Up@dawn 2.0

Friday, May 1, 2015

Aaron Smith Section 12 Group 1 Final Post

I have decided to write a “This I Believe” essay. My essay is on how to make the perfect sweet tea, because out of all the simple pleasures in life sweet tea is one of the best.
Life can be tough, and at times overwhelming. There are times when you might have so much on your plate that you don’t know how you could possibly make it through the day. When you are down, and there seems to be no way to get back up, there is one simple solution I always like to remember: a cold glass of sweet tea can get you through almost anything.
Growing up, it was a sin not to have a jug of sweet tea in my house at all times. The tea we made was a recipe that had been passed down since before my time, and that I learned from my grandmother. It was the perfect beverage to cool you down after a long day at school, during a hot summer day, or just when you need a little cheering up.
How to make the perfect sweet tea was not the only thing my grandmother taught me. She lives and breathes by the word of God, and she lives it every day of her life. She has taught me since I was a child to love the way God does, and that if I am ever in distress I can turn to him for answers.
She also taught me how to enjoy life. She has a remarkable ability to remain joyful through anything. Even in times of sadness, mourning, and heartbreak, she still has joy in her heart, and she transmits that joy to everyone she knows. She has always conveyed that joy to me through pecan pie, chocolate cake, and of course sweet tea. That is the first ingredient in the perfect sweet tea: joy.

My grandmother has had an enormous impact on my life. She has helped raise me to be the man I am today, and I owe a lot to the values and lessons she has taught me throughout the years. One of the most important to her, love is one she has never strayed from. She clearly tries to love everyone the way God loves, wholly and unconditionally.
She taught me that in order to experience joy, you must be able to love. The two go hand in hand. If ever I needed to see what true love was I could look to her and the way she loved her husband, my grandfather. I have never seen two people that love each other as much as they do, but I have experienced the love that they have for me.
Even during the times when I didn’t show my grandmother love, whether I was upset from her scolding me or if I was just being selfish as most children sometimes do, I knew without a doubt that she loved me. I also know that she will show anyone the same kindness whether they deserve it or not. I can only hope that one day I can love the way she does.
She puts the same care and compassion into everything she does. Whether it’s vacuuming the floor, giving life advice, or making sweet tea, there is no question that it was done with love. This is why she had such joy, because she loved so much, and that is the second ingredient in the perfect sweet tea: love.

The perfect sweet tea can get you through the toughest of situations. I have learned these things from my grandmother throughout my life by her example. Without her I would not truly understand what they mean or what they are like, but I experience them every time I take a drink of sweet tea. I believe in these things because I look up to my grandma. I believe she was truly happy, and she wanted to bring happiness to everyone else’s lives. I want to one day be as happy as she was on Earth so that I can rest as happily as I know she is now.
Truthfully, there is no closely guarded secret recipe on how to make the perfect sweet tea. All it really takes is some tea and a lot of sugar. You can make it however you like it, but my perfect sweet tea consists of my grandma’s joy and love. It is made up of my childhood, my grandma, and the lessons she has taught me.

I will never see her face or be able to hug her again because she has passed away, but I will always be able to feel her love, be joyful like she was, and drink her tea. I will also be able to pass it down to my children and grandchildren as she has passed it down to me.


  1. The tea is for you a tangible reminder, and a link between generations. We need those - even if we don't like sweet tea!

  2. My grandmother has made a huge impact in my life as well, and to see someone else just as impacted is a great comfort.