I love watching period dramas. I’m partial to a good mystery series. There’s one trope in period dramas that makes me “awwwww” in disappointment like a soccer fan when a goal is missed. Can you guess?
When the terrible evidence is discovered, someone drops a tea tray. Sometimes it’s only a cup and saucer. The key is, disasters provoke the immediate disintegration of china.
It’s been almost three years since my dad died, and I’ve been conscious of how swiftly time passes. Many of my friends have lost a parent now. When we’re gathered around our children, watching them blow out candles and widen their eyes over ice cream, I can’t help but feel the fragility in the moments. Our littles will hopefully outlive us all. They’ll be the ones remembering the strength in the arms that held them, the warmth that fades out of old photographs, the love that lit their birthday candles.
Teacups are the closest thing to holding memories in my hands. They are strong and fragile, warm and rich, or cold and empty. I set them out for friends and fill them to the brim with the best I have.
I hope to continue doing so for many years. I hope I get to watch my grandchildren break my china with the careful distraction of childhood. Perhaps I’ll even rejoice to see them off to their homes with my old cups in hand.
When I’m silvered over and it’s my turn to be the body in the library, I hope that whoever finds me is holding a teacup. I hope they drop it with a satisfying clatter. Then someone will come running. They’ll shake their heads at the poor old dear who left the world in quiet, and they’ll smile at the broken cup on the floor. “Gran always liked a bit of drama,” they’ll smile. Tears will disappear into sleeves. “Come on. Let’s get some tea.”