’t really like him, or my Aunt Boo telling on my mom because she stuck her in the clothes dryer and threatened to turn it on when they were children (In my mom’s defense, she says Boo was a brat and deserved it!) or all us grand kids talking about how great it was to get in trouble at Granny’s because she’d put us in the corner, but we could still play our Gameboys. It’s always fun remembering these things and keeping our family stories alive from generation to generation.
That’s why I’m so happy my kids were there for Mr. Blue’s funeral. I can just see us all gathered around the table one day having Easter dinner and my son says, “Remember that funeral we had with Great Granny and Great Grandpa for that egg?” and his son shaking his head and saying, “Why is my family so weird?”
I’d tell him, “Because you’ve come from 2 really amazing people. And they passed down their sense of humor and love and faith and joy to each of us. One day you’ll treasure all the weird things we do and say, and they’ll be the happiest memories of your life. Now, let’s finish coloring these Easter eggs so we can place them around the sacred Mr. Blue shrine out by the Lilac bush.”
Thanks for Reading!