The smell of the coffee was just too tempting. Samuel’s coffee pot began dripping. ¼ cup can’t hurt, I thought, pulling out the carafe as the first dregs filled the bottom. Samuel’s coffee is always way too weak but the first drips are like espresso, so my foolery over just a quarter cup is more like a full cup, but way better.

The GERD diet to protect against further internal bleeding banishes all acid containing foods including my beloved morning coffee. I’ve already given up bubble baths as they can supposedly add to the causes of UTI’s in older women. I am stubborn against giving up my simple pleasures. I will have my coffee and drink it too. 

Stealing his thick dark brew occurred a few times until my 70% less acid coffee beans arrived at the front door as promised by Amazon. Oh wowie, I’m in coffee heaven, which after a few hours turns into caffeine hell; zip, buzz, crash and burn.

I cut the five pound bag of Columbian with a five pound bag of decaf, not wanting to give up the zip but not wanting to fly to the moon either. I flew. Even cut in half, after drinking tea for weeks, and mind you, no chocolate either, not even my guilt free sugar free cocoa, the caffeine blew me away. Why are my hands shaking?

One very good and precious thing. It gave fuel to the inspiration to contact Stevie, the little brother I sent emails of protest to about his odd request for a donation for an abuser’s family, and even odder, his flight to Texas for the funeral; a sibling neither of us has had contact with for over 30 years…except about 12 years ago at our mother’s 85th birthday, a sort of reunion for a fractured ‘family.’

Stevie’s expertise in the business world far exceeds mine. He is a successful realtor with his own business. One includes managing vacation rentals all on various lakes in the Adirondacks. After my emails to Stevie, I could not get him out of my thoughts. And I could not bear another separation from him. When our kids were growing up we had a ten year estrangement which was overcome after the birthday reunion.

I was cleaning off the desk and came upon a scrap of paper which I must have removed from the drawer and was about to throw out but looked more closely at it. On it were the details of his newest business managing vacation rentals that he had excitedly relayed to me about three years ago, shortly after his daughter died. It included the web site. It seemed like one of those magical gems put in one’s path to lead you back onto it. A perfect way to re-connect and make amends. I couldn’t bear another ten year loss.

Within the day, he responded, and I’ve booked a week on a lake this summer. But more crucial, Stevie and I are OK, better than OK, our relationship for the first time is the most real and honest than it has ever been. Raw, open and exposed…but real. I have said, “This is who I am.” And he is still there.


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