Although I have yet to use the mini expresso pot, the White Castle mug is my favorite cup. Usually I prefer a lightweight mug or cup with a thin lip, but this mug holds more than a cup of coffee. It once belonged to my mother, Anne. I’m guessing she had it for a while before she gave it to me, which makes it pretty old. I live in fear that my general clumsiness in the kitchen will send my White Castle into pieces on the granite counter top. I have already dropped and broken countless pieces of ceramic and glass items. Yes, granite is wonderful. It looks great, it’s indestructible and it cleans easily. The only problem is that is always wins in the battle of breakage. As with many items around our house which remind us of all the wonderful family members and friends now gone, my heavy, clunky, white mug immediately makes me feel as if ‘Mommy’ is still here. Sure, I have many pieces of her art hanging in the house. I own many of her special treasures and display them proudly. But it doesn’t take long for me to remember the days when I would return home from work and my mother would welcome me to a house filled with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. I might mention here, also, that before my mother’s illness set in, she was a huge help to me. Michael in elementary school, Michele in middle school and Ron and I both teaching in high schools left me little time to get things done. She took care of everything from laundry to cooking. Until her ability to walk declined she would accompany Michael to school each day. My school opened much earlier than his and it was always a problem to deliver our kids somewhere to wait for their schools to open. Ferris certainly enjoyed his many walks with Anne, too.
Receiving the eventual calls at work from the police telling me that they found my mother fallen or lost in town, with Ferris in tow, was never a special moment. I was relieved to know that many of my former students and friends were either on the emergency squads, in the police department or working in town. They seemed to be on the look out for me. Say what you will about New Jersey and Mount Holly; small towns are not a bad place to raise and care for a family.
After it was clear my mother could no longer stay at home by herself, I began the search for reliable and caring help. As I was sitting in the teachers’ cafeteria chatting with associates, a former student working as security gave me a contact number belonging to her friend. Recently employed by an elderly person who died, her friend was looking for work. How lucky for me and my mother. The next four years were much easier because of Carol. I could finally leave the house and not worry about where my mother would go.
Amazing how a cup of coffee can bring back all these memories and can also help to keep me awake.