The writer of this story gave Breath of Life Women’s Ministries permission to post but asked to remain anonymous. We thank the writer for allowing us the privilege of sharing their heart-warming childhood memories.
Note from writer: This is a true story that has been pieced together from old memories of my life growing up with my grandparents.
When I was a kid, I stayed with my Mom’s parents (who were in their mid 70’s) much of the time in their old house in the Eastern NC country across from a train station. At night, as I slept I could hear the trains rumble by as I buried myself deep in an ole featherbed in the “front room” of the old “shotgun” style farmhouse to keep warm.
One cold winter morning my Grandma was making breakfast in the kitchen while Grandpa and I warmed ourselves by the old pot belly stove. Grandpa could not hear well and he always turned his radio on loud while Grandma made breakfast so he could find out the news. Many times the news would be about the weather or robberies or whatever and Grandpa would think they were talking about our area or somewhere close by when in fact it the announcer would be talking about Nebraska or some other state. Grandpa didn’t understand this radio “contraption” so he would talk to the neighbors that day about the storms coming which I always thought was funny but never told Grandpa.
One morning, Grandma placed a cup of extremely black strong coffee in front of my Grandpa. (Grandpa loved his coffee but always said it wasn’t fit to drink unless it was weak enough you could see the spoon at the bottom of the cup). He would pour it into his saucer to let it cool. After it “cooled a spell” he would sip the coffee from his saucer making a slurping sound.
I remember waiting that morning as Grandpa listened to a story on the radio to see if he noticed the black strong coffee!
Yet all my Grandpa did was reach for his coffee, smile at my Grandma and ask me how my day was at school. I don’t remember what I told him but I do remember watching him pour that black syrupy coffee into his ole cracked saucer. He sipped his coffee that morning just like always and never made a face nor uttered a word about it!
When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my Grandma apologize to my Granddad for making the coffee so strong. And I’ll never forget what he said: “Honey, I love black, strong coffee every now and then.”
Later that night after Grandpa sang me hymns including “Peace in the Valley” by the old coal fireplace, I went to kiss him good night and I asked him if he really liked his coffee black and strong. He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Your Grandma put in a hard day of work in the garden and tending to her chickens today and she’s real tired. And besides – a little black, strong coffee never hurt anyone!”
As I’ve grown older, I’ve thought about that many times. Life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people and I will be honest here. I have always been the first one to find fault and point my finger. I’m not the best at anything much but have always expected others to be. I’m like many folks. I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else.
But what I’ve learned over the last few months in my life is that learning to accept each other’s faults, and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences, is one of the
most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.
And that’s my prayer for you today… that you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He’s the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a black strong coffee isn’t a deal-breaker!
We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child, brother-brother, sister-sister or any other friendship!
So, please pour me a coffee, and yes, if it’s black and strong that will do just fine.
And PLEASE pass this along to someone who has enriched your life.