This Easter our family is re-igniting a long lost tradition – the Good Friday snapper-on-the-bbq gathering.
Image courtesy of delish.com
There was a small window in the late 90s early 00s when our family worked pretty well. Some of the trauma of earlier years had passed (or at least was adequately blocked out) and for a number of years we gathered on Good Friday to break bread, eat a barbequed snapper and drink far too much festive alcohol. Siblings, cousins, Uncles and Aunts, second cousins, grandparents & a number of adopted family members gathered at my father’s house. Dad was the ultimate host, catering for the masses, plying them with booze & not satisfied until everyone was having a good time. Then my grandmother died.
Nan passed away in the January after a long battle with Cancer. It was not unexpected, but it rocked our family to its core. It would be years before I realised that Nan had been the glue that held our family together. So much of what we did, we did for Nan. She was the one we did things for even when we didn’t want to. She was the one we changed our plans for and she was the one that kept it together, regardless of what threatened to tear it apart.
The first Easter after her passing we gathered, somewhat somber, but determined to keep the tradition alive. Siblings, cousins, Uncles and Aunts, second cousins & a number of adopted family members were still there. Still breaking bread, still eating the snapper and definitely still drinking too much.(Note to self – the consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol will result in feelings of nausea, fatigue and self-loathing). Then, it fell apart.
My grandfather didn’t cope well with the loss of his wife of 50+ years, and eventually it tore the family apart. Old ills resurfaced, lines of communication were severed and without Nan there to still the waters, the Easter tradition, along with family cohesion, died. It left a gap, and despite years of trying to reignite it, it just hasn’t happened. Until now.
A lot of water has passed under the bridge, and It’s been almost ten years since the last Good Friday snapper-on-the-bbq gathering. But this year it’s back from the dead (pardon the pun), and so much has changed. People have died, moved, fallen out of our lives for many reasons. Babies have been born, and grown into little versions of the best of ourselves and we’ve had our share of upheaval. But on Friday, we will gather at my brother’s house, and a new generation of cousins will play. A new era will begin. The crowd might be smaller, the alcohol might not flow as it once did and the venue may have changed, but the reason is still the same. It’s about family, and celebrating the unique shape of our family, because after all, it’s the only one we’ve got.
So whatever shape your family takes, I hope you get the chance to break some bread, share some chocolate & indulge a little this Easter. Cheers xx