A cap gun taught me the meaning of joy

"My parents’ Easter gift to me was perfect and that day my joy was complete."

Easter is my favorite religious holiday. I like it more than Christmas, and I like Christmas a lot.  As a child, I thought that the Easter morning egg hunt was as exciting as finding presents under the tree.

In some ways, Easter morning was even better than Christmas morning. Christmas involved an element of doubt that was absent from Easter.  Unlike Santa, who was a bit intimidating with his list of naughty and nice children, the Easter Bunny was a happy-go-lucky character that dropped eggs indiscriminately.

One Easter stands out vividly in my memory. My sisters and I always received a small gift with our Easter baskets. The gifts were simple things, like a slinky, a yo-yo or a matchbox car, and because they were unexpected, they were a delightful surprise.

That particular Easter morning, as was the custom in our home, four beautiful baskets were lined up on the kitchen counter. I took a quick look at my basket, and my heart leaped for joy; I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  There in my basket was a cap gun and a cowboy hat with a red whistle.  I was incredulous because despite incessantly begging for a cap gun for weeks, my parents had steadfastly refused to purchase one.

I was chomping at the bit to try out my cap gun, but we had to go to Mass.  Fortunately, I had a new Easter outfit; my pride in wearing it lessened the agony of waiting until after Mass before I could run around the neighborhood, blowing my whistle and shooting off my cap gun.

As soon as we got home, I shucked my pretty, feminine Easter bonnet for the cowboy hat, strapped the holster and gun around the waist of my dress, and bolted out the door, my little sister in pursuit, to test the whistle and gun. Before long, we were fighting over whose turn it was to shoot off the caps; my mother called us in, and I had to put my marvelous cap gun away, although I wore the hat in protest until we sat down for brunch.

It may seem odd that my fondest memory of the Easters of my childhood revolves around a cap gun. There were, after all, a host of meaningful, annual traditions that characterized my family’s celebration of Easter, and while they are fixed in my memory, none of them evoke that blissful moment when I spotted my cap gun.

My parents’ Easter gift to me was perfect and that day my joy was complete.

That Easter morning, the mysteries of heaven and the realities of human existence came together for me in a cap gun and a cowboy hat. Those two simple toys were symbols of a love that had nothing to do with being naughty or nice.

The joy that I experienced that Easter morning was a moment of grace when I was in the presence of God’s perfect love, and not even a spat with my little sister could diminish my happiness nor tarnish its memory.

Trail, BC resident Louise McEwan is a freelance religion writer with degrees in English and Theology. She has a background in education and faith formation. Her blog is www.faithcolouredglasses.blogspot.com. Contact her at mcewan.lou@gmail.com .

Just Posted

Pedestrian killed on Highway 22 Saturday evening

Police say 51-year-old man died after being hit by car

UPDATE: DriveBC says highway re-opened after accident

Highway 22 closed for seven hours on Saturday

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Métis Flag flies in Trail on Louis Riel Day

Area students, officials and public attend flag raising at Trail City Hall

Early Trail borrowed a couple of names from the U.S.

Place Names: Connection between Trail and Butte, Montana

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

Most Read