In dedication to all mothers or motherly mentor figures who have loved, nurtured, supported, and encouraged others. And in dedication to my mother; my tea drinking companion and one of my biggest fans.
Mothers And Other Significant Women In Our Lives
Mother’s Day is a day that conjures up a slew of thoughts, feelings, and remembrances. It is a day that represents numerous things for numerous people. It can be a day centered around mothers, mentors, or motherly figures at a place of employment, a place of education, or in a community. Mother’s Day in the United States was made official in 1914, by President Woodrow Wilson, and perennially set for the second Sunday in May.
A Visit Forthcoming
I was finally able to visit my mother inside her apartment, located within an Independent Living facility. It had been a long year. A year that neither one of us wished to replicate anytime in the near future. The retirement community had finally opened up their community doors for two hour indoor visits for Independent Living residents who were fully vaccinated. In order for me to receive a visitation appointment, I had to obtain a negative test within 72 hours prior to visiting my mother. I endured the uncomfortable test, had my negative test results packed, and I was set for the visit.
Hoops, Hurdles, Heartache
The entire year prior to the upcoming indoor apartment visit was full of hoops, hurdles, and heartache in an attempt to visit my mother. There were many times that I would visit my mother outside her apartment, looking through a sliding glass door, talking on a cell phone with her so we could hear each other. Rain, wind, freezing temperatures, exhausting heat were the hurdles that were jumped over in order to visit my mother. Changes in outdoor visitation schedules were the many hoops that sprung up throughout this past year. Complete campus lockdowns were heartaches that we both endured.
Creatively Visiting My Mother
Enjoying a cup of tea together face to face this past year was an extreme challenge. We were forced to be creative with our visits. When I was allowed to take my mother to the doctor, we would order tea through a drive through window, on our way back to her apartment, after the appointment. When the facility was in complete lock down, a caregiver on the way home from a doctor’s appointment, would make a point of stopping with my mother in the car at a designated parking lot. I would pull my car up to the caregiver’s car, and my mother and I would visit. We would each have our tea thermoses in hand and chat through a cracked car window while the caregiver waited patiently.
I remember my mother had agreed one time to stop by my hotel room for a cup of tea, after I drove her to a doctor office visit. I cleaned the hotel room thoroughly to ensure everything was clean for my mother’s visit. In fact, housekeeping donated cleaning wipes, disinfectant spray and paper towels to my hotel room to assist me in maintaining a disinfected hotel room. I sprayed so much Lysol in the room before I left to pick my mother up, that when we came back to my hotel room hours later, we had to air out the room before we could enjoy our cups of tea!
Indoors Apartment Visiting Day
I made the visitation appointment on-line, confirmed that I would be there, packed, and tucked the negative test results in my purse and headed out to visit my mother. I came bearing gifts. Birthday gifts, magazines to read, soft cuddly socks, favorite foods, a box of favorite chocolate, and a tin of my mother’s favorite tea. I looked forward to her delight and surprise when she saw the tin of tea. This visitation day was a cause of celebration; of all that was overcome this past year, and tea was central to the celebration.
My mother and I had a ritual. Before Covid, I would spring up the hill to my mother’s back patio, let myself in, and call out “Hi mom!” From inside the apartment I would usually hear “Hello, is that you?” Then we would both laugh at the absurdity of the question because I was the only one (aside from maintenance) who had a key to her apartment.
I pulled into the parking spot next to her apartment on visitation morning and walked up the grass hill to her patio door. There was a hesitation, standing at the patio door. I was half waiting for my mother to appear on the other side of the glass door. Today was different though. Today I turned the key, slid open the door and walked into the apartment.
A flood of emotions bombarded me. I remembered to call out “Hi mom” while choking back tears. I went to greet my mother. The very next thing I did, after hugging my mother, was to emphatically announce tea time!
I plugged the tea kettle in, retrieved the tea from my parcel of surprises, pulled two tea cups down from the cupboard, and placed the honey on the table. Mom joined me at her kitchen table. I brought the steaming cups of tea over to where my mother was seated.
For the next two hours, we visited together, over several cups of tea. All was “normal” again in my world. My mother and I were having tea at her kitchen table.
Mothers And Others
Mothers and maternal figures are important individuals in our lives and in our communities. They care for, encourage, educate, and support us. “Mothers, across cultures, are at the emotional center of the home and, collectively, of the world” stated Alexandra Stoddard in her book titled Mothers: A Celebration. “A sufficient measure of civilization is in the influence of good women.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson.
May you have a mother figure in your life that you can share a cup of tea with,
About the Author
Leslie Sundberg is a World Tea Academy Certified Tea Specialist, a World Tea Academy Apprentice Tea Sommelier, a Specialty Tea Institute Levl IV trained Tea Specialist, and a Tea and Business Etiquette Specialist. On any given day, Leslie can be found teaching, speaking or sharing in the joys of a cup of tea. No matter what Leslie is doing or where she is, one thing remains constant: 4:00 in the afternoon is tea time!