I can’t know exactly how you feel, but I’m willing to hear about it
People who have gone through a health event understand that their challenging and life-altering experiences can also be instructive. The experiences people have and the lessons they learn are different for every individual. And we can’t know how people really feel during these difficult times — we can only imagine it based on how we feel or have felt.
That is why I’ve learned to comfort with the universal sympathizing non-offender: food. It’s always a great get well soon idea.
Better, even, than the always-lovely gift of flowers, an offer of food says, “I can’t know exactly how you feel, but I’m willing to hear about it.”
And even if you can’t cook, you can always offer someone a decent cup of tea. Here’s how.
This tea is not a diet beverage, nor should it be. It needs to be very hot, very sweet and the lovely golden color that black tea becomes when it is enhanced with fresh lemon. To raise tea to an art form:
- Fill a very large, pretty cup with very hot water and set it aside to warm. It’s best if the interior of the cup is a light color, so the color of the tea can be appreciated.
- Boil 2 cups of water. (I usually do this in a 2- or 4-cup measuring cup in the microwave. Please don’t tell The Queen. If you’d rather put on a kettle, excellent.)
- After the water has boiled, immerse one English Breakfast Tea teabag (I like Twinings) in the boiled water and let it steep for 2 or 3 minutes.
- Remove the teabag. Don’t squeeze it! That makes the tea bitter.
- Add 3 tablespoons of sugar. You can use more or less, and feel free to use an artificial sweetener if sugar is a problem. But if it isn’t, part of the bracing quality of this tea is its strong sweet/tart flavor.
- Add the juice of 1/6 of a small fresh lemon, straining out all the seeds. With the addition of the lemon, the tea should take on a beautiful golden amber color.
- Check to make sure the tea is still very hot. If it’s not, microwave it in 30-second intervals until it is, but don’t let it boil.
- Dump the hot water from the pretty cup, and pour the hot tea in. Take it, on a saucer, with a pretty napkin and a cookie if one is handy, to the person who needs it. One look, one sip, will let him know you care and that you empathize with him.
- Should the person who needs tea happen to be you, follow the steps above precisely. Although we’ve come a long way from tea cozies, the age-old ritual (and a few invigorating sips) can do more than words to bring hope and healing.