It’s time to begin the planning for my Fifth Annual Mothers’ Tea, a tradition formed when after losing my mother to the Lord (now 9 years ago), created an intense void especially around Mother’s Day when I would normally plan a special way to spend the day with her, but no longer can. Each year I invite friends who have also lost their mothers, for an afternoon tea of “remembering our Moms”. (See the blog’s category Tradition and Tea for previous posts).
The first tea was an introduction to this annual tea with no specific theme. At the 2nd year’s meeting, I decided to add another tradition to the tea that I hoped would generate new topics of conversation and continue to draw new memories to the surface of our mothers from year to year. Each of my guests names were written on a piece of paper, folded and placed in a teapot. At the end of the tea we pulled a name and that friend’s mother would be honored at the next tea with a theme that represented one of their passions.
In the years that followed our honored mothers had the the following themes:
“Stitching Together-Seamstress” Memories of Mom – A seamstress theme.
“Mother’s Life of Service-Nurse” A nurse theme and
“A Little Racey, Beachy-Peacock” A colorful Mom who loved Nascar, beaches and whose last name was Peacock.
To prepare for each year’s celebration, I provide a questionnaire in order to collect information that will inspire the table and menu. It also questions the mother’s favorite flowers, food, interests and passions all meant to help inspire my tea and it’s theme.
This year’s honored mother, Cintra Pemberton, after her divorce, became an Episcopalian Nun who devoted her life to serving and practicing the Celtic faith. As part of her service she traveled the world on faith based pilgrimages, her favorite location being in the British Isles, especially Wales, a place well known for the afternoon tea. Based on this information, my theme for this year’s tea will be “Travel Journeys Steeped with Faith”.
When I asked about flowers, my friend (Pemmie) said she was unsure of her mother’s favorite, but that she loved to garden and had a green thumb. Wherever they went her mother could name all of the flowers. She said that for some reason she associated her Mom with Spring flowers, such as narcissus (that I currently have growing in my garden, hoping to have multiple blooms ready by the first week of May), rhododendron, wild flowers and daffodils; but if she had to pick one, she would have to say yellow daffodils as well as the color yellow.
Pemmie also shared a memory of tying green ribbons around daffodils as a gift to trip attendees. When her mother passed away, St. David’s Cathedral in Wales, planted a plot of daffodils in her honor at the entrance of the Cathedral. What a beautiful gesture in memory of her mother! St. David is the patron saint of Wales, and died in 589 AD. The Welsh celebrate this saint by wearing emblems such as the daffodil pins, or the Welsh dragon and hold an annual celebration in his honor on March 1st.
While the beginning of Spring is plentiful with daffodils and tulips, by the first of May, fresh daffodils are nearly impossible to find. I won’t be able to count on finding them for the actual day of the tea, but wanted pictures for the blog using the symbolic flower while they were in season.
A simple invitation which includes a photo of our honored mother was mailed out the first week of April (a month out from the scheduled date) using this decided theme.
While the table plan is not yet complete, I made place cards using some clip art in the yellow that represents both the color that Pemmie most associated with her mother Cintra, her Celtic Faith and green ribbon as used in those lovely daffodils bouquets.
In the coming weeks, I will begin to put my table together and form the tea menu that best represents not only our honored Mom, but a little of each mother that we are remembering on this special day.
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