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Mysterious Ways: Christmas in the Parking Lot

Mom and I always shared a beloved Christmas tradition, a chocolaty one. But now she was gone and I missed her so much.

A giant-sized Hersey's bar

Christmas just isn’t Christmas without sharing a giant chocolate Hershey bar with Mom, I thought wistfully, looking at the display of bars on sale at the grocery store one cold December day.

It’s not your usual holiday tradition, but it was for me. I’m not sure how it started, but every year for as long as I could remember, as a way to welcome in the holiday, Mom and I would run to the store to buy a giant milk chocolate Hershey bar. We’d keep it in the refrigerator at home and would break off little pieces in the days before Christmas, sometimes even dipping them in peanut butter. It was a guilty pleasure we loved sharing together.

Mom had passed away just a couple of months earlier. No, no chocolate bar this year, I thought. Not without Mom to share it. I turned away from the display of chocolate and headed to the checkout line to pay for my groceries.

As I pushed my cart toward my car, I kept thinking about that Hershey bar. Should I go back in and get one? No, I shouldn’t eat all that chocolate myself.

I put the groceries in the car, then climbed in and closed the door. I turned the car on and let it idle for a minute, waiting for it to warm up. Lord, I sure wish I could feel Mom close by this Christmas season, I prayed. Let her know I love her and that I hope to see her again someday.

I put my car into gear and looked out the rearview mirror, ready to back out of the parking spot. Something shined brightly from the baby seat of a grocery cart in the spot across from me. Did someone leave their purse? I put the car in park and scanned the lot to see if anyone was around. No one. I walked over to see what was in the cart.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and laughed out loud. There sat a giant Hershey bar, just like the ones Mom and I always shared!

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