Today is Mother’s Day. It is the second Mother’s Day since our mother passed away. In the past, my brothers and sisters , nieces, nephews, etc. would converge on my house for dinner with our beloved mother. Last year I felt as if something were missing; this year I only remembered the day because my son wanted to go out to dinner with me. I declined and said that I would have dinner prepared by a local restaurant sent to my house. We could eat together, perhaps with a few invited friends. This morning, after church, I went to a local food purveyor and picked up a complete dinner for six.
Upon entering my house with various bundles, I met a trope of the members of a next door neighbor’s house coming back from a walk for breast cancer that they do each year since their mother and sister died. As tired and bedraggled as she was, my neighbor had the sensitivity to realize that I, too, had lost a mother and a husband within a year, so she invited me to come to her house to join her family for breakfast. While the meal would be breakfast for them, it would be lunch for me, so I accepted.
Actually, it wasn’t the prospect of good food that caused my positive response; it was the warmth and caring of the family that moved me. My perception did not disappoint me. Within the hour, not only the family members who actually walked, but several other members including grandmothers and infants arrived. Since I’ve attended a few of their gatherings, everyone knew me and made me feel welcomed.
The grandparents present were immigrants, or the uneducated sons of immigrants. All of the next two generations were/are professionals. The fourth and fifth generations were/are still in diapers. Nevertheless, the love and caring for each other was palpable and inclusive, even to a widow living alone next door. These kinds of gestures displayed in 21st century North America reaffirm my belief that God is all loving. This kind of behavior must have a deep abiding, infinite source. The sharing of food among those you love is ancient and universal. It is the precursor of the Eucharist. I am humbled and blessed by sharing in this ancient human/Divine rite.