Monday, February 05, 2018

I Love My Mother, but.................

I buy groceries for my mother each Sunday after church. She is 92. She leaves me a phone message with her list and I stop at the Baker’s on Saddle Creek and Leavenworth on the way to her apartment. It’s not a long list usually, maybe a dozen items, and it’s usually fairly predictable. And every so often, I will need to do a secondary stop at the HyVee since Baker’s does not carry the 39 serving Nestle’s chocolate mix she wants. And this is fine. And by the way, Bakers is the only supplier of pina colada yogurt or the broccoli salad that she likes. Or sometimes I will make a pharmacy run for vitamin supplements, or other medical supplies. But I cope with all this because she is, well, you know, my mother.

Every so often, though, Mother will throw a grocery list curve ball that disrupts my understanding of life and decorum and tradition and from which it takes a while to recover. A staple on her grocery lists for years has always been Honey Nut Cheerios. Two large boxes. For years. I know exactly where to find them in the cereal department. The large boxes are on the bottom shelf about half way down the aisle. So out of nowhere and with no warning about four months ago, Mother decides she wants Corn Flakes instead. Not Honey Nut Cheerios which is the norm, the custom, the historically recognized breakfast cereal. But two boxes of Corn Flakes. “Why now?” I wonder. Is it something I did? Is this my fault? What’s next, Shredded Wheat? Rice Krispies? Cocoa Puffs? This is way out of my comfort zone. But I persevere. I adjust to the changing circumstances of life. I search for and locate the Corn Flakes. I pass by the Honey Nut Cheerios in the aisle and I feel them looking at me wondering what is wrong. But I keep right on going until I get to the Corn Flakes and get two large boxes. All is well. I’ll be okay.

But today, Mother’s grocery list called for one box of Honey Nut Cheerios and one box of Corn Flakes. And I’m not even used to getting the Corn Flakes yet. Sometimes the burdens we must bear can be overwhelming. But I shall persevere. I will adapt. I will go along as the dutiful son. And I haven’t even gone into the time she asked me go get “about three” bananas.


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