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Light Notes: Mother’s coffee cup still fills my heart with warm memories

Oct 14, 2023

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"My late mother's coffee cup now filled with memories, " writes Lucy Luginbill. (Lucy Luginbill/Tri-City Herald/TNS)

On 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 warm memories.

I can still remember the smile this gracefully decorated gift brought to my late mother's face on Mother's Day, her favorite day of the year. She was getting on in years back then — didn't need a thing, she’d always say — but sometimes a daughter doesn't listen.

The coffee mug became her favorite, a part of her morning routine.

While the coffeemaker burbled, the aroma riding the early dawn, Mother would see to the most important things first. Outside tasks were at the top of her to-do list, chores needing to be done before the heat of the Arizona desert would send all God's creatures scurrying for shade.

With a whisk of the garden hose she’d fill a simple birdbath — fresh water to cool feathers in the coming heat — then turn her thoughts to the feeder, seeds of kindness welcoming their song in the morning light. And even though Mother's steps were quiet in the stillness, the flock waited like little children in anticipation, her daily labor of love not yet complete. Timid rabbits, doves and quail — invisible but not forgotten — would soon find their share in the morning dew.

Only then was it "Edna time," her brewed coffee finally drawing her inside.

Others first.

That's the pattern my mother lived throughout her lifetime — a definition of motherhood, a journey of caring. The saying that "a mother's work is never done" rings true for all mothers, including mine.

The hands that cradled her Mother's Day gift as she savored morning coffee in later years, once tenderly cradled me through childhood tears, applauded my teen achievements, wrote notes to encourage. Every moment of her 93 years spoke about living her faith. Even now, I can "see" her busy hands quiet in daily prayer.

Mother was a Proverbs 31 woman.

No matter how weary she might have been, Mother graced my life with loving deeds: walking the length of our neighborhood for school fundraisers, an era when women only wore dresses and heels; sewing cheerleader outfits into the night, a long day in the workplace behind her; giving up scant vacation time to help this young mother with little ones.

In every instance she loved. She cared.

On this Mother's Day, I’ll remember her lifetime of love with gratefulness as I sip from that pretty, pastel cup, now handed down to me. Richly engraved, it bears the name she treasured more than any other.


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