The words “Chai Tea Latte” roll off my tongue as if I am calling my daughter’s name. Before I even have a chance to utter a syllable, the Starbucks barista knows my order and gives me a smile as I wait by the counter to be handed my liquid goodness.
On Friday, I pondered my recent passion for tea. For many years, I was a cereal and milk kind of girl. I never needed a cup of chai to provide me with a pick me up. It’s only the last few years that I’ve made chai my new breakfast obsession.
# # #
“Mom’s not here yet, Dad. I know she has a thermos full of chai, but she is running a little late.” My voice is cracking and my eyes have a deep brown undertone, a clear indication I need sleep. It’s another overnight stay at the hospital with Dad and like always, I tell him, “Let me go downstairs. I will get some chai for you.”
“Ok, Rudri. I will drink that tea.” He looks tired too, but the reasons for his fatigue are far different from mine.
I exit the door to his room. The anxiety of the room jumps off as soon as I enter the elevator. My mind is on Starbucks, something normal. A part of anyone’s daily routine. “A chai tea latte please” is what I tell the man at the Starbucks counter on the first floor of the hospital. I return to the room, witness my Dad drinking some tea, and a tiny smile shows up in the corner of his mouth. He almost, as I remember it, appears happy.
# # #
Almost two years after his passing, I realize something that is so obvious. It’s me holding on. And remembering. Just a cup of tea? No, so much more. So much more.
Image by wonderferret
Beautiful writing, Rudri.
Yes, it sounds like there is MUCH more going on than drinking tea. Wonderful way to work through it, with your writing. Can’t wait to see where this leads you!
I know you miss him so much. Maybe the morning tea ritual is your little way of honoring him and his memory.
I remember my beloved aunt through food as well – we hold on any way we can don’t we?
What a lovely way to pause, savor the moment and remember your dad.
You are so blessed to have had such a wonderful father.
This is such a lovely reflection, Rudri. Thank you for sharing it.
I love this, Rudri. I know this feeling so well, my friend. xoxo.
Remembering, honoring is such an important thing. And your line about “normal” – I understand and cling to normal now more than ever.
I am delighted that I had a chance to walk through the mundane and all that went beyond with you, Rudri. Very lovely attention to the little things that often count so much.
So touching. It’s hard to imagine at the time the things we’ll eventually carry with us.
I remember when your Dad made tea for me and Radhika. He made the tea very nicely. Everyday I remember him when I make tea. You are such good writer. Love, Mom
A beautiful tribute, a daily ceremony honoring your father. This is wonderful. Thank you.