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he is not here
Back in the day, I was a Sunday school teacher for a bunch of spoiled rotten kids whose parents made them go to church. They were all around BabyGirl's age but she never went with me. I was one of those moms who believed that spirituality is a choice and it comes when Big Ernie says it's time to listen up.

I had the keys to the church van and we took off on an Easter road trip that morning. Back at the building there was a cross crammed with flowers, symbols of hope and faith. The cemetary is but a hop skip and jump away from the church house so I quickly found my way to the family plot where my ancestors lay beneath etched granite tombstones. Ethel and Oskie. Gaga and Papa plus Uncle Bill and baby Jerri. Way on the other side of the grounds lie the bones of Uncle Jim and Aunt Nez. On this particular day, we settled on my family's sacred ground and talked about the resurrection.

Jules threw off her Easter shoes and sat beside me. She was one of the few who "got it" when I brought a pint of blood to the family life center, packed in the obligatory insulated box. We talked about Jesus and the dues he paid with his own blood so that we could be forgiven for not being perfect. None of us are, ya know. She wasn't and I wasn't and none of the rest of them are. I hope that they know there was only the one who turned the tables on injustice and threw pigs into the pond to kick the devil's butt. It's the Big Ernie method of payback.

I took the van back into the church lot and returned to the reality of my own life. Jules went away to college shortly after that. I haven't seen her lately, but I bet if I went to church on Easter she'd be right there on the pew next to her parents being a good girl, keeping the faith.
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