Tea

Tea and kluntje isn’t the same without milk, but it’s still pretty good.

We always drank tea with milk and kluntje growing up, usually at family get-togethers. Tea is comfort. Tea is family. Tea is home.

I’m drinking my tea with kluntje this afternoon and wishing I had some milk to go with it. It’s strong tea. German tea. It has a robust flavor when brewed properly, but I let mine steep too long today. It tastes almost…bitter.

Twenty-five years ago today, my mom passed away. I miss her every day. I wish that I could call her for advice. I wish that I could call her to ask about her day. I wish that I could remember her. I wish I had some milk for my tea.

It would be easy to become like my tea – dark and bitter. And for a while, I was. But as I sit here drinking my tea, wishing things were different, I’m reminded that even in the depths of darkness, there is still sweetness to be found. The cracked and broken shards of kluntje fill my mouth with sweetness. They’re strong, those remnants – they withstood the boiling tea.

The survived – and so did I.

I still miss my mom – I always will. But, like my tea, I am strong; I am robust. Like my tea, I can still bring comfort and joy. Like my kluntje, life has changed me – it has bent me, but it has not broken me. The hot water has worn me down, smoothed my rough edges, but it hasn’t melted me completely.

And I refuse to let it.

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