Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter will be better than bad!

I don't like Easter. It seems to me like the sad little cousin of Christmas, destined to live in the shadow of the biggest American holiday. Easter has no compelling and uplifting narrative, like the story of Jesus' birth. Instead it has the story of Jesus' torture and murder, which has a happy ending that never really felt happy to me. Jesus is resurrected, which means he lives forever, but the apostles still go into hiding and build the new Christian church without him. It feels like a lonely ending to me.

Each year I try to find a way to spend this sad (to me) little holiday. This year my big plan is to volunteer. Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly serves Chicagoans who are over the age of 70 and have no friends or family in the area. They don't target the economically impoverished, but rather those whose souls are starved for companionship. LBFE provides visitors for people who never get any, celebrations for holidays and birthdays that would otherwise be spent alone and social opportunities so that elders can build a social network with each other. It's all about connection and companionship, which is pretty much the focus of my whole life. I'm hoping it's a good fit.

This Sunday is the big Easter party. I went through the volunteer orientation last month and had my background check done. They didn't find that I'm an international assassin or anything, so I'll be serving dinner to countless elders who have been escorted to a local church for food, music and -- I'm hoping -- cake. I love parties and hosting people. The one thing I always enjoyed about working as a server in a restaurant was having guests and treating them well.

As a middle-aged person who lives far from family, I have almost no experience with old people, but I'm hopeful things will go well. At any rate, as long as I'm part of a party, it'll be better than sitting at home and trying to forget what day it is.

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