Yes, it is true. When I was a little girl, still living in Michigan, I saw the Easter Bunny walk down our street — seriously.

That Easter Sunday, I awoke extra early to scout out the sacred Easter egg positions in our backyard. My brother Jeff, five years older than me, always won our annual hunt. It just wasn’t fair. That year, I was determined to wake before him, which was very hard for me, me being wee and Jeff being big.

Before I snuck out to our backyard, I decided to peek out our living room’s large picture window to see what I could see, feeling especially brave that morning. As I looked out on our peaceful Detroit neighborhood street, I saw him.

He was a very tall, floppy-eared purple bunny whose ears kept falling on each side, somewhat swinging with every step (or hop). His fluffy white tail seemed to dangle rather than bounce along. I wasn’t sure if the bunny was male or female, but I thought it was funny that a boy bunny would be purple.

But since it was the Easter Bunny, it was hard to be sure about that. Stranger to me still were the Easter Bunny’s feet, which were almost as big as a daddy’s, and wearing enormous floppy fuzzy slippers. I told myself it was pretty cold outside, and he probably did not want to get his paws wet.

The Easter Bunny, an impressive sight for a little girl, was carrying a huge yellow basket that appeared to be filled to the brim with candy, colored eggs and stuffed Easter bunnies. I quickly looked behind me to see if any of my family members had awakened to see this miracle.

Surely, they would not believe me when I told them since it was something they had to see to believe. After all, even though I had seen it with my own two eyes, I had difficulty believing it myself.

No, I was alone, and there was no one to witness the spectacle. I looked out the window just in time to see another Easter miracle. For, I tell the truth, the king-sized purple Easter Bunny put its paw in the basket and pulled out what appeared to be keys. And then the Easter Bunny got into a car and drove away!

Back then, I did not appreciate the true meaning of Easter. When you are a wee one, Easter Sunday is about frivolity with magical Easter egg-hiding rabbits, fancy baskets filled with pink plastic straw that held brightly colored jelly beans and golden-wrapped chocolate bunnies.

For little girls, Easter meant getting a pretty new dress, lace-trimmed socks, shiny patent leather shoes and a flower-trimmed Easter bonnet. Good times.

After a good breakfast with hard-boiled eggs fresh from the hunt and our neighborhood bakery’s warm hot cross buns, we would rush upstairs to get dressed and head off for the next fun of the day. We would go to my father’s parents’ house to see grandma and grandpa Bohr, all my aunts and uncles, and an entire flock of cousins.

In the pure innocence of childhood, I had no idea that life would not just go on and on like that. I wish I had known because I probably would have appreciated it more. That is one of the problems of childhood: we just rush through it.

Looking back at it all, I now know how much work all that “fun” and “magic” was for our parents. Before I knew it, I was in charge of putting on that spectacle myself.

Then my children put on the show for their children, and now my grandchildren put it on for my great-grandchildren. And the beat goes on.

A much different easter

The view was so much more exciting when we were young, looking ahead at what seemed like an endless ride. As we age, detours seem like a good idea, but not so much the direct route.

I remember the last Easters as much as the past Easters. I remember my last Easter with my mother. She was deep into her voyage with Alzheimer’s, and it seemed she’d lost another piece of herself with every passing day.

I hated it. My mother had returned to being a child, at least for a while. My family was gathered around my dining room table.

My granddaughter, Amanda, enjoyed coloring Easter eggs the night before Easter. I saw on her face the joy that had once been on her mother’s and the happiness that had been on mine years before.

Back then, it was my mother who orchestrated my childhood celebration. This last Easter of my mother’s, that was my job. I entertained two young girls, but one of them was 76.

That evening, I saw pure joy on my mother’s face as she playfully dropped hard-boiled egg after hard-boiled egg into the assorted cups of blue, green, yellow, pink and orange. Every time the dropped egg made a big splash, my mother giggled while my little granddaughter tried cleaning up the mess as if she were the elder sister at the table.

I am embarrassed to admit how much that scene bothered me then. Shame on me for how prim I felt.

I just did not want to see my mother in that light. Stupid me, what did it matter? What did it really matter? She was happy. In a month, my mother passed away.

With this Easter just a few heartbeats away, my mind travels down memory lane. I am now older than my mother was when she died, leaving me an orphan.

No matter what our age, when our mothers die, we are left a child at heart, always wishing to go back in time. I am now the childish one in my family as I grab onto every joy: I can wring out the happy beauty of the season and simultaneously revere the holy promise of that sacred day.

This year, we have a new, young family member: adorable Grayson. I can imagine the thrill Jessica and Ricky will feel as they begin their own traditions with their child.

I sincerely wish that someday Grayson will see a large, purple Easter Bunny carrying a huge yellow wicker basket filled with goodies and the privilege of seeing his own miracle some amazing Easter morning. Everyone deserves to see that at least once in their lifetime.

Better get up extra early Sunday morning, Reader—I do not want you to miss your miracle. May you have both a happy and a blessed Easter.

You can write to Diana Ingram at

Diana J. Ingram

Diana Ingram has been a columnist for Los Banos newspapers for four decades.