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A tea cup filled with memories

I know I have written about my Glamis Thistle cup and saucer before. But I want to share the story of a tea cup filled with memories because of a wonderful experience I had while operating a tea party catering service for the elderly and home-bound in North Carolina back in the early 2000s.

Royal Doulton - a tea cup filled with memories 1

This is fresh on my mind because a couple of weeks ago I attended my Aunt Ann's Memorial Service in Windsor Forks, NS. The Glamis Thistle cup and saucer was a gift to me from her in the early years of my tea business. In her 80s then, and living in Ottawa, she was very supportive of the work I had chosen to do while living in NC. She sent me the cup and saucer, and in a letter expressed to me how she would love to be a part of my catering business, and the best way she knew how to do that was to send me one of her cups and saucers to use when I visited the elderly in their retirement settings. I was deeply touched by her generosity, but not until I used it in a nursing home setting soon after, did I realize just how precious a gesture it was.

Margaret was turning 87, and her daughter contacted me to cater a tea at the nursing home for her. She was a new widow, and had recently broken her leg and moved into an assisted living home, so life was feeling pretty overwhelming. I was setting the table for 8 guests including her daughter and 2 granddaughters, making it pretty with flowers and delicate tea accessories, cloth napkins and 'teapot' napkin rings. Her family and friends arrived and took their seats around the table, leaving the seat of honour for Margaret. The nurse wheeled her into the room while everyone sang Happy Birthday. She looked at the table and seemed to be lost in her thoughts. I could tell that she was touched by the thought of a tea party in her honour. But then she picked up the cup and saucer at her place, the Glamis Thistle, looked at her daughter, and exclaimed, "My wedding china!" She proceeded to share the story of her wedding day with us, which led to more stories of others' weddings and a chain of memories around the table. At one point her daughter turned to me and asked "How did you know?"

Well...I didn't know. It was a coincidence. But a coincidence like that is what I call a 'God Moment.' It was her best birthday ever! Her daughter told me she would now go to the attic and get her china out, which had been packed away. Even her granddaughters learned something new about their grandmother! Sometimes the little things can make such a difference in one's experience.


I received word that Aunt Ann had passed away at age 94 this spring, it sent me searching for the Glamis Thistle in my china cabinet. I made a pot of tea which I enjoyed in my Thistle cup in her honour. Her little gesture of kindness is a story that I have shared many times now. It is a reminder that no act of kindness -- however small -- goes unnoticed.

Aunt Ann's memorial reception was held in a home of a cousin in Windsor Forks. When we walked into the kitchen, there was a tea trolley full of cups and saucers just waiting to be raised to toast a lovely lady whose thoughtfulness made a bigger difference than anyone could imagine.

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Do you have a teacup filled with memories? We would love it if you would share a story about it in the comments section below. Or if you prefer, maybe just make yourself a cup of tea in it this afternoon and join me in toasting to the many small acts of kindness in the world that make such a big difference! Cheers friends!

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