”Hey! Anyone know how old this Easter egg is?” my brother hollered in from the kitchen in my grandmother’s small apartment.
We all turned to look at each other…it was February, only days since Grandma passed away, but it meant that any Easter Egg had to be at least nine months old, or maybe longer, we rushed to the kitchen.
There it sat, an egg, dyed green, and sitting in her egg tray in her refrigerator. It had a shrink wrapped scene on it, one of the “Dear God” kid’s scenes popular in the late 1980′s, the one that had the angelic kids saying something witty to one another.
This one seemed very apt, especially for Grandma Rose. Two kids were standing side by side, sweet and innocent, and one said the other, “God loved us so much that he gave us Grandmothers.”
I think that summed up our feelings of Grandma Rose to a tee.
The egg was the scary thing. All of us had seen movies like Charlotte’s Web, that showed the dangers of what an old, rotten egg could do. We had seen the impact of rotten eggs in Mom’s kitchen. This one…well, this one was there for a very long time…
“I don’t remember you kids doing that to eggs last year?” Dad said with a slightly confused look.
“It wasn’t last year Dad.” I replied. I remembered that egg. I dyed it. I loved the color green. I remembered when Mom and I conspired to create this very egg. I had picked the color for the egg, Mom had picked out the transparency – the outside film with the scene on it that depicted those two kids extolling the virtues of grandparents.
“I think this is about ten years old.” I said, with some wonder in my voice.
“No!” Dad said mockingly, “She must have gotten it from someone else. She wouldn’t have kept an egg for ten years!”
“Maybe she liked it.” I said matter of factly.
My eldest brother Tom, with a look of concern on his face, reached in and gently lifted the egg, worried about what damage a ten year old egg could inflict if broken open…in his mind, he could picture the newspaper headlines the would announce the family overcome by toxic fumes from a ten year old Easter Egg.
The egg was light to the touch, much lighter than an egg should be. Carefully, and with a look of terror on all of our faces, he gently shook it…
It rattled. Not a soft, liquid sort of rattle, but a dry, loud rattle. The egg had dehydrated in the refrigerator. The insides had shrunken into a hard core, but the outside remained unblemished, and more importantly, the message remained the same “God loved us so much that he gave us Grandmothers.”
I pictured that every day for ten years, Grandma would go to the refrigerator to make her breakfast, and there, sitting with her staples, was the brightly colored Easter egg that greeted her every morning, letting her know that she was appreciated and loved.
That is what I call an egg that aged well.