By Hannah Tucker

The Sebring Family is built on a foundation of love, strength, humility and above all else kindness. These foundations were passed down by my grandparents, Billy and Anne Sebring, to each member of our family. One tradition that the Sebring family holds tight to is family holidays. Our family spends a lot of time together already with various activities, but we make sure to prioritize spending most if not all holidays together.

For anyone who knows the Sebring family, you know there are a number of us at family functions! We have many options for where holidays are held, so we always try to rotate among family members so that not just one family is always playing hostess. We love a true southern home-cooked meal, so we don’t deviate from recipes very much. Everyone has their specialty menu items, and we haven’t grown tired of them yet!

Easter is the next holiday on the calendar, and this holiday is one to truly prepare for, physically. The Annual Sebring Family Egg Toss is a competition that has been going on for decades. If you have to get a practice session in before seeing your family members on Easter, you’re doing it right! My uncle, Chris Sebring, is the founder of this holiday tradition and is our judge every year.

Although baseball genes run in the Sebring family, no fastballs can be thrown here. Once everyone is partnered up, the next step is to make sure everyone is standing exactly on the invisible line. Chris gives the rules as well as the main instructions, “this side take a step back,” and no one is to throw an egg until you hear the command to “Throw!”

Now, why is this such a big production, you may ask? Well, we are all fighting for a chance to win the biggest chocolate bunny Chris can find in the City of Sebring. The chocolate bunny is great, but really we want to have bragging rights for next year!

The Sebring Family Egg Toss is one of the most competitive sporting events you will ever see. Although I mentioned earlier that kindness is a foundation of the Sebring family, I do want to point out the only person that would stick to that during the egg toss was our light, my aunt, Marcella Sebring. While everyone was trying to intimidate the competition, there was our sunshine making sure everyone knew how amazing they were or how solid their catch was. She was the champion almost every year, mostly by luck and just letting the egg roll to her! I’ve never seen a smile brighter or a laugh sweeter than Aunt Marcella’s on Easter.

Our family has been reminiscing about past Easter memories lately. My cousin, George Sebring, said one of his favorite memories of his mom was the year Marcella missed catching the egg with her hands, but don’t worry, her face caught it! Her reaction, of course, was the most contagious laugh you have ever heard and the biggest smile.

Easter is a day to recognize a miracle. A day to acknowledge that no matter what we see, feel or go through in life, we will always see a third day. Our ‘third day’ may be years down the road or 24 hours from now, but a victory is meant to be won by all of us. You hear the common phrases referencing valleys and mountains when talking about faith. Well, the Sebring family has been in quite the valley this year.

When I say Easter is going to be tough this year, that is an understatement. Our family experienced a loss like no other when a true light in our life left this world a little too soon. Aunt Marcella defined “sunshine” and truly made her presence known in every single room in the best possible way. The community came to us in a way I have never seen when our light dimmed in the Sebring family. The amount of hugs, food, texts, phone calls and love we all received helped our family to see through the darkness just a little bit more every day.

This valley has taught us to love hard, capture every moment you can and to always check in on those around you. We may not all experience what darkness is, but we can work as a community to better understand it for those around us. Valleys are not meant to be walked through alone, and our family definitely hasn’t felt alone.

Our time is never promised and that’s why we have to make sure that the time we have should always be spent spreading kindness to those around us. Marcella was the kindest soul you will ever meet, and she planted so much light in all of us. Now it’s our turn to share that light and carry it for her.

There will be one less hug for every person in our family this Easter, which is something we are not ready for. We believe in a promise given by our eternal father, that he has given us a love far greater than we could ever imagine. That love is a promise given to us to fill a void in our hearts this year. That promise is carrying the hope in us each day but especially this Easter as we continue to trust in every valley or mountain that arrives next in our path.

Hold onto your friends and family a little bit tighter this year, reach out to those that radiate light or seem a little bit dimmer and above all else, check in with your heart and know that there is always someone who wants to be there for you and love you deeply no matter how dark it feels. This Easter, hold tight to the promise that you will see a ‘third day’ and you will see a victory with whatever battle you are facing. This Easter, I pray that you know that you don’t have to face a battle on your own and that you can reach out to someone for a connection.

The Sebring Family would like to wish all of you a joyful Easter filled with bright colors and lots of love, because that is what Marcella would bring to every single day. Light your holidays with a radiance that Marcella would be proud of!