SUNDAYS WITH PAPA: More Than Just a Cup and Saucer

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FOREST LAKE CEMETERY (MindaNews / 06 October) — I can almost hear your laughter reverberating, Pa, because of all people, I am using your favorite cup and saucer this morning.

For those who do not know the story, they might be wondering what is with the cup and saucer that you would surely be laughing at me right now if you were still alive.

Brown and blue don’t match but this was the favorite pair of journalist Patricio Diaz when he asked for a cup of coffee. Photo by MARIA MARGARITA DIAZ

Well… first allow me to share two things about myself: (1) I have a particular liking to beautiful but inexpensive cups and saucers as well as dinnerware sets; and (2) I am a person who does even the seemingly mundane things with meticulousness and creativity.

As what Thomas Moore said in his book Care of the Soul, A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life “…to the soul, the most minute details and the most ordinary activities, carried out with mindfulness and art, have an effect far beyond their apparent insignificance.”

That said, I honestly did not like serving you coffee using your favorite cup and saucer. For me, the two simply do not match. Brown and blue, ceramic and plastic, and most of all, they both look so old already.

In the early part of the two years that I was blessed with to look after you, I tried using a different cup a few times but you would always end up getting irritated, so I backed off where the cup was concerned. I insisted, however, on using a different saucer – one that matched with the cup.

Reminiscing about those times when you would ask me where the blue saucer is and I would jokingly tell you it is gone, I remember you would tell me in return “Ay… ayaw na ni Girlie sa blue platito ko.” Furthermore, you told me that you like it because it is lightweight and it perfectly catches overflows.” I heard you but I still insisted on my choice of saucer because cream looks better with brown.

Life is indeed amusing. When you were still alive, several times I had thought of throwing away the saucer but for some reason I kept it. When you were still alive, it was just a cup where you drank your coffee; it was just a saucer that held your cup. Now that you are gone, I will never trade it for anything in the world.

Those two pieces have become the thread that tie us together. Those two pieces have become important things that allow me to continue our father-daughter relationship. Those two pieces reminded me today of one of the many lessons you have taught me: Things in life may not always be in harmony, but all things have meaning and purpose that will unfold in God’s perfect timing.

PS: Papa likes his coffee strong and creamy, with the cup filled to the brim with hot water, and stir to mix the coffee, sugar and creamer not just once but 10 times. Yes, 10 times. Now, I can almost smell the aroma of your coffee, Pa. .

(Maria Margarita Diaz is the middle child among nine children of journalist Patricio P. Diaz. The 93-year old Diaz passed away on August 29, 2019 after declaring in his hospital bed “I am dying” followed by “I feel better.”)

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