last lunch

Every morning, five days a week, for 15 years has begun the same way…pulling out a brown paper bag. The morning ritual of coffee and lunches is as much a part of my day as breathing. It is something that on auto pilot, my brain just does…..until now.

Today, is the last time I will make two. Today, is the last lunch for my high school senior. Of all the crazy things to get sentimental about, it seems so strange and yet it really is the perfect metaphor for the journey.

That plain brown bag is just like my son. When he went off to kindergarten, his name was boldly placed on his bag with smiley faces as he began school. Everyday we filled that brown sack with love, the gift of time, patience, gallons of peanut butter and jelly and commitment. Sometimes, even something unexpected ended up in that bag.

Many a day, I found it smashed up in the bottom of the backpack crumpled and broken, just as many a day, was the young man it belonged too. Whether that brown lunch bag was crumpled, perfectly creased, empty or full it was always evolving and we were always there filling it up.

Now, this morning that brown bag is covered with huge rolling tear drops, as I fill it for the last time. My heart is breaking. Rather than being giddy about this tedious task being wiped from my routine, I find myself devastated at the loss.  I would make lunches a thousand times over to have some more of those precious moments back.

Of course, we are thrilled that he is moving onto college cafeterias, where other people will feed him, but somehow knowing this is the last lunch is more than my heart can bear. So, today I will write his name big and bold with a huge heart and send him off knowing his bag is full and he is loved.

Charity Matters.


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  1. You are the best wife and mom any man could ask for. I love you! – RJ

  2. I felt the same way when my son,my only child graduated. The closer the time came for graduation, the more I savored the little rituals of our days..and even now, when friends and family post photos of their children going off to school, I get just a little sad that my time with that part of life is now passed..

  3. As tedious as that task is, I know I will feel the exact same way when it’s over. Thank you for writing this and for the reminder of how important these “filling the brown bag” years truly are. xo Marci

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