A teapot stands on the kitchen island. A knitted tea cozy lies next to the tea pot and the tea cups with their rounded bottoms and deep maroon colour. Their insides are a tea coloured off-white stained from years of tea which doesn’t come off no matter how much they are washed.
Each morning at 5am, the teapot on the wood stove boils after the wood stove is lit. This kitchen was about 10 different colours when they moved in, the roof alone had four different shades of pink and yellow and orange. It was as if someone was imitating the style of the rainbow “my little pony” – now it is a more sedate shade. It feels bigger. Your eye is drawn to the blue and white of the turn of the century wood stove. Its black cast iron top heating the water for the teapot every morning.
The tea is poured into the round-bottomed tea cups and carried up the hall, the carrier a little slower than in years past.
Each morning for the past 62 years, this is how it has been. Each morning, the tea comes before the day breaks. I imagine they talk. I imagine they greet the sunrise together.
Standing at an airport gate at DFW messy crying because seeing the beautifully elegant design for pop’s funeral service has completely undone me. So grateful everything is on time so far. Missing my sweet husband already but longing for the hugs of my loved ones, by blood and by choice. Oh my….
As I awake this morning to the long familiar sounds of the cockatoos and galahs and local ABC radio, and the dawn about to break over the Peel Valley, I’m thinking of my grandmother most. Today will be difficult and beautiful, heart rending, and a modest celebration of a life well lived. My brother called him a true gentleman and that he was: a mate, a fisherman, an engineer, my grandmother’s best mate for 64 years, a dad, a father-in-law, an Uncle, a grandfather, a great grandfather. As we seek to honour him in the same gentle and unassuming way that he lived, I am grateful for the way that he loved each of us and for the ways he loved Ma every single day of their 62 years of marriage. Today, I will lean upon a phrase he used in the hardest of times, “it’ll be right pet, it’ll be right.” We already miss you, Pop, more than we can say.