THE TRAVELING TEACUPS

A while back, I wrote a story titled: Chipped and Mix-Matched. I enjoyed writing it very much and decided to write a second part. I hope you will enjoy the continuing saga of the chipped and mixed-match teacups.

                         The Traveling Teacups

Six months after John and Millie hosted a dinner party for four friends on a cold and blustery winter night, John passed away.

 Millie sat, stoically on a hot summer afternoon, surrounded by family and friends listening to Pastor Wainwright tell of the goodness of a loving man who started with nothing but ended with much more than wealth.

He spoke of John’s generous nature helping the homeless, driving those who needed treatment to doctor appointments and taking the time to talk to everyone he met. Pastor Wainwright glanced at Millie and continued, ” Millie, John might have been your angel, but you were truly his.”  Millie smiled as a tear meandered down her cheek.

The eulogy continued, praising a man who was loved by many. Then the pastor held up John’s pride and joy; his teacups.  His chipped and mix-matched cups. Pastor Wainwright shared the stories of each cup. When he finished, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.  Later, John was laid to rest, and Millie with her broken heart went to an empty house filled with loving memories of a man she loved with all of her heart.

Three days after her husband was buried, Millie received a phone call from John’s lawyer. The reading of John’s Will would be read in five days. There would be five people invited; Millie, guest one, guest two, guest three, and guest four.

Five days later, five people sat around the table waiting and wondering.  Soon Lee Scott, a family friend, and lawyer greeted everyone, then commenced to read the will.

To my loving wife, I leave our home and contents, business, stocks, bonds, cars, and bank accounts. Millie cried softly as her heart grieved for John.

Lee walked over to a medium brown cardboard box, picked it up, walked back to the table in front of the bow-window with sheer curtains that touched the floor, and gently placed it on the table. He asked guest one, guest two, guest 3, and guest 4, along with Millie to join him.

Lee picked up the will and continued. To guest one, and guest two, otherwise known as Jim and Cassie Davidson, and to guest three and guest four, otherwise known as Paul and Jamie Smith, I leave you the chipped and mixed-matched teacups that held a hot beverage six months ago on a cold winter’s night. Millie passed out the cups and saucers to each couple along with the unique story that brought each piece alive.  Then Lee finished the final instructions from John.

I am so happy to pass my teacups and saucers to each of you. When you arrived at my home for the dinner party and well before that, I noticed that you were driven by how much money you had and what it could buy you. Money ruled your life but not your heart.

I remember your expressions as you scanned the table and beautiful dishes, then spotted the chipped and mixed – matched teacups. Do you remember what you were thinking? I knew I had my work cut out for me, but my heart led me on.

I noticed your expression as I started telling the story of the cup you each had drank from. Millie and I saw some eyes rolling but then, a change, a tear welling, and more tears as I moved from cup to cup. With each step around the table, I prayed my words would touch your hearts.

When you left that blustery night, I was sure you had changed, even it was just a little.  Millie and I waited, and before long were hearing good things about all four of you. We were so happy to know that you all were making a difference in your community. Just think, it all started with listening to a story.

I was asked that night why I had chipped and mixed-matched teacups on my table. My answer; as a reminder of those who had little but gave much. Most importantly, they were a flicker of hope that Millie and I could give to those who were struggling, who had lost their way, and who needed to know that they were not alone.  And now it is your turn to share the story of the teacups.

I leave you with my final words. Take the cups and saucers, filled them with hot tea, put them on your table with your beautiful china, and tell the story that will change lives.

Then Lee said, that John had one more request; to stay in touch with Millie.  The two couples promised Millie they would always be there for her and thanked her for her kindness.

As Millie wrapped each teacup and saucer, she gazed at Jim, Cassie, Paul, and Jamie like a mother filled with love for her children.  She was happy the teacups would travel to their new homes, sit on a shelf and wait for someone who needed to hear the story.

When Millie gave them each a kiss goodbye, her mind went back to that wintry night and thought, they were lost but now were found.  Then as the two cars drove away, Millie looked up to heaven, waved, then blew a kiss to John. Her John who loved drinking his tea from a chipped and mixed matched cup.

Coming soon: Cassie’s Story