My mother is sitting at my dining room table with a book and a cup of tea. I remember that she loved to read, and loved tea. Although, in all honesty, I don’t remember ever seeing her actually sit down with a cup of tea. Or a book, for that matter. Eight children and mounds of laundry, cooking, and housework were what I remember. I remember slurping the dregs from her neglected, cold teacups and getting into trouble for “borrowing” her library books as a child.
“Mom, what are you doing here?”
“Reading. Having tea.” She set her book aside with a smile. She didn’t look tired, or sick, or any of the ways I remember her looking.
“I see that, Mom. But…you’re…” my voice cracked.
“Dead?” she asked softly. “Yes, I am. Grab a cup, sit down and join me”.
“Mom,” I am truly stymied. “Really, I have to get ready for work.”