The Worst Easter Ever

On Easter Sunday, I did both. While cheerful folks sat in the chapel, I hiked through the brush, plodding through the creek, toward the Buick. I climbed onto the roof.

It was the worst Easter Sunday ever. People arrived to service dressed in pastels, wearing those big soupy grins. They were happy people. No. Worse than that. They were families.After Daddy died, we were half a family.

In the woods behind the church sat a rusted Buick with busted windows. It was the perfect place for sitting. Or crying.

On Easter Sunday, I did both. While cheerful folks sat in the chapel, I hiked through the brush, plodding through the creek, toward the Buick. I climbed onto the roof. I loosened my green tie, rolled it into a tight ball, then flung it as far as I could.

I hated that thing. It was my father’s. The same necktie I’d worn to his funeral only six months earlier. It still smelled like him, which made me sick to my stomach. And then I started sobbing.

I was interrupted by footsteps in the brush. It was Phillip, who was a few years older than me. He climbed up beside me. “You didn’t want to hear the sermon today?” he asked.

I didn’t answer, because I didn’t give a cuss about sermons. Six months after your daddy dies, the last thing you want is to hear some fella yapping about the joy of the Lord.

“You play first base, don’t you?” Phillip asked. “Hell, I ain’t no good at baseball.” He removed his necktie and tucked it in his pocket. “Don’t you hate ties?”


“You know,” Phillip went on. “My daddy left my mom and me before I was born. Shoot, my buddy Billy, he don’t even know if he HAS a daddy. And Roger Allen, his daddy died when he was just a toddler. Lots of us ain’t got daddies, you know.”

I said nothing.

“I suppose,” he said. “What I’m trying to say is, you’re part of our club now.”

He nodded toward two boys in the distance. It was Billy and Roger Allen, leaning against an oak tree. None of them had neckties on.

More silence.

“Dammit,” said Phillip. “I don’t know squat about how you’re feeling. But I know nobody’s alone in this world. Not even you.”

And then he let me ruin his sport-jacket with my snot.

I understand Phillip can preach the paint off a fire-plug, nowadays.

But I liked his first sermon the best.

Happy Easter.


  1. Jack Jackson - April 16, 2017 11:21 am

    Well-said, Sean. Well-said…

  2. Dianne - April 16, 2017 11:42 am

    Gets to the core.

  3. David Skinner - April 16, 2017 12:44 pm

    I am older than you and I enjoy reading your stories. Sometimes I think you can almost feel my pain and sometimes I can almost feel your joy.

  4. Deanna - April 16, 2017 12:52 pm

    Well said, after death of members of our families, there are always first, after the first ,first it sometimes gets a little better. This is the second Easter since my mom passed, and the 8 th Easter since my daughter passed, and my dad had been gone 20 years, we still miss them all, and Easter was a special time for our family, and it still such a hole!
    Thank you!

  5. Janiver Couture - April 16, 2017 3:04 pm

    Seems you got the sermon you needed that morning after all. And the experience of someone willing to reach out to you. It’s all about loving each other. That was Jesus’ message and is still today! Thank you for sharing your stories which all are about people loving on people!! Happy Easter, Sean!

  6. Mary Tom Cashin - April 16, 2017 3:55 pm

    My husband, George died Jan. 9, 2003 and I didn’t go to Church this morning because I didn’t want to have to look at all those ladies sitting there with their husbands. So, I sat on my Patio and talked to my flowers and my birds. Happy Easter.

  7. Peggy Black - April 16, 2017 6:15 pm

    What a perfect sermon! God reaches out to us in unexpected ways sometimes. Happy Easter from a grandmom whose family is in another state today.

  8. Mae Holt - April 16, 2017 11:48 pm

    If I knew now to work computers, I would surely forward this message to our new Interim Pastor, Proctor (can’t think of his last name), to let him know I like his two sermons, so far.

  9. Judy - April 18, 2017 10:02 pm

    Today is the first day I have ever read any if your writing, but, I promise it will not be the last! You have a way of pulling out memories of splendor and those of sadness that just made me just cry. Oh, I still miss my Daddy!
    Thanks for sharing your writings and let me get back to reading!

  10. Kathy Burgess - April 19, 2017 6:44 am

    so many sad and hurting people. And so many people who want to help them. If, like the pastor, you just open your mouth and let the God of all Comfort speak though you.


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