Yes, I have a coffee origin story. And while it may sound silly at first, it has become so much more poignant over the last two days. Anyone that has been following me for some time now knows that I LOVE coffee. With the passing of my paternal grandmother yesterday, I felt it was fitting to share this brief origin story with you.
How It Began
Some of my earliest memories of my grandmother revolve around coffee. I’m going to guess that her and my grandfather are the ones that introduced me to coffee for the first time. I’m pretty sure most kids associate ice cream and candy with a fun weekend at Grandma’s house. But that wasn’t me. For me, a fun weekend with Mommom meant my own special cup of coffee with breakfast. Now before you say anything, coffee might have caffeine, but it’s nowhere near as toxic as soda. I started drinking coffee before the age of ten. It is a tradition that I have continued with my own kids. My oldest is not very fond of it, but my youngest has inherited my love of all things coffee and coffee-flavor. She gets her one special cup of coffee every Sunday morning. A special treat for her, just like it was for me as a child.
It started as a simple cup of coffee with cream and sugar. This is the same way I started with my own kids. As I got older, I would introduce myself to things like lattes and Americanos (one of my favorites).I even became a barista at one point, and then did an internship with a coffeehouse for college. But any time I went to visit my grandparents, I could always count on that traditional cup of coffee to be there waiting for me. As much as I love the fancy stuff, coffee from Mommom was always good.
Raise a Glass…or a Mug
Last night, hours after learning of my grandmother’s passing, I found myself wanting to brew a cup. I didn’t need the caffeine. Sure, my eyes were tired from the sadness of the day. But really, I just needed that cup of coffee as a way of toasting to her memory. I poured the cup, added my cream and sugar, and sat by the Christmas tree alone for a few minutes. It was a great moment in an otherwise weirdly emotional day.
The passing of a loved one has a strange way of bringing up all kinds of emotions and memories. Some you want to remember, and some you don’t. I’ll be honest, there were times that my grandmother and I disconnected in so many ways. Some of our beliefs were different, and often times we viewed the world through different eyes. But after she was gone yesterday, I found myself remembering the good times way more so than the disagreeable ones. Flashbacks to cups of coffee and curlers in my young blond hair on a Sunday morning flooded my mind. Once again, my brain allowed me to be a little kid, and to remember all of the things that I loved about spending time with her.
She will always be part of my coffee origin story. And when I’m ready, maybe I’ll tell you how she’s part of my other origin stories, too. But for now, go brew yourself a cup of coffee. And remember this: when the end is here and only the memories are left, I can almost guarantee that the good memories will be the ones you hold on to forever.