It’s going to be a day filled with activity and noise. We have a lot going on, from horseback riding to cookie decorating. Though it’s a fast day, we’ll be reveling even as we’re thinking of His suffering.

Shouldn’t we be wearing sackcloth and walking around with some modicum of seriousness? Shouldn’t I make sure we attend a Passion Liturgy and fast and stop our ordinary life?

No. I have to get past my definition of “perfect.”

As I snap this year’s batch of pictures of the kids icing cookies with their Nanny, on a day when I won’t be eating any (though I’ll want to!), I will think of Mary at the foot of the cross. That surely wasn’t on her to-do list for life. She went willingly enough, having the wisdom to know that the cross led to something greater, having the trust in God that I so often lack.

I’ll remember what today is, and the faces smeared with icing will be a reminder that the “rest of the story” is the epitome of Good News.

As I take still more pictures of my five-year-old in her first horse show tomorrow, Holy Saturday, the day Jesus was in the tomb, I’ll think of how empty Mary must have felt that day. I surely won’t be feeling empty; there will be beaming girls and the smell of horse to fill every part of my brain if I let them.

In the midst of life as usual, I don’t have to let myself forget. I can hold on to an inner thread of silence, a space where I will hold Mary’s hand and think of the sorrows these two days involve. I can remember that joy awaits on Sunday, a joy greater than anything I can imagine.

May your Easter be filled with all the blessings of the risen Christ and the grace to see Him at work in your life.