Carmelitta’s Tea Pot

August 19, 2012 § 1 Comment

Carmelitta's Tea Pot

Carmelitta’s Tea Pot

It’s Sunday. A full week since Carmelitta lay down for a nap and slipped peacefully off to her rest. She was a woman of strong opinions and even stronger personality. A small cap of whispy silver hair rioted around her head every time I saw her. I wondered at times if she was happy because of how forceful her very Sicilian personality was. And then I would see her unguarded, petting Lisa’s dog or admiring a fine piece of china and I knew she found joy in the simple things. The pretty things.

Carmel once browbeat me into eating an entire bowl of ricotta cheese. Not just any ricotta. This was made by “a real Italian man, not by a machine that shoved that crap into containers in a factory.” She wasn’t one to mince words and she claimed at her age that she didn’t have to. I loved her for that and for the small lessons she gave me about how Italian’s ate well. Biscotti with the coffee. That ricotta always in the fridge. Always a little something lovingly crafted. And above all, well presented. You used the real china and silver. Friends were worth it.

We missed Carmel’s funeral. A combination of work and bad luck caught up with us and quite frankly we overslept. But we went to the reception at her daughter Grace’s house and spent a few hours reconnecting and reaffirming the love of our friends and our memories together. The real china and silver were out. The crystal glasses too. And there was wine. Never mind that it was before noon. This was about friends, about family, and about our family by choice.

Before we left, Grace told us that we were each to take one of Carmel’s treasured pretty things as long as it had a rabbit involved. I chose her tea pot because friends are worth it.

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