I hardly ever get to see her. It is a busy season for her at work now and I barely get to hear her voice. The mug she gave me the last time I saw her sits on the cabinet, every day, I cannot bear to put it away.
When she was growing up, we had a red plate with a message on it. A white pen came with the plate so that you could write special occasions or achievements on the back of the plate recording the reason for the use of it on special days. We never wrote on the back of it. We never used it for those kind of days, we wanted it to be far more special than that. The pen is forever lost without ever having been used.
We believe that you are special every day so every one in the family could have used the plate every day, but we only had one plate. So, we, with joy would bring out the plate and surprise someone when we were setting the table on ordinary days. It was never planned, always random, always fun. It was one way of demonstrating unconditional love. It was a blessing to the recipient, one of our seven, to come to dinner and find the you are special today plate at their place at the table. Just because!
Sometimes the plate was set before a special visitor.
I was a young mom when I first used a red "you are special today" plate. Aunt Jane set her red plate at my place when I was a visitor in her home. I don't remember how I purchased our plate, nor do I know where.It might have been a gift from Aunt Jane. I really can't remember. It has been in our family so long it is part of home in our house.
Ashli, my daughter, was asked about family traditions by her mother-in-law, "We had a red plate . . ." she began to tell the story, minutes later, they entered a gift store and there was a table fully set with red dinnerware, all saying "You are Special Today". Cups, plates, bowls, pitchers . . . everything! Her mother-in-law had never heard of the Red Plate. Ashli had never heard of the whole set of dishes.
Ashli said that she wanted to buy the whole set, but of course resisted, but "had to" buy the mug for me.
When you come for tea, I will be happy to share my red plate with you and pour you a steaming cup of flavored tea in my new red mug.
Thank you, Aunt Jane, for sharing your red plate idea with me so very long ago! My family has benefited greatly. Thank you, Ashli, for purchasing a mug for me. When I see it I think of you and how special you are to me!!!