Tuesday, September 27, 2022

MEMORIES WHILE SHOPPING: Mom Shouldn't Have Had to Endure What She Did! (published 9-27-2022; article #360)


Why do memories come from the back of your mind to the front, when you're on a mundane errand? It happens to all of us at times.

This writer must relate a instance today. The memory has made me pensive, as I reflect. Writing helps.

The Context

Today (Tuesday, 9/27/2022), the sky is bright blue. The coolness of the fall morning, about 11 AM, was enjoyable. The day had started routinely. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman left for work, about 6:20 AM. I'd been up to see her off. I'd had my coffee, breakfast, and shower. I'd planned to continue the temporary, volunteer assignment, which I'd agreed to do, for a local non-profit organization.

Last Saturday, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had forgotten to buy the IGA brown mustard that I like, on my sandwiches. Yesterday, she'd presented her annual "BEP Alt. Inst. Classroom" paycheck (a small amount for classroom supplies), so I could deposit it for her.

I'd placed our six-month automobile insurance payment in the mailbox, with flag up. Afterward, I had decided to run the errands to the bank and to the IGA.

The Memories

Today, the time was about 11:30 AM. I'd started to walk down the aisle, to find the mustard. Not many were shopping. The store music was playing some song that I'd never heard and that I didn't like much. It was routine.

October 1999

Suddenly, a vivid and pleasant memory came to mind! The setting was in October of 1999. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I had returned from Russia (10/1/1994 - 9/30/1999). We were staying several days with Mom, Dad, and my two youngest brothers, at the homeplace. I'd driven alone to the local Food City, to buy something. I was pleasantly surprised to meet Mom, who was also shopping, in the same aisle! I recall that Mom had just gotten off work, from her part-time job. She'd stopped at the Food City, on her way home.

Mom and I smiled at each other, and we talked a while. We were both amazed by the serendipitous timing of our shopping! Mom didn't need me to help her shop, so I checked out and went back home. Mom came home a few minutes after me. I helped unload groceries that she'd bought. That day, in October of 1999, was pleasant!

December 1999 & December 2000

While pausing in the aisle at the IGA, the pleasant memory of October 1999 turned to the flood of unpleasant memories, from December 1999 and December 2000. I won't write the memories that are etched in my mind, in this article. I have written some of those memories, in previous articles. My 1/3/2020 article has a section on Mom, which includes several details. In a few months or so, I plan to complete and publish my book, “Light at the End of the Tunnel,” which has many details written in it.

I'm glad that no one was in the aisle except me! I said, out loud, to myself, “Mom shouldn't have had to endure what she did!” I guess that I was speaking to God. He heard me, if no one else did.

Writing helps. So, I am writing now. A mundane event can trigger happy memories. Gatherings with family and friends are the best for remembering good times. A mundane event can trigger sad memories. Today, my mundane IGA shopping triggered a happy memory, followed by a flood of unhappy ones.

My Words to God

I'm sorry, God! I wasn't blaming you. You had always known, before she was born, how Mom would live and die. You didn't plan her life or her death.

. . . time and chance happen to them all. Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come . . . . (Ecclesiastes 9:11-12, NIV)

God, you didn't plan that I would almost die, on 3/29/2016. It was “time and chance.”

My Irish mouth spoke from my heart, at the IGA, God. The temporal pain, suffering, and loss hurt. The memories of those bad events hurt to recall them.

God, I know that you “will wipe every tear from their eyes” and that “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things” will pass away (Revelation 21:4, NIV). I know that Mom has that everlasting joy, even now, after she “went to see Jesus,” on 12/27/2000.

So, again, God, I'm sorry, for my spoken words, to myself and to you, at the IGA this morning. In the everlasting mindset, I am now at peace, once again. I'll write this article, to perhaps help someone, who needs to read it.


“Light at the End of the Tunnel” has a several-page appendix, “Punctuated Providence,” which I started writing on 11/3/2016 and concluded on 11/30/2016. I read that appendix again today.

This temporal life is boot camp. In it, we experience “the good, the bad, and the ugly” – with apology to Clint Eastwood! This world is not Home. The trials of life prepare us for Home – if we have the everlasting mindset.

I wonder. Will God grant Mom and me a joyful moment, in heaven, when we meet at the heavenly store, while we are both shopping? But wait! Mom has already shopped the heavenly store!

Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount, stated:

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21, NIV)

Mom stored up heavenly treasures, as the finest example of a Christian, whom I've ever known! I'm still trying to store up my heavenly treasures – in part by writing this article.

As I close, I am feeling joyful again! I can see Home, by my eyes of faith! Can you? If you'd like, I'd be glad to help you shop at the heavenly store. My Contact Form is awaiting your request!

In October of 1999, I got home a few minutes before Mom did (from the Food City). On 12/27/2000, Mom got HOME a few moments before I will.

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