This ceramic sugar jar was the one item in Mom’s home I knew I’d want to keep when she passed away.
October 14 last year, exactly one year ago, my mom died. It’s been a tough year for sure. But do you know what makes everything better? A warm cup of hot tea with milk and sugar at the end of the day. At least that’s what joy and contentment looked like for me growing up.
Mom was a single working mom for most of my childhood, with long hours. She was the editor of our local newspaper The Monticello News, and often needed to cover evening meetings or help with layout and editing on deadline nights. Friday nights she and I prepared items to be sold Saturdays at her cute little junk, art and antiques store, Bush Baby. We cherished our time together after all that to wind down and chat over tea.
That beautiful handmade jar represents to me all the beautiful things I loved about my mom: strength, beauty, courage, love, creativity, spunk, entrepreneurship, joy, and so much more.
I’m pretty sure she bartered with another artisan from the White Springs Folk Art Festival to get that gorgeous jar. So it also reminds me of the fun, wonder, music, art, independence, amazing food and cool waters of the Suwanee River I experienced on our annual trip to sell and demonstrate her crocheted rag rugs.
The jar reminds me of warm nights at home, drinking tea on the screened back porch after a cool dip in the pool; or cold nights before she had central heat installed, when the only way to stay warm was to staple blankets to the wooden plank walls to enclose the kitchen, then huddle with our tea around the open oven door like it was a toasty coffee table.
I remember so many beautiful moments in that house, in that kitchen, at that fancy round wooden table, over Lipton tea we made on that stove, in that shiny teapot, using sugar Mom kept in that precious brown jar.
I never really understood growing up how hard she worked, the many sacrifices she made and the hurts she quietly endured. She sheltered me from all that negativity and gave me a lovely, peaceful, confident childhood. It’s a gift I treasure even more than our beloved, artsy sugar jar. Continue to rest in peace, Mumzy. Thank you, and Happy “Mom Loves Me Forever” Day. I love and miss you.