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 wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. I, along with millions of others watched an unprecedented historical event occur in the union of two people representing a hopeful changing of the traditional royal guard. A world that possibly could be more inclusive. 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 St George’s Chapel on fire with his words of the power of all kinds of love, not just romantic love. He quoted the verse from Song of Solomon above about love being as strong as death. 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 in an odd way that somehow I permanently changed…that strangely this sermon had set me on a different course that would change my life forever.

Hours later, those feelings would prove my intuition correct.

I received a call from whom I presumed was Abby as her name came across my phone’s screen. I couldn’t wait to share with her this crazy internal shift I had felt that morning. I knew she would be interested. Our last conversation was cut short and we needed to reconnect and solidify my travel dates for an upcoming visit.

Then I registered it was Rita, Abby’s daughter. Her voice was low, soft, shaky. “Rebecca, this is Rita. My mom died this morning.” All I remember after that is whimpering 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 will or papers her mom might have filed away. I did not. We cried for a moment together, then 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 in the clear morning May light, at the same time, the large magnolia tree and purple irises were in their full bloom and glory.

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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