Dumping Out Cold Tea

When I am with my daughter Beth, I offer tea.  She sunnily says yes, chooses her herbal mix, and flashes one of her beautiful smiles at me as I set the mug down by her.  Later I will dump the cold tea down the drain.  Beth has taken a sip and then moved on- to another email, deadline, meeting or demonstration.  I understand it- her mind is in constant motion, her passion simmering below the surface. Anxiety simmers there as well, but she soldiers on.  She is a student, activist, filmmaker, interpreter, and she is busy.

Yesterday she celebrated her 30th birthday far from us, in Honduras.  From us she had cards given earlier to be opened on the actual birthday.  She had emails and a powerpoint of photos from her life, set to favorite music.  She had a short video clip of her baby nephew to amuse her.

She emailed pictures of the table of nuns she was staying with, and the card, mylar balloon on a straw, and red rose they set at her place.  I was immeasurably grateful to them for being her family and friends at that moment.  Yet I would rather be serving my Beth tea destined to be poured out, than sending electronic messages to her through the sky.


6 thoughts on “Dumping Out Cold Tea

  1. What a beautiful and loving tribute of a proud momma. My heart aches with you. What a wonderful girl, I mean woman. My daughter, the baby, is away this week. She’s a camp counselor, and I miss her. Next year she’ll be gone at school. Oh, what a hole it will leave.
    All choked up now.


  2. Electronics can make contact easier, but it is not the same as flesh and blood. Moms miss their kids when they are far, that’s a fact of life. This will never change, no matter the age.


  3. I can tell you truly missed celebrating Beth’s special day with her. At least she was surrounded with those who admire and care for her. (FWIW, my now-husband was living two states away from me on my 30th. My father had surgery that day and therefore my parents couldn’t spend it with me either. Therefore, my students threw me a surprise birthday party. At night, I went out for a mani/pedi by myself. Not the day I envisioned, but it worked.) Hope you get to spend Beth’s 40th with her!


  4. Your words are filled with love and longing. I hope next time you serve cup of tea to your daughter and she will have the time to finish it.


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