Nana looked her best. She wore stockings and a dress — never pants — and in the summer months a matching hat. Head held high, she made her way to the bus stop and travelled several stops into the city.
When Nana first started meeting her friends for tea, the city was the only place you could find a tea house. Eventually, you could find a tea house on every street corner, but they kept travelling to the city because that’s what they did.
She called it morning tea with the ladies. It was a years old ritual of four women — one of whom was my Nana — where they would sip tea, eat scones and jam, and share friendship. It was a morning of laughter and heart-to-hearts, where kindreds shared brag books, cake, joy, and the occasional pain.
Nana not only looked her best, but she also gave her best, accepting their best in return.
As a child I would laugh at my Nana, sitting on her bench in the hallway, talking to friends for hours. Just talking. Not cooking dinner. Not cleaning. But sitting. While talking on the phone and nothing else. I thought it was gossip. But she was being a friend.
True friendship can’t be multi-tasked.
We teased her for all the fuss and trouble she went to for her little morning tea gatherings. But fuss and go-out-of-your-way trouble are what it takes to make friendship work.
Now that Nana is gone I realise she was more than a doting grandmother; she was a friend to many. Proverbs says there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Nana was that friend.
Life has changed since the days of Nana’s morning teas, but friendship has not. We think it’s as easy as accepting a request on Facebook, but there is more. We can’t “like” our way into someone’s life. There are no random acts of friendship, only intentional ones.
I was pregnant with my second child when my Nana passed. I wanted to preserve her legacy by naming my baby after her.
I had a boy.
And I thought I lost my chance.
But what if there is another way? What if the legacy I live in her honor is much more meaningful than a name? What if the legacy for me to continue is one of friendship?
I’m an “out with the old, in with the new” kind of girl, but the one vintage accessory I choose to adorn is intentional friendship. It takes courage. It takes vulnerability. It takes love. It requires my best.
But I know I’m up for it.
You were a great friend, Nana. I will be too.
Related: Begin a new tradition with your friends and invite them over for tea and coffee in these beautiful mugs: Celebrate Friendship!Leave a Comment