Martha sat quietly on this Easter Sunday. Joseph was bringing out the old projector again. Finding it in the attic proved to be quite a chore since Martha thought she had hidden it well. She was not looking forward to seeing those old films again.
Every Easter Joseph brought out the crackly reels in old flat film cases with the brown scotch-taped labels. The writing was hard to read but he knew his favorites. Martha sank down in the couch under a patchwork quilt and had a few tissues clutched under the cover. This yearly activity was both a sadness and a recollection of years she wanted to forget. Joseph seemed to not remember anything but the good times as he sat there watching with a smile and occasional chuckle. He ignored any reaction from his wife.
An old sheet anchored over the family portraits on the living room wall provided a blank screen on which black and white jittery images were shown. Joseph sat by the projector, monitoring the film feed as it would sometimes jerk and stop altogether. Time faded the images but he had them all stored in his memory.
Unfortunately Martha also had memories of events shown in the films. Hers were not the happy ones portrayed there. She longed for those days but not the same way her husband did. She felt tears on her cheeks as her private thoughts were wishes she could do it over again, be a better mother. While Joseph seemed oblivious to happenings in the past, she remembered everything vividly. The images brought it all back to her in a completely different way and as her husband sat with a continuous smile, sifting only the good memories, Martha remembered the bad.