Mourning Continues at Caribou

IMG-20120107-00081Last week, I went to my local Caribou as the huz, the girl, and the boy wanted coffee.  I wanted to purchase my personal beverage of choice as well, and there happens to be several convenience stores between my house and the Caribou headquarters store…which just so happens to be the closest and best Caribou around.  Imagine that!

IMG-20120107-00082I was super happy to discover that Caribou thinks very highly of itself and promoted its latest “big deal” moment – becoming a Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee distributor.  Do you know what that means?  Well, because I did not, I had to find out…Google to the rescue!  According to the website for the Rainforest Alliance, “Farms that meet the comprehensive criteria of the Sustainable Agriculture Network earn the right to use the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal.”  In case you are wondering, Dunn Bros Coffee has this but Starbucks does not.  The Rainforest Alliance website has a list of all of the companies.

The bigger deal of the day hit me smack dab in the middle of my head after I had ordered and moved to the pick up counter.  I turned to my right and saw the sign below.

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I believe that I am a horrible person for thinking the first thought I had when I saw this which was, “Sure must be nice to be able to have coffee with your mom. Count your blessings, Jennifer.”  I cannot believe that I just admitted that on the internet, but I am going to leave it. Some people are under the illusion that I am a nice person.  Not always true!

My next thought was sort of melancholy as I thought about how cool it would be to have written that myself.  I then realized that I could have easily written something to that effect except that I do not like coffee, but Caribou does serve my favorite beverage (just be sure to finish it before leaving the shop otherwise you realize that it is coffee-flavored Coca-Cola once you are outside). In fact, I am quite sure that we frequented Caribou in the few months before Mom passed away when she would come to visit us.

Mom was a coffee drinker. When she would visit us on the East Coast while the huz was in seminary and “her grandchildren” (aka – the girl and the boy) were young, she would always find a place with coffee.  There is a gas station off of one of the exits on Route 128 in Massachusetts where I recall quite vividly that Mom purchased a coffee drink and shared it with the girl.  Guess what?  The girl LOVES coffee…she even has a personal one cup coffee machine so that she can take her mug to school.  Thanks, Mom.

Mourning, even after over eight years, finds me in the strangest places. Grief is the unwelcome visitor that creeps in the recesses of our minds. We may not notice it all of the time, but it is there…waiting…watching…and then barreling out of hiding with a zinger – like in a simple memory written on a chalk board in a Caribou Coffee shop.

I did not cry.  I did have that nasty catch in the back of my throat and the hot tears flaming in my eyes…but no tear spillage.  I gulped hard and smiled…knowing that memories are good, that lost future memories are not to be, and that hope comes in the morning – on that glorious day when Christ returns, brings all mourning to an end, and reunites us all with each other as well as Himself.

Praise be to God!

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