February 22, 2021

In preparation for winter snowstorms, my mom kept a bag in her car with a few necessities in case she got stuck somewhere. Her bag contained a toothbrush, toothpaste, a pair of PJs and an extra set of underwear. She also placed a large bag of kitty litter in the trunk. Mom explained that the kitty litter added weight to the back of her car, and in the event of getting stuck in a drift she could scatter the litter around her tires for extra traction. I thought it might also come in handy for other things…use your imagination.

No doubt she did all this because her friend Christine got caught in a snowstorm without these essentials, and in addition to losing a few digits to frostbite, she was horrified to be in the ER with dirty underwear and bad breath.

I’m in surgery preparation mode, getting my bag packed, mom would be proud. It is anticipated that I will spend one night in the hospital following surgery with discharge to home to next day, assuming I meet the PT goals. The hospital provided a packing list: easy to put on, stretchable layers; t-shirts and shorts; sweats or jogging suits; underwear; lace up sneakers; socks; PJ’s; a short robe; slippers; favorite personal hygiene items; and electronic devices and cords – WIFI is available. It sounds like an overnight at a fitness facility! No kitty litter required.

There is an interesting balance in the life of faith, the balance between taking care of things, and leaving things in God’s hands. St. Ignatius frames that balance this way, “Pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you.” Maybe that is what mom was getting at…she sat on the sofa every morning, Bible on her lap as she prayed. And she packed her winter bag.

Thanks, Mom, for modeling the life of faith. ~ Anne

These meditations are provided as a ministry in this time of pandemic as a ministry of St. Paul’s U. C. C.

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