“My mom will stop at nothing to get ‘the mom bag’ to me.
My husband and I went to drive-in church this Sunday with our little country congregation, which includes my parents. Members park their cars, windows up, facing the church carport, and one person at a time (the pastor, a singer, one worship leader, etc.) comes up to a podium.
The service is ‘broadcast’ on a particular radio frequency, which attendees can then tune into in their cars. A team of socially distancing, masked safety-team volunteers directs everyone and responds to needs for assistance signaled by emergency flashers.
I was out of our car for a little while to lead worship this week, and when I got back in, I glanced in the backseat and saw a grocery store bag that hadn’t been there before on the floor.
‘Where did this come from?’ I asked my husband.
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‘It’s from your mom,’ he told me.
‘How did it get in here?’ I asked him.
‘She sent it over with one of the safety team guys.’
Getting this bag was the highlight of a week otherwise not treating me well. I was celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary with flooding in my basement, among other things.
The mom bag is one way my mom has been mothering me since I grew up and left home. She’s shown up with it at the various places I’ve lived. When my dad comes by himself to work on our house, he brings the bag. After we’ve been to one of my children’s events together, my mom will tell me, ‘Come to my car…I’ve got a bag for you.’
Her most recent bag contained a container she was returning to me filled with her home-grown rhubarb (under the ‘never return a container empty’ clause of our relationship), an anniversary card (which I know she feels is a poor substitute for actually seeing my husband and me on our 25th anniversary), and buttermilk powder (because I recently posted that I’d made a buttermilk cake, so she was probably worried I’d run out).
There’s never anything in the mom bag that would look valuable to an outsider. But I know its worth. It speaks of mothering that does not end. It speaks of knowledge of the details of regular life. It speaks of care and concern. It speaks of things no pandemic, no social distancing, no life interrupted can silence. It speaks of love.
Later Sunday night, my mom messaged and asked if I’d gotten the contents of the bag: ‘Did you get your rhubarb, buttermilk, and card???’ (Comfortingly, her questions always come with multiple question marks.)
And I told her, yes, mama…I got it. The rhubarb, the buttermilk, the card—and the bag’s other gifts, too.
I got all of it.
And it was the highlight of my week.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Elizabeth J. Spencer, blogger at Guilty Chocoholic Mama, of Battle Creek, Michigan.
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