It’s been over a month since I wrote anything of meaning.  Like running, sometimes I need to just get out the door and start.  That’s the hardest part.  As I prepare to metaphorically push myself out the door,  I snatch my coffee cup from the microwave.

Yep, I warmed up stale coffee from earlier in the day.  It’s not the greatest, but it will do for the task at hand.

There it is!   The inspiration I’ve been seeking for my writing.  Mom.  I need to write about Mom…

When I was about 8 years old, I started to realize that my Mom would frequently recycle her coffee.   Many a weekday afternoon, she would seek a few minutes of sanity in a cup of rewarmed joe.  At the time, I was vocal about sharing my youthful disgust. Now, I’m finding my own sanity and inspiration in that half-day-old mug.

In addition to finding joy in the marginal taste of recycled coffee, here are a few other life lessons I’ve learned from my Mom.

Sense the need for humor…

I burst through the door frantically asking her, “How do I turn this off?  How do I turn this off!”  The this just happened to be a water sprinkler.  And the sprinkler happened to be in my hands.  And we happened to be standing in the middle of our kitchen.

As you can imagine, every square inch of the kitchen was drenched. What a flippin’ mess!

My Mom’s reaction?   She laughed.  She found humor in the ridiculous situation that easily could have dampened her spirit.  And it was honest humor; not false laugher to hide the anger.  She found hilarity in the drama that I brought her.  As a result, my Mom kept the situation light.  In doing so, she also created a meaningful imprint on my life.

Seek the quiet…

My Mom would regularly seek time alone to recharge and rejuvenate.  I recall her sneaking away for a few hours on family vacations to sit silently at a picnic table in a park.  By herself.  She needed this to reset.  She used the solitude to strengthen her will to happily tolerate more endless calls of, “Hey Mom…” and “Mom watch this…”

Though I can’t be sure, I believe many of her poems were also written after these moments of quiet reflection.  In this age of hyper-connectivity, it is more important than ever to listen to Mom’s advice.  We develop our soul, creativity, and authenticity in these selfish, yet selfless, moments of solitude.

Savor the sunset…

I cannot witness a sunset without thinking of my Mom.  She particularly adored a late summer sunset over the bay.  It was her time.  She loved the bright colors.  She loved the calmness.  She loved the message.

A beautiful sunset is both an exclamation point on a day well lived and anticipation of what’s to come.  But far more important, it’s a reminder to live in the present.  To savor a sunset, you must stop and observe as it slowly unfolds before you.  You can’t rush its enjoyment.  You must be present and be patient.

Wisdom from Mom
Wisdom from Mom

Today marks four years since the sun set on my Mom’s earthly presence.  However, she continues to raise and shape this son through her words, wisdom, and memories.

Like coffee… good memories can be rewarmed, enjoyed again, and learned from.

Sense the need for humor.  Seek the quiet.  Savor the sunset.

Oh, and keep the sprinkler outside when it’s on.

Enjoy today!

~ Mark


6 thoughts on “Why I Drink Rewarmed Coffee

  1. Oh Mark. My husband rewarms his coffee throughout the day! Love your comments about your mother. Me: I savor the sunrises. The cool quiet of the day as the orange streaks of sun color the horizon give me peace and joy. I particularly love it in the spring time when the Sandhill Cranes have returned to our woods from their winter migration and greet the morning with their songs and voice.

  2. Mark, this is my favorite article so far that you’ve written. I got a little teary eyed as this month is the anniversary of my dad’s passing and next month is my mom’s. Your mom sounds like she was an amazing woman. How blessed you are to have her written words. I’m sure it’s like having a glimpse into her soul when you read her poems.

  3. Inspirational and very well written. What a great read … and a great way to kick off my week. Thank you, Mark!

  4. I toast you and your mom with a cup of re-warmed joe. Lovely reminder to take time and enjoy the sunset.

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