This year was probably the best Easter I’ve ever experienced. Yes, it far exceeded any memories of devouring ears off white chocolate bunnies or the tearing into the chocolate and candy egg my mother would purchase from Anthony Thomas with my name on it. It was also the first Easter I recall I didn’t spend with my family. That is with exception of my fabulous husband. Yes, he really is fabulous.
I need to backtrack this story just a bit. I own quite a few professional mascot costumes. By quite a few I mean nine. I own the Easter Bunny, Santa, two Reindeers, etc. No, I’m not a furry. The costumes are used at a variety of children’s events and home visits during the holidays. There will be more to come on the origination of this hobby.
Continuing on with the story, our dear friend from church is doing a stint in a local assisted living facility. Hopefully, it is for a short time. My husband and I decided it would be fun to visit our friend dressed as the Easter Bunny. Since our thinking always seems to bounce from idea to idea and grow in demand and content it eventually evolved into visiting every resident at this facility.
I called and e-mailed the social coordinator who returned my call that day. She was thrilled about the proposed visit and agreed Sunday would be perfect. I picked up some chocolate treats to pass out on behalf of the Easter Bunny and we arrived at the facility at 1:00 p.m. Easter Sunday.
My husband changed into the bunny in the parking lot of the facility. Fortunately it was a fairly cool day but obviously he doesn’t look quite so cool transforming into a rabbit in the parking lot. I was wearing my Easter dress and an enormous Easter bonnet. Our pastor encouraged the ladies to wear hats this year. I thought it would look appropriate for the bunny to be accompanied by someone having some resemblance of Easter. However, I was also unable to see outside the brim of my hat.
The Easter Bunny hopped up to the door. We met our guide and began the visits. Right now, you’ll discover this is the hardest part of the story. I’ve visiting nursing homes and rehabilitation centers in the past and have always had a difficult time emotionally. Today was not unlike other days. In fact, I wasn’t sure I would make it through the visits. Our second resident was wailing and crying. He was in the fetal position on his bed. His roommate passed away the night before. I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I was thinking I cannot do this. I cannot do one more visit. But, somehow I got the strength to press on and continue the bunny visits.
After about six more rooms we looped back in the lobby. There were a set of twin ladies who are residents. I would guess they were in their seventies and truly looked identical. They even had matching rosaries. They were very, very eager to meet the Easter Bunny. They jumped from their chairs and quickly began chatting about their day and enthusiasm for the rabbit. One of the ladies, clearly the more affectionate one, starting petting and kissing the bunny. She kissed the rabbit at least eight times.
After her affections turned away from the rabbit her gaze was stuck on me. She engaged in a bit of conversation and the suddenly leaned in very close to me, puckered her lips and planted a kiss directly on my lips. I just went with the flow. I kissed her back, gave her a pat on the arm and a hug and we moved on to visit many more residents.
My husband shook his bunny tail and made all the ladies giggle. He planted kisses on foreheads and brushed his paws against their faces and hands so they could feel the softness of the costume. All in all we probably visited thirty-five residents and passed out twenty or so chocolates. Someone in charge of the treats apparently forgot about the higher percentage of diabetics in nursing facilities so not everyone was permitted to have a chocolate.
We did visit our friend and we are pleased he is doing well. Our Easter void of family, which was making me a bit glum, ultimately ended up being the most rewarding Easter ever. It was cathartic, it was emotional, and it was mutually rewarding.