This Cup

WP_20130913_001I remember despising coffee, but my mother was a coffee fiend!

I remember times when my brother, sister and I would see my mothers coffee cup sitting on the table, and we would taste it, and found it bitter and not liking it too terribly much.  We would add tons of sugar, milk and creamer to it, but it never really seemed to taste any better.  Mom would eventually come back into the kitchen, seeing it barren of any of us.  There would be remnants of sugar and creamer on the table, and a unnatural and extremely white color to her cup of coffee.  She would pour it out, and holler across the house for us to leave her coffee alone.  We did.

My father drank coffee a great deal as well.  He and My mother were no longer married, but he would stay for a while when picking us up, or dropping us back off, or just in general. He would sit, and they would drink coffee together and have conversation.

As I grew older, got married, had a child, etc. I would visit my mom often.  She would drink her coffee, and I would drink something; anything else but coffee. We would catch up, and sit and talk for hours.

For years, I still just didn’t care for coffee.  Until… I took a job as a bank teller for a local bank.  At the time, I didn’t have many a penny to my name.  I couldn’t even afford to buy a soda from the drink machine, and water was just boring.  But…. The coffee was free.

And thus, because it had a different flavor, than no real flavor at all, I begin my slow decline into coffee addiction.  On the bright side, however, now I would also drink coffee when I would visit my mother.

Before I knew it, I guess I did what every other avid coffee drinker would do and start collecting random coffee mugs; cups, etc.  There were always various mugs and cups to choose from at my house and my mothers.

In the latter part of the 90s, I had to travel a great deal for the company I worked for at the time.  The up side was that I would generally travel to a new part of the country.  The downside, was that I would be away from my family.  But of course, like any good traveler, I would pick up souvenirs to bring home to my family. For me, this happened to be the “City” beanie baby bears for my daughter, and a “City” Coffee Mug/Cup for myself. When I had my regular visits with my mother to share coffee and conversation, I would always bring one of the random cups in my cupboard with me.

One particular cup (pictured at the beginning of this post) has been in my family for quite a few years now, and there is a very interesting story associated with this one.

You see, in the early part of 2009, my mothers husband passed away.  I was also going through a tough part in my life, and had recently moved back to the house that I had owned.  My mothers health was beginning to deteriorate and so my brother had asked if they could also come live with me at my house. Without any hesitation, my answer was an astounding yes!

It was a wonderful time of my life.  My mother would generally always have coffee made, and I would take frequent breaks from work and sit and have a cup of coffee and conversation with her.

Of all the cups and mugs in the house, she generally used this particular cup. If it wasn’t in the drain rack, it was in the room she stayed in. Eventually, my mother and brother decided to get their own place, and moved into an apartment. I would visit their apartment frequently, and share a cup of coffee and conversation with my mother.

On one particular day during my visits, I looked down at the table, and at the cup my mother had in her hand, and realized it was MY cup from the house.  I exclaimed “Hey Mom! You stole my cup!” 

She looked at me in shock and replied with remorse “I’m sorry son! I didn’t realize it was yours.  I’ve just been drinking out of it for so long!”. 

I explained to her that “I truly was kidding.  I didn’t truly mind at all. I just thought it was rather funny to look down and realize you had stolen a cup of mine from the house.  It’s ok Mom.  It’s your cup now”.

We laughed. We drank coffee.  We talked, about this cup.

It’s a silly thing. A simple coffee mug; cup; whatever you want to call it. With cartoonish drawings of iconic scenes of San Francisco.  But my mom loved it, and it has certainly seen it’s use.  Even when it’s sparkling clean, you would think it’s been sitting for days with how dark and discolored it is inside.

Mom loved her coffee.  I loved having coffee with my mom.  I loved having coffee with my mom, and watching her sip it from the cup she stole from my house.

As time progressed, Mom couldn’t enjoy her coffee as much as she once did.  She would always want some, and at times we would slip her a little; cooled way down with ice.

I started missing the days when Mom and I would sit at the table drinking our coffee and talking for hours. We solved a lot of world problems in those days.

My mom passed away last night, and as my brother and sister and I dealt with the emotions and the loss, I saw this cup.

This cup, that my mother claimed. This cup, that my mother held in her hands for so long. This cup, of life.

I hold this cup mom, and I drink from it, and I think of you.

This cup symbolizes my love and relationship with you.  The sharing we had together.

I love you and miss you mom!

This cup… is for you.

3 Replies to “This Cup”

  1. Billy that was beautiful, I’m Elizabeth’s oldest granddaughter. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You know there is a Sikes reunion going on up there today!!

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