What a treat today, to be invited to afternoon tea. My cousin not only graciously extended the invitation but prepared the tea and the sandwiches. I contributed mini scones and William completed the meal with thin chocolate wafer cookies, called biscuits in the UK.
It’s been a busy and emotional week. I can’t think of a better way to relax, and at the same time feel refreshed, than by sharing a pot of hot tea. William even had a tiny pitcher with milk at the ready.
I formerly called this young man, son of my dear cousin Mindy, by the name of Harry. I realized as we navigated together through the shifting and sometimes challenging landscape that appeared after Mindy’s passing, that he was referring to himself as William. I like to call my family members and friends by the name they prefer the most. William was using his legal first name. I have shifted to that name as well. And it is a fine name, meaning “strong, resolute warrior-protector”. What great qualities. I see William growing into those with ease.
This afternoon, we chatted and caught up on each other’s news and journeys. We talked and laughed and sipped our hot tea. This ritual became a daily practice when William, Mindy and I visited Scotland last year. This son was very indulgent of his mother and me as we wandered about each city and village that we visited, searching for the perfect spot to have tea. The memory, though tinged with sadness, makes me smile.
Sitting across from him on this day, I smiled as well. William has grown through so much these past three months. I’m very proud of him. And very touched that we shared this tradition today. I sensed Mindy nearby, her love and pride almost tangible in the room. She approved of the fare included with our afternoon tea. As did I. I returned to Joplin uplifted and restored in body and spirit. Thank you, dear William.