KENNEWICK -- Upon a shelf in my kitchen, sits a pastel pink coffee cup that appears to be empty.
But in my mind, it’s filled to the brim with memories.
I remember the smile this delicately decorated gift brought to my mother’s face one year on her favorite day -- Mother’s Day. She was getting on in years -- didn’t need a thing, she’d always say -- but I knew how she loved her morning coffee.
In the early Arizona dawn while she would fill the bird feeder and water the birdbath, the flock waiting at a distance in anticipation, the coffeemaker burbled. The aroma rode the breeze from her open kitchen window until food for timid rabbits, doves and quail was spread in the morning dew.
Only then was it time for Mother.
That’s the pattern my mom lived throughout her lifetime -- and I think it characterizes motherhood, a journey of caring.
Her hands that once cradled this coffee cup gently cradled me through childhood illness, applauded my teen achievements and wrote notes to encourage.
No matter how weary my mother might be, she graced my life with loving deeds -- walking the length of our neighborhood for elementary school fundraisers in an era when women only wore dresses and heels, sewing cheerleading outfits late into the night after a long day in the workplace, giving up precious vacation time to assist with new grandbabies in my adult years.
In every instance, she loved. She cared.
On Mother’s Day, I’ll remember her lifetime of love with gratefulness as I sip coffee from the pastel cup, now mine. It bears the name she treasured more than any other.