Ella was very happy to see her friend. She really liked Joel a lot.
“Not much old gal,” said Joel.
“Look who’s talking about old,” said Ella. “Why Joel you are almost one year older than me and I’m 87 years old?”
“Hush now,” said Joel, not wanting to be reminded of his age.
“What’s in the bag?” asked Ella, noticing that Joel had a brown paper bag with him.
“Just a little something for you,” said Joel, handing Ella the bag.
“Oh aren’t you sweet,” said Ella.
“After all it is Easter,” said Joel.
“Easter!” exclaimed Ella, almost throwing the bag on the floor. “I don’t celebrate Easter.”
“I see,” said Joel, bending over slowly to pick the bag up before someone hurt themselves by tripping on it. “And why not! Easter is a very fine holiday!”
“It is fine for most folks,” said Ella. “But not for me!”
“Well,” said Joel. “You don’t know what you are missing.”
“Oh, I know exactly what I’m missing,” said Ella, starting to cry.
“Oh dear,” said Joel, putting an arm around Ella to comfort her. “Now look what I have done. I have really upset you. Gee, I’m so sorry.”
“Dear me,” said Ella, trying to compose herself. “I’m really sorry Joel. I don’t know what came over me.”
“Why don’t you talk about it?” asked Joel. “It seems it is a very deep wound.”
“Oh it’s deep alright,” said Ella. “About 79 years deep. I haven’t liked Easter since I was eight years old.”
“Oh dear,” said Joel. “Why is that?”
“My mother died on Easter morning,” said Ella, wiping a tear from the corner of her eye. “I haven’t liked Easter since.”
“Well,” said Joel. “I don’t mean to sound so harsh, but don’t you think you should give it up. I understand that it was hurtful and painful but to go so many years hating Easter. Do you think your own Mother would have wanted you to hate Easter for that many years?”
Ella sat for a few minutes and thought long and hard about what Joel had just said. He did make perfect sense. She used to love Easter and she has carried on this grudge for almost 79 years.
“I guess it is high time I gave up on hating Easter,” said Ella, grabbing her coat.
“Well where are you going?” asked Joel.
“They are having an Easter egg hunt down at the old church,” said Ella. “I heard it being advertised yesterday.”
“Well,” said Joel, getting the door for Ella. “What are we waiting for?”
Ella had a wonderful Easter day with Joel. They got a few chocolates at the Easter egg hunt and Ella felt a relief being lifted from her shoulders.
“Thank you Joel,” said Ella, after their Easter dinner together. “You have really brightened my Easter.”
“It is so nice to see you enjoy yourself for a change,” said Joel. “You don’t have to thank me for anything. Happy Easter, Ella.”
Joel gave Ella the Easter gift that he had brought her earlier that morning.
“Oh my!” cried Ella, seeing the Easter lily that Joel had brought for her. “This was my mother’s favorite flower.”
“Now now,” said Joel, handing Ella a tissue. “No more tears.”
“But these are happy tears,” said Ella. “Tears of joy. Tears of missed Easters over all these years. Tears of foolishness.”
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