Echoes of Love (and Little Plastic Eggs)

The Importance of Family Traditions

By Jessica Elwell, Publisher - Macaroni KID Grants Pass March 13, 2024

Traditions are like threads, stitching together moments, memories, and emotions into a beautiful tapestry. While we often associate traditions with holidays and special occasions, their significance extends far beyond that. They serve as anchors, grounding us in our identities, families, and communities.

For me, Easter has always been synonymous with special traditions. When I was little, it wasn't just about chocolate bunnies; it was about picking the fanciest dress with the fluffiest skirt imaginable, perfect for twirling through the spring grass. Because let's be honest, what's the point of a dress without twirling? My mom made sure I had the perfect ensemble, complete with an Easter hat and matching gloves – the only day of the year when a hat was non-negotiable.

Then there was the egg hunt, a tradition that brought my family together in a joyous frenzy of searching and laughter. Rain or shine, my parents would hide eggs all over the yard, or inside the house if Oregon's weather decided to throw us a curveball. Armed with my trusty basket, I scoured every nook and cranny, determined to find every last egg.

But life, like Oregon's weather, has a way of throwing unexpected curveballs of its own. During my junior year of high school, our family faced a difficult challenge when my dad suffered a stroke. Amidst the turmoil and uncertainty, we found comfort in our traditions. Even as we moved to a new home, my dad made sure Easter remained a something special.

I'll never forget the first Easter morning in our new house when my dad, wearing his camouflage hunting hat, woke me up by shouting, "Get up, sis! The Easter bunny came!" Stepping outside, I was greeted by a kaleidoscope of colorful eggs scattered across the yard. With his signature grin, my dad handed me his hat, and together we embarked on our egg-hunting adventure.

Looking back at this blurry photo now, I realize that this Easter tradition wasn't just about chocolate eggs and new spring dresses. It was a reminder of the bond our family shared, even in the face of challenges. In that moment, my dad's simple gesture spoke volumes – he needed the comfort of tradition as much as I did.

Though my dad is no longer with us, his legacy lives on in the traditions we hold dear. And while the pain of his absence is still with me, so is the warmth of his love, preserved in the traditions that we continue.

In the end, traditions are more than just customs; they're the ties that bind us to our past, present, and future. They're the bridge between generations, carrying forward the stories and memories that define who we are. So, whatever your special traditions may be, cherish them. You never know what they will mean to your children one day.