Remembrance ~ by Sharon Walling

Lydia Selk - Tea

Tea Parties by Lydia Selk

From the moment we shared our first cup of coffee, my mother-in-law was my best friend. She’d call us and say to my husband, “You watch Daniel, and I’m going to fly Sharon up here for the weekend, so we can go to ‘Music Circus’.” These were a series of off-Broadway productions. She loved music, loved and she and I attended several together.

When she retired at age 75, we brought her to live with us – healthy and happy. We have a guest apartment down at the end of the hall and frequently, I’d be marching down there with two cups of coffee to share with her, and meet her on her way up, also carrying two cups.

It was less than a year after she came to live with us that she was diagnosed with cancer. Pancreatic cancer is a quick killer, and so we turned her bedroom into a hospital room, replete with hospital bed, portable toilet, and so on, because she could no longer get out of bed.

One night, I brought her a cup of water, remembering all the other cups of things we had shared: the cup of laughter watching, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” the cup of excitement when she helped us purchase the house we would all live in; the cup of fear as we received her prognosis: “you’re going to die” from a disgruntled oncologist. But this night, we would share a cup of tenderness.

My husband and son had gone to a movie. I picked up a John Michael Talbot tape, “Come to the Quiet” and tiptoed into her room.

“Jeanne, are you awake?”

“Yes,” she said. “Why?”

“Well, since we can’t go to a concert, we’re going to have one here.”

I put on the tape and climbed into bed with her. The soft guitar and soothing voice of John Michael brought the presence of the Holy Spirit and wrapped us together in peace. I cradled her as a mother cradles a child, and as she looked up at me and smiled, I realized that this was our last concert together. But it was not the end. It was the beginning. Life as we know it, is really just the womb, and very soon she’d be thrust into the light to begin a new life. This I believe with all my heart.

Sometimes when I miss her, I’ll make a cup of tea and drink form one of the lovely cups she gave me ─ a cup of remembrance, sweetened with hope, and stirred with longing.


Sharon Walling is a writer and a poet. Visit her Facebook page


Last 5 posts by Guest Writer

Last 5 posts by Guest Writer