Tea Parties and Pumpkin Pie
Sharing tea parties and pumpkin pie is one of my favorite memories of the days I spent with Kamala at St. Joseph's. We had learned from Edward and from several of Kamala's friends that she LOVED sweets, and even had been known to have dessert as her main course in years past.
So I asked her one day shortly before Thanksgiving if she liked pumpkin pie. Her eyes lit up and she nodded, "Oh, yes!"
The Friday after that Thanksgiving and the day after every holiday our family served pumpkin pie, I would pack up my tea party picnic and toodle off to Castro Valley. I always had a special herb tea of peppermint, spearmint, linden flowers and rose petals that I'd prepare right before I left. I took especially pretty tea cups and plates, a sturdy but pretty teapot, a bouquet of antique roses, a lap tray with a pretty placemat, and the piéce-de-resistance --- the pie --- whipped cream and all.
When I'd walk in the door, Kamala would already know what I was up to (more stories about that later). She would be positively beaming! She'd pat the bed beside her, inviting me to climb up and join her. From her hospital bed, I'd pour our tea, but the real treat was watching her with that pie. From the first bite, she'd be in bliss.
When all the goodies were gone, we'd sit there just holding hands, enjoying the pleasure of being together, mostly silent, staring at the large photo of Yogananda that hung at the foot of Kamala's bed.
The Friday after Thanksgiving in 1997, I had the tea party all packed, but every time I headed for the door, I felt a strong "NO!" I couldn't understand it. I called my dear friend, Catalina, and we discussed the situation. We knew Kamala was very close to the end, and I felt it was Master saying, "No, don't go. Let her go." And I realized that my presence there could actually impede Kamala's progress toward her ultimate goal. So I stayed home. Another friend did visit St. Joseph's that day, and I hope she will tell her story here sometime.
Kamala passed on the Saturday after that Thanksgiving. And every holiday since, I have wished Kamala was still there, waiting for our tea party. But how selfish of me... I know she is happy now, with our Guru and the Great Ones.