Susan held up the metal teapot and cloth tea cozy that belonged to her Scottish grandmother.
“Tea was the answer to every problem,” she said. “If you weren’t feeling well, my grandmother would say, ‘Let’s have a cup of tea.’ If you broke up with your boyfriend, she would say, ‘Let’s have a cup of tea.’ We would have tea, and everything would be much better.”
She paused briefly, then continued. “Of course, it wasn’t the tea itself. She had a whole routine of making the tea, then we sat down together, over cups of tea, to talk.”
Last week, I got to participate in a session run by Health Story Collaborative. The Health Story Collaborative is founded on the theory that there is healing in telling your story and in listening to the stories of others. The WBUR CommonHealth blog wrote up a summary of the session.
I shared my story, and the session felt so intensely personal that I wasn’t going to write about it here. The evening was filed with authenticity and laughter, and the energy that I felt afterwards left me wanting to just be with it. I didn’t want to check texts, emails or Facebook – unusual for me. Others who attended felt the same way. That gift of life force energy carried me for days and I continue to hold it in my heart. I didn’t want to do anything that might dissipate its special, powerful impact.
Then on Tuesday, I got my tumor marker measured. Over the past months, it has been going down, bit by bit, maybe 10 points or less at a time. Though the doctors label that “stable,” I am grateful for each drop.
This time, though, it dropped from 340 to 290 – a reduction of 50 points, or almost 15%. That is significant.
So, I’m stepping out of my silence to say, find a friend and take out the teapot. Share your stories, and listen with your heart. These seemingly small things make a big difference in our world.