Beat a Path to Tea

June 14, 2010

Yes. I know. I have been delinquent. I guess this whole routine is becoming just that – routine. Jack and I were talking last week* and I told him that I just saw having cancer as kind of like a part-time job. That one day we’d talk about it like that. “Remember that year you had to have cancer treatment?” as if we were saying, “Remember that crummy car you used to drive?” Anyway, that is not the point of this post. (And YES, there is a point – a BIG one in fact, so pay attention.)

Many of you have, quite patiently, waited for something you could do to support me during this new and unexpected phase of my life (please notice I did not say ‘lazily’ or ‘uncaringly’ or ‘with-the-best-of-intentions-but-without-results-ly’ or ‘we’re-really-not-so-close-and-I’m-sure-she-doesn’t-really-expect-something-of-me-ly’ or ‘I-know-her-mother-but-not-her-ly’ – it may be the truth, but I am happy to go ahead and believe you all are just being ‘patient’ instead!)

And please. By no stretch of the imagination do I mean to sound ungrateful. I have received delicious home cooked meals, hilarious cards, emails, voice mails – you name it. I also have not fallen so far off the ‘reality wagon’ to think that I am somehow easy to help! Hell, I could be drowning and insist I’m about to get the hiccups from too much air. I can be eating with my fingers directly from the soup can and shoo you away from the sink full of dirty dishes. Despite eating my share, I’m no piece of cake.

But put my brain to a task and everyone better watch out or step aside because this is where my stubborn insistence can serve us all well – and I have recently been rolling a conundrum around in my head.

You see, without crossing the “TMI” boundary, suffice it to say I have racked up a considerable karmic debt.

Some of you may know Thia McKann as, with her husband Chris, the owner of The Path of Tea http://www.thepathoftea.com/. What some of you may not know is that she is also a long-time volunteer at MD Anderson’s Department of Integrative Medicine and a health practitioner as well. It is through this work and my visits to her tea shop that I have come to know, appreciate and, ultimately, feel I owe Thia.

On a recent visit I asked how I could ever repay her kindness and generosity. She simply replied, “Live.”

Well, I thought I’d try to do her one better than that. And yes, this is where you ALL, with ALL your good intentions, come in as well. (Told you – my brain? Two birds / one stone / feast.)

I am asking you all, whether you like tea or not, to visit her store. Hell, I’m not a tea drinker, but have greatly enjoyed everything she has given me when I walk in and say, “Give me whatever you think I would like – with a cupcake.” So…

If you are in the neighborhood and alone, take a chance and see who you meet (or, if you’re a big chickenshit like me, just go in and buy something), or…

If you’re meeting a friend, meet there, or…

If you’re with a friend already, stop by and take a few minutes to have a face-to-face (what a concept) conversation, or…

If you’re not in Houston, visit her website and have something amazing delivered to your doorstep – or someone else’s doorstep – or a perfect stranger’s doorstep – I don’t care.

There’s no excuse to not go – so go.

And tell her Tina sent you and that, through your patronage, you were thanking her for everything she has done for me – and thus, for you.

That’s what you can do for me. And you. And Thia.

~ Tina

* Jackson and I stayed up until 6am the Saturday before last talking about life, the inner workings of the minds of middle-school girls, love, growing up, cancer, finding meaning… Of course, we had to be re-fortified at 4:45am with a Shipley’s Doughnuts run. It was only as my bedroom started to come into focus with the early morning sun that we snuggled up, nose-to-nose and holding hands, and fell asleep. And you all wonder how, having cancer, I can still feel like the luckiest woman alive? Puh-leez!

Are you still here? What are you waiting for?! 2340 W. Alabama between Kirby and Shepherd. Shoo!

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