How do you comfort a beloved father for the loss of his wife of almost 40 years? That’s the dilemma I faced with my own father when mom passed away many years ago. Theirs had been a very loving relationship. Time for a pot of tea, and a quiet moment of reflection as Mother’s Day draws near, to remember mom.
Mother’s Day almost always centers on those moms who are still living. Let us not forget those who are no longer among us. Many cultures throughout the world remember their ancestors this way. For example, there is a holiday in China called Qingming where ancestors’ graves are swept free of debris and decorated in their honor. You may not want to go that far, but a nice tea time where you think back to certain events with fondness will do just fine.
A few things I remember:
- Falling down a short flight of stairs at the age of six, landing on concrete head first (yes, I know you’re thinking, “Gee, that explains a lot!”), getting a bump the size of a goose egg, and having mom make pancakes just so I’d feel better.
- Throwing up the pancakes along with butter, syrup, scrambled eggs, and a bit of orange juice and having mom almost rush me to the emergency room to have my stomach pumped (I probably just ate too much too fast).
- Mom buying a watermelon for my grade school project (grade 2, I think), cutting it open, cubing it and separating out the seeds, then washing those seeds and laying them out to dry so I would have them for that class project.
- Helping me prep for that yearbook photo in my senior year of high school (before then I really didn’t care how I looked) because mom knew that photo would be around forever (although she had no idea about the internet and sites like Twitter where such photos get posted with abandon).
- Coming home to visit from college for Thanksgiving, arriving about three hours late due to a sudden snowstorm that hit when I was about halfway there (I thought of turning around and going back to my off-campus apartment but knew the family would be disappointed) and mom hugging me like she’d never let go out of sheer relief that I wasn’t a frozen popsicle in a snow-filled ditch somewhere.
Oh, yeah, one more thing: mom’s idea of tea was a powdered instant that she used to make up iced tea in the Summer. It was the only time tea was served at home. Of course, when I got to college, I was exposed to tea (as I had written about in a previous article) and would carry some bags home with me when visiting. Never could get mom to join in, though. She was a coffee drinker to the end.
Have a nice cup of tea and take a moment to remember your mother, even if she wasn’t a tea drinker. Sometimes a little reflection helps us appreciate things better. That goes both for moms and tea!
See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.
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