As a young girl, in a church small group, I was encouraged to write a list of what I wanted in a husband. That list included things like a strong Christian, a spiritual leader, loves children, and enjoys ministry. It also said, "brings me coffee like Pepa." You see, my grandparents, Loyd and Opal Elrod, have always been an inspiration to me for lasting love. I had the extreme privilege of growing up with them two minutes from our home. I spent many nights in their home. As long as I can remember, and even before I was born, Pepa brought Mema a cup of coffee in bed every morning. I wanted a love like that. I can remember telling my Mema that and her saying, "well baby, you're going to be waiting a long, long time, because they don't make them like your Pepa anymore." I was young at the time and a little disillusioned with the opposite sex anyway. I was beginning to believe she was right. Many people were beginning to tell me to lower my standards. Pepa took me aside one day and said, "baby, you hold on to your standards, you deserve the best." So, I did. I held fast to my prayers for my husband and I held fast to my dreams of a love like no other.
This morning I went to Bible Study and Patrick played with the boys. As I walked out of Bible Study, thinking of heading home quickly to get Anthony to speech therapy, much to my surprise two little boys ran towards me yelling, "MOMMY!" My incredibly handsome husband was right behind them with a cup of fresh, flavored, hot, yummy coffee from my favorite local coffee shop. My small red head was yelling, "We surprised you Mommy!" Yes, they did! Not only did my best friend bring me coffee, he is teaching our sons about the way to have a lasting love (something he learned from his own father).
A few years ago I was asked to submit a recipe for a family cookbook. Here's the recipe for "Coffee."
A Whole lot of love
When I moved to college and got my first job in an office I was very excited. As I was leaving my interview my new boss said, “one of your jobs will be to make coffee for the professors every morning.” I said okay and left. I panicked. I didn’t know how to make coffee, but I didn’t want to look like an idiot, so I didn’t tell her that. I ran home and called my Pepa. Pepa said, “Well, the best coffee is made in a deer lease over a fire, but I guess you’ll have to do with a coffee pot.” Pepa told me to take three scoops of coffee and put it in the coffee filter, pour water into the coffee pot, and add a dash of salt to the coffee grounds. Then he said, “be sure to make it with love Angie.” He assured me I’d do fine and called me the next day to see how it went. I got hundreds of compliments on my coffee over the next year from various professors at Texas Tech University. Pepa taught me how to make coffee in 1992, but I really learned so much more that day. I learned that I had been watching Pepa make coffee for years and that he was really teaching me:
1. One of the keys of making a marriage work is doing little things for your spouse to show you care. Pepa took Mema coffee in bed for fifty something years.
2. He taught me that I deserved the best in life and encouraged me to hold out for a man that would love me enough to “bring me coffee in bed.” I found him, thanks Pepa!
3. It’s the simple things in life that count. You just couldn’t beat a good cup of black coffee for Pepa. It was “better than snuff on a nanner” to him. He didn’t understand the flavored coffee craze and he would cringe every time I put sugar and cream into my coffee. He always told me that I needed to drink it black because it would “put hair on your chest.”
4. Coffee is always better with a friend or a family member. Find someone to share it with and do it daily. I think his favorite coffee pot was at a paint store in downtown Eastland.
5. You should never leave anyone out. Always ask someone if they would like some coffee, even if you asked them last time and they said no. If they don’t like coffee, bring them hot chocolate in bed. Be sure to add marshmallows.
So, thanks Pepa! I had an amazing cup of coffee today. It's so much sweeter made with love. I love you Patrick, you truly are the love of my life.