I usually drink my black tea in a mug, and always Brit-style with cream and sugar. Today, as I reached for my favorite mug, I changed course and uncovered my clay Brown Betty teapot to brew a full pot of tea. I slid open the china cabinet handed down to me by my stepmom and selected a cup and saucer, cream pitcher and sugar bowl from her Wild Rose Limoges china.

Such a simple act, but it flooded me with emotion as I was reminded again of my heritage in life.

I’m the oldest of five kids in a beautifully blended family and though Mom isn’t my mother by birth, she’s mother in my heart. Life put her on a path to wrap her arms around three little girls and their brave daddy, claiming them as her family. And, when another girl and a boy were added, her family and ours became complete.

Our parents have been gone just a few short years and the sting of our loss remains sharp. We still don’t feel complete whenever we gather around a table (which isn’t often enough) and we all speak of them often.

I do not take lightly the role that has been bequeathed to me as the oldest sibling  — to preserve our mixed heritage. Today, my reminder is found in a teacup and in remembering the woman who didn’t give me life but gave me a LIFE that I treasure. Thank you, Mom.

I wrote for 5 quick minutes (more or less) on the word LIFE, linking up with other bloggers at Five Minute Friday. Click over to read other essays.

Do you like to read?

So do I. From time to time, I mention here books that I’m reading or link you to reviews I’ve submitted elsewhere, such as last week’s review at The Perennial Gen.

I’ve decided to gather all my ramblings about books I love (and some I don’t) in one place. Under the tab linked in the sidebar and in my menu above, you can visit From the Bookshelf, a page dedicated just to books! I’m starting with a title I read in January and had a hard time putting back on the shelf after I finished (it was that good) — Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson. I’m also recommending a 2002 New York Times bestseller that I just read at the end of last year — The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. In the near future, I’ll be adding another title by Monk Kidd, When the Heart Waits. It had a profound impact on me, but I’m not quite ready to write about it yet. In my to-be-read stack is her book Dance of the Dissident Daughter. No doubt I’ll have words to say about that one as well.

Scattered among the books I plan to pick up or finish in the coming months are new releases by members of The Redbud Writers Guild. Where possible, I’ll be giving away copies of these titles as I review them. So stay tuned!

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