Today is Easter Sunday. I know that because Boy is on holiday. I read it here too and hummed The Easter Bonnet song along with Joseph. I read about your plans for celebrating with family and friends. This morning I thought about Easter. I thought about families dressed in new Easter clothes going to church to celebrate the Risen Christ. Families having picnics. Children screaming when they find the plastic eggs filled with too much chocolate. I wondered about Romero. I know he is celebrating the risen Christ and the salvation of mankind.
Romero is a gardener by trade. He comes to my house every week. He didn’t say much at first, but we talked and we became friends. He tells me about his life and his work. How people try to cheat him. How his daughter is fifteen and he worries. How he has no girlfriends because he is raising his children after his wife left. How he works seven days a week after his regular gardening job. How he hopes his children will go to school and be successful. Mostly, he hopes they will grow into good and decent people. As he tells me about his life, he smiles. Romero does not understand bitterness.
He tells me something else that explains who he is. He belongs to a small, fundamentalist church. When I asked why he joined it, he says, because they asked me. The church is good to him, and he is good to the church. That makes sense to me too. It would be tempting to describe Romero as a simple man. He is a simple man in the way Christ, the carpenter, was a simple man. He lives by the rules of his heart. He is a philosopher.
Romero helps me. Once, when the spotlight melted, I asked if he would replace it with the new one. He replied that he was afraid to do that. What if the house burned down? I asked if he replaced his own. He did. Well, then, he would replace mine. He does extra things for me because he is a good man. No other reason. He smiles too. I like his smile so much that I know when I forget who he is, I won’t forget him.
One day, when I am old and tired, I won’t remember Romero’s name. Names are bothersome anyway. Names don’t tell us anything important. I gave them up long before I grew tired and pulled the blanket of memory close against the leftover bones. I know I will find Romero woven in there somewhere close to my heart. And I will smile too.