Mother’s Love

affection baby barefoot blur

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When this shelter-in-place began, my oldest son volunteered to do my shopping. I’d text him a list of what I needed and he’d pick it up along with his own groceries, and leave my supplies outside my door. And that worked well for the first week or so. But, recently, news would suggest that people his age, and especially smokers which he is, may be just as vulnerable to this virus as me – a healthy sixty-nine year old. So, I’ve decided to do my own shopping from now on. Once a month, if I can get my list organized that well. Early morning senior hours. Straight home to put my clothes directly into the washer on the hot water cycle, and get in the shower and wash my hair and every inch of my skin.

On one of my morning calls to my mom who, at ninety-one, lives alone about two and half hours up the coast from me, I told her of my new plan.

“Wear gloves and your mask,” she instructed.

“Well,” I said, “I would if I could, but since I have neither, I will just not touch my face and hurry home to wash everything when I’m done.”

Mom called two hours later.

“I sent you a package.”


“It’s just an old mask and a package of disposable gloves I’ve had for years.”

“Well, thank you.” I said. “Wait. How did you get that mailed without leaving your house?”

A long pause.

“I have to go now.” Her voice was firm. “The cat wants out.”

And I was holding a dead phone with tears in my eyes.

About Author and Speaker Pamela Foster

Pamela Foster is a speaker and author. Her first book, Redneck Goddess, is available at local bookstores and on Amazon. Her second book, Bigfoot Blues, will be available in August 2012.
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4 Responses to Mother’s Love

  1. Hi Pam, This was lovely and it sounds like your feisty mom is about like mine.

    I’m surprised that you have to go out. I have been sitting over here in Italy envious of all the ways that you can get groceries delivered in the U.S., shopping services, etc. After my hip surgery in Baton Rouge, I had Wal-Mart deliver. I just ordered online. Do you not have that where you are?

    Also, I had this thought. Unless you are also shopping for your son, he is still risking exposure. So, now, both of you are.

    Here, no grocery stores deliver but I have made a deal with a restaurant supplier to keep us in bottled water (a necessity here in Tuscany–the water is horrible) and staple food items. I let it all sit outside for 24 hours if the weather permits, then I open it in my mask and gloves and throw away any unnecessary outside packaging. If I can’t throw away the outside packaging, I spray it with disinfectant, let it sit, wipe it off and then bring it inside the house. The mail I put in a ziplock bag where it sits for days, lol.

    It’s all a big pain but I’m just paranoid enough to do it.

    We are gonna get through this, and one day you and I will meet up and have whatever you’re drinking.

    Love, Alison


    • Good evening, Alison. So good to hear your ‘voice’.
      I was inspired by your comment to look more seriously into instacart, a grocery delivery we have available here. I think the virus is outrunning us, or at least me, in adaptability. It take me time to mentally adjust my attitude for each luxury I give up in this time. I stay home, but only a few days ago came to accept that I cannot have even a close friend over, not even if they take off their shoes and scrub their hands until they’re raw and we sit ten feet apart outside on my deck. It was just yesterday after reading your comment, that I accepted that I will no longer be eating what I want, but instead making do with what I can get delivered. The market shelves are not empty here, but they are pocked. Which means that if the instacart shopper cannot find a certain item, he or she does not substitute, you simply do without. This makes meal planning sketchy. However, as your comment brought to heart, I can far better deal with odd meals than I can deal with getting the virus. I hate that you and your mom are dealing with this, but I hope you know what a treasure of information and experience you are to those of us in the states who are living a couple of weeks behind you where this virus is concerned.
      One last mom story. Her neighbor is having a birthday today. For years Mom, who is a talented watercolor painter, has made special birthday cards for friends and family. Mom spoke with the wife of this neighbor and the wife mentioned that they cannot find pinto beans anywhere in their town. So, for his birthday, Mom carefully wrapped a little bag of dried pintos, threw it in the freezer overnight(on the theory that the cold will kill any virus) and this morning she made her way carefully across the street, looking not for cars but for possible virus-carrying dog walkers. She set the package, along with a homemade card, at the edge of his porch before coming home to take a shower and disinfect herself.
      We do adapt.
      Love to you and to your mom.

  2. maryanne vandyke says:

    This was one of the best stories ever. I’m in love with your mother and she is in love with you.

    When you talk about age I’m sure you think there’s a privilege to being older, we don’t have to go to work. We don’t have to do anything. We can shelter in place, read a book, work in the yard and pat our dog.

    This is what concerns me; the people who live in North Nashvillle suffered a terrible tornado three weeks ago. Their homes were leveled for miles, businesses flattened. Now, where are those people staying when we’re told to shelter in place? My heart aches for them.

    I hope you’re starting to write a new book. I could teach you online Mah Jongg if you wish. Be safe and give big boy, Nikki, a pat.

    Got to go, Sammy is ready for his walk. I live in a quiet neighborhood and never see anyone when I’m outside, which is a good thing.

    Hugs, MARYANNE and Sammy.

    Sent from my iPhone


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