Month of May: “Together: Our Community Cookbook” Recipe: Leila Hedjem’s Spiced Mint Tea

“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it out.” Song of Solomon 8:6

May 19, 2018 at 5 am. I set my alarm to get up in the dark and tune in to the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. I, along with millions of others watched an unprecedented historical event occur…the union of two people representing a changing of the traditional guard. A world where race, position and title did not matter. All that mattered was the love of two hearts. I recall from those early hours how high I felt listening to a black minister set Windsor’s St George’s Chapel on fire with his words of the power of all kinds of love, not just romantic love. He quoted Martin Luther King Jr who said, “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world a new world, for love is the only way.” I was soaring…internally I felt I had somehow permanently changed…that this sermon strangely had set me on a different course that would change my life forever.

Hours later, I would prove my intuition correct.

I received a call from whom I presumed was Abby as her name came across my phone. I couldn’t wait to share with her my internal shift I had felt that morning. I knew she would be interested. Our last conversation was cut short and we needed to re-connect and solidify my travel dates for a visit. Then I heard Rita, Abby’s daughter’s voice. “Rebecca, this is Rita. My mom died this morning.” Her voice was low, soft, shaky. All I remember after that is speaking in a voice outside of myself, “No, No, No, No!!!” Then Andy came into the kitchen asking what had happened. Rita needed to know if I knew of any living will or papers her mom might had stored away. I did not. We cried for a moment together and Rita said she would need to call me back. We hung up.

I fell to my knees and sobbed.

Meanwhile, right outside my kitchen window, at the same time, my magnolia tree and purple irises were in full bloom.

Ingredients: mint leaves, 1 clove, 1 cinnamon stick

  1. Take 3/4 cup of mint leaves and spices and add to a pot with 3 cups boiling water. Steep for 5 minutes and serve with 1 tsp of honey or sugar to sweeten.

2 Replies to “Month of May: “Together: Our Community Cookbook” Recipe: Leila Hedjem’s Spiced Mint Tea”

  1. How did I not know this Rebecca, the exact way it happened. I am so sorry for your loss of Abby. I knew she was very important to you and have learned so much more in this year of your posts. May her memory always be a part of you. Grace

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