Boy, did I blow my chances to display a little thoughtfulness today.
Working a shift on Dutiful Son “transport” duty, I zipped out to Washington (MO) to accompany Mom for a medical test at Mercy Hospital. Laser-focused on the task at hand, I completely overlooked a couple of simple things that would have made the trip a bit more appealing for her.
“Dang, Mom, I forgot to bring you a Monster Cookie from the Baby Shower,” I said as soon as I entered her apartment. Followed quickly by a second dope-slap: “And I forgot to pack a fresh supply of novels for your reading pleasure, too!”
Sweetheart that she is, Mom forgave both transgressions, almost as quickly as I confessed them. And then it was off to the hospital building, for a chance to play the ever popular “senior citizen” version of Whack-A-Mole: Where exactly is the lab where the test’s been scheduled?
We solved the mystery soon enough (second floor lab, not first). About a half-hour later, we’d wrapped things up with the tech…and were headed for the exit…when Mom made a right turn instead of a left out of the elevators. “Wanna make a visit?” she asked, as she tugged on the door to the Chapel.
“Why, yes. Yes, I do!” I whispered under my breath as I hustled along behind her…into the inviting Presence. I marveled at how quickly this 92-year-old can move when she has a mind to: As I was still getting my bearings, Mom had already taken up a favorite resting spot, at the feet of Jesus…sitting quietly before the Eucharist reposed in the tabernacle.
It stirred my soul and touched my heart to see her there, catching up with her dear Friend. It’d been five long “COVID” months, I realized, since she’d been this close to Jesus in the Eucharist – a long, long dry spell for an erstwhile daily communicant.
And I knew I had been immeasurably blessed by the holiness of the woman in this moment – the “Martha” of my youth (ever attentive to the details of sustenance and hospitality) now morphing before my eyes into a loving “Mary,” delighted at an unexpected opportunity to waste a few moments with Jesus…fully immersed in His Presence…and visibly content at her serendipitous chance to choose the better half.
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.