Growing up, every morning my father brought me tea. Super hot and bitter strong. Often tea leaves floated in the creamy milk swirling on top.The recipe was simple; scalding hot water, loose tea steeped for hours, a splash of milk and something else. But that will come later.
As you can imagine it was a rude awakening when I moved out of the house. That first morning, rousing myself awake, staring at untouched boxes, and realizing there was no tea to jump-start my day.
Funny, tea not only wakes me up, it helps me sleep. The same caffeinated warmth spreads over me like a blanket, settling my thoughts, somehow signaling to my brain that the day has ended.
During the day, when I’m hungry and shouldn’t eat, tea makes me feel full, at least for an hour or so. Or if I’m troubled, tea is pure comfort to my soul.
I could say that tea, black and strong, is my vice. It is the answer to every question. Just like in the Godfather (at least according to You’ve got Mail), the answer is always, take it to the mattresses.
This elixir in a cup that fuels my sleepy form, fills my hungry belly, calms my wearing bones, and feeds my soul was delivered to me bedside, starting at age five from a man who never said I love you. Lucky for me I married a man who no, doesn’t bring me tea in bed, but continues the tradition by sharing a cup with me day and night. One day a few years back I shared with him that my father, Ken, never told me he loved me.
Marc smiled and said, “He showed he loved you every morning when he brought you tea in bed.”