Do you have one thing in life that can sum up who you are and where you came from?  I believe everyone keeps a piece of nostalgia around themselves if they admit it or not. It can be an everyday item, or something that makes no sense to anyone else. 

For me, life is summed up with one everyday occurrence.  A hot cup of coffee.

Growing up in Southern Louisiana, coffee was a way of life.  It began and ended the day. It was shared, consoled, and was ever-present at life’s events. Through all my precious memories, the two constants were coffee and Jesus.

I was indoctrinated early that coffee was to be enjoyed with the people you love. My grandfathers, both smelling of Old Spice and coffee, would rarely be seen without having just started or finished a cup. When a visitor arrived at my grandmother’s house, the first thing she announced was “I am putting on a fresh pot of coffee”.  Everyone gave their hugs and a recent account of events to the musical sounds of percolation.   It didn’t matter what time of day it was.  Coffee was ever-present.

We drank coffee at church to celebrate.  At horse shows to pass the time.  In the mornings to prepare for the day.  And we held our coffee at funerals, to say goodbye to the ones we must learn to live without.

For me, coffee is not a beverage by which to fuel a caffeine addiction.  It is the retelling of a glorious story with twists and turns, beauty and sorrows.

Just as faithfully as my father bringing my mother a cup of coffee every morning, every sip brings back cherished times of a life worth living.  I do not even have to drink it to feel its effects.  Just to see someone holding a steaming cup brings me joy.  It represents all the things that matter to me, family, love, community, and reprieve from a sometimes harsh world.

So in honor of you, I take this sip.

To share this cup with you is a blessing for my soul.

With Love and Coffee,

Shanda