It seemed like it would always happen, and yet, it seemed like it would never happen. I shared my entire life with a strong, intelligent, nurturing woman who was always by my side. I never knew one moment in this world without her. And then with one long exhale, she was gone. In that moment, life as I had known it changed.
In reality, I knew my Mom better than I knew myself. I watched her. I modeled her. I was deeply in tune with her. She was always my go to, my confident, my protector, and my cheerleader. She kept me humble and she gave me wings. She raised me to be a woman I could be proud of.
Over the years we developed rituals that wove our lives together like an intricate tapestry. One of these rituals began when I was a little girl. You see, in my family we had a rich tradition of “sharing a cup of tea.” This was tea that was lovingly made. The water was boiled as the conversations began. The cups would come out as the freshly boiled water would be poured into my grandmother’s teapot to steep. The milk and sugar would follow and we would begin to anticipate the rich conversations that would follow as we sat down together.
When I was a young girl, my mother began collecting teacups from around the world for she and me. Over the years, we each accumulated a beautiful collection. Through this collection she taught me about the value of things that are old, unique, fragile and beautiful. Things to be both treasured and shared. For this collection shines brightest when shared with family and special friends.
I remember the last time my Mom and I had tea together. It was on my patio, at night with gentle ocean breezes blowing. There was a bit of a silent code during these sacred times — with those who might be a home to honor our time and space together without interruption. In this last tea time together we spoke of Angles. I will never forget special night.
Tonight I sit in my Love Garden (a name given to my garden by my Mom) alone with my thoughts. The crickets are singing, the breeze is blowing, and I can smell midnight jasmine wafting in the air. Tonight I sit and quietly sip my tea alone. The teacup is exquisite and again I poured the tea from my grandmother’s teapot that sits permanently on the kitchen counter. Everything is different. And everything is the same. And so it goes.