The jar of coffee that holds meaning beyond a warm cup of brew

I can’t seem to throw out this jar, no matter how logical it may be

(Image Credit) The jar of coffee reminds me of happier times that have now passed. Image by Author. Every single time I open up the cupboard — I see this jar of half brewed coffee. The jar doesn’t belong to me at all — it’s my mum’s. She would often brew herself a cup whilst she waited for me to come home from work. It was her daily routine to come over to my place & prepare food for my daughter. Then, when she felt satisfied that everything was in order, she would make herself a cup of Turkish coffee, lay on the couch with our toy poodle on her lap. Out of her bag, she’d take out a religious book to read while she patiently waited for me to come home. Monday to Friday, the routine would stay in place. Sometimes I’d make her a nice cappuccino on my coffee machine, and other times she would make her own.For many years, I would take her daily visits and help around the house for granted. We all think our parents would live forever — or at least till we believe we are ready to let them go. I’m not sure about other people out in the world of blogging land, but I was never ready to let my mum go. She was my everything. The one person that was there for me when no one was. That’s why this whole journey has been very hard for me. I am not one to let go that easily. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do that. Those days of her warm and accepting energy, daily visits, coffee chats and loving hugs came to a short-haul in March of 2021. The very day she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer was when my whole world turned around. For the first month of March, she was in the hospital. I don’t know how I survived. Working full time on a laptop in her hospital room, travelling from home to the hospital, making sure her apartment was intact, mail and toiletry retrievals. I even made her some decent food as the hospital variety wasn’t too appealing. 

One hospital visit turned into several until the last few weeks of August during Covid lockdown in Sydney. The nurses placed her in a room on her own. By this time, she struggled to walk, hunched over on her walker she’d slowly take one step at a time. The doctors said it was a miracle she was going home. That day was August 9th — a day before my birthday. As I stared at that empty room she occupied by herself — I wondered how far we’ve come. The full circle had finally drawn to an end. From March until now — August. This was a time when doctors and nurses said there wasn’t anything they could do for her. It’s now in the hands of the palliative care nurses, mine and my sisters. She wanted to die at home, without hospitals, and in the peace of the room, she slept in for over 19 years. And there we were, leaving the hospital once again — for the very last time. This time without hope for the future — faced with the growing deterioration of mum’s physical body, we would see the transition from being unable to perform the basic everyday tasks and then finally unresponsive over the next few weeks. We didn’t know what we were in for, but when love guides you — that doesn’t matter. Every time I’d open that cupboard to grab a cup, I’d cry. I would think back to the moments she was well, healthy and could drink her loving cup of coffee — have a chat and express laughter, loving words, and the ear mum would lend when I needed to vent. She died on August 29th, just after 4 pm. I watched her take that very last breath, her hands warm, her face peaceful — like that of an angel who had finally grown her wings.

Within that moment, a tear appeared to run down her cheek. As I sit and type this, I wonder why I’m so attached to a jar. But it’s not just any jar. It’s probably one of the last of mum’s belongings that she brought over to our place — to share a quiet moment of contemplation. Coffee time was a moment we’d stop for and become present with one another. I miss her so much right now. I can’t bear to throw away the jar. It holds too many memories for me. As the month’s progress, the pain becomes slightly smaller —, but my heart still aches for her. This message is for anyone with parents still alive today. Forgive them for what they don’t know and anything they did. After all, nothing is significant anymore apart from the people we love. We will all die one day — some will have a leisurely experience, and some will not. So take everything as it is and make the best of it.

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