John & Yoko photo © 1980 Kishin Shinoyama

THE TEAMAKER

by Yoko Ono Lennon


John and I are in our Dakota kitchen in the middle of the night. Three cats: Sasha, Micha and Charo are looking up at John, who is making tea for us two.

Sasha is all white, Micha is all black. They are both gorgeous, classy Persian cats. Charo, on the other hand, is a mutt. John used to have a special love for Charo. “You’ve got a funny face, Charo!” he would say and pat her.

“Yoko, Yoko, you’re supposed to first put the tea bags in, and then the hot water.” John took the role of the teamaker, for being English. So I gave up doing it. It was nice to be up in the middle of the night, when there’s no sound in the house, and sip the tea John would make.

One night, however, John came up with “I was talking to Aunt Mimi this afternoon and she says you are supposed to put the hot water in first. Then the tea bag. I could swear she taught me to put the tea bag in first, but…”

“So all this time, we were doing it wrong?”
“Yeah…”
We both cracked up. That was in 1980. Neither of us knew that it was to be the last year of our life together.

This year would have been the 70th birthday year for John if only he was here. But people are not questioning if he is here or not. They just love him and are keeping him alive with their love. I’ve received notes from all corners of the world to let me know that they were celebrating this year to thank John for having given us so much in his forty short years on earth.

The most important gift we received from him was not words, but deeds. He believed in Truth, and had dared to speak up. We all knew that he upset certain powerful people with it. But that was John. He couldn’t have been in any other way. If he were here now, I think he would have shouted so we can all hear it. That truth was important. Because without knowing all the truth of what we did, we could not achieve world peace.

On this day, the day he was assassinated for being a truth seeker and a communicator, what I remember is the night we both cracked up drinking tea.

They say teenagers laugh with a drop of a hat. But nowadays I see many teenagers angry and sad at each other. John and I were hardly teenagers. But my memory of us is that we were a couple who laughed.

Yoko Ono Lennon
December 8th, 2010
Tokyo, Japan.




Please share your Memories of John in the comments below.

More ‘Memories of John’ (2009) here.


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1,187 Responses to John Lennon: The Teamaker, by Yoko Ono Lennon. Please share your memories of John here

  1. Carl Anthony S says:

    thank you Yoko for sharing your stories and photo’s of you and John. I like the TeaMaker story , I am also English an now live in the U.S for 9 yrs just like John and not gone back home to visit as yet!!?
    I also make the tea for me and my wife who is American also from NY . she calls me Master Chaiwala because I make it so good. aha . I make tea at night time also before bed .
    I will be thinking of you and John tonight Yoko when I make the Tea. !!
    peace and love remembering John for all he gave us all here on Earth.. R.I.P JWOL..!!

  2. Rubén González says:

    I grew up with your music John, in my teenage years were my inspiration, you’re still up to this day to my 55 and I love you, thanks for everything.

  3. Mavis Vermaak says:

    John’s time on earth was short, but his legacy of hope, love and peace immeasurable and eternal.

    Thank you John, for your light, your words and your heart.

    May you rest in peace.

  4. Fred Duignan says:

    In 1964, I was in 6th grade. We were secretly passing around the yellow and organge labeled Capitol 45 of Love Me Do around the classroom like a secret love note written for everryone of us. Then in 67 with Sgt. Pepper life ramped up into an extended consciousness that led me all the way to my present position as a 60 year old painter of abstract paintings. I provide the materials, the canvas provides the expression, the painting tells the story. The Plastic Ono Band album was my favorite solo (with Yoko) project. Raw, heartfelt, leading to individual and therefore group awakening. The power of John’s honest approach to the post-Beatle music was always both conforting, confronting and a driving force for this artist. I always maintained that an artist’s greatness is measured by the change they bring to the culture. Joyce did it in literature, Ginsberg in poetry and John was part of doing it twice with the achievements of the forementioned turning points in my life. IMHO. TWICE in one shortened lifetime. Thank you for the mark left on my and so many’s lives, sir. Fred Duignan

  5. Cheryl Bianchi says:

    I lived in NYC when it happened. Felt my heart collapse. Saw a town and a generation brought to it’s knees. The stunning silence in Central Park a few days later was profound. While fully aware of his flaws, that John galvanized the multitudes with his messages of love, peace, justice, joy is his enduring legacy. Have met Julian. Have laughed with Sean. You bought me dinner in Los Angeles, Yoko. We shared art and words. The connection is deep and unending. Keep up your good works.

  6. John lives for 30 years in our hearts and he goes on!
    His songs and lyrics are the most important feelings we have heard.
    Blessings for you John and blessings for you too dear Yoko.
    With love,

  7. Sharon Cobb says:

    I am because he was.

  8. Michael Hadley says:

    In ”72” at a demo,
    I stuck my head in your limo,
    with love and with grace,
    you greeted my face,
    forever i’ll keep that a memo.

    Love & Peace, i ii iii
    together forever, John & Yoko

  9. Anders Wintring says:

    He was my hero, from Beatles whome i first saw on swedish TV 1963. Then i followed the Beatles and specially John and his way from young rebell to peacelover and the fight for peace. I still miss him and he will be in my mind for the rest of my days.
    Anders

  10. thanks for the message, yoko. And thanks for sharing your steady, gentle love for humanity all these years.

  11. Maribel Pintado Espiet says:

    I don't think we'll ever finish gauging the richness, the depth of John's contributions. His poetry, his politics, his music, his love, his emotion. At some level his presence remains. I grew up with him. I leaned to love. I protested injustice. I lived freely. His music and words were always there. No bullet, no amount of time will ever change that.

  12. John M Wood says:

    What a waste!
    RIP JWL

  13. Lady Ellen Brown says:

    RIP 30 years today………..xx.

  14. Lori says:

    The thing I remember the most about John beside his music is that he was a man who truly loved his wife. He didn’t care what other people thought and no matter what he loved who he loved. I married a man named John too. Like your John he spent quite a bit of time explaining why he loved me too. One Christmas I signed all of our Christmas cards Love, John and Yoko. Soon after that his brother called one night and said I got your card and you must tell me all about yoko and I’m sure she is a big improvement over Lori. John dropped the phone and told me what had happened and I think we laughed the entire rest of the night. Till this day he still says I love you, Yoko every night before we go to sleep.

  15. Magic77 says:

    Dear Yoko;Recuerdo cuando asesinaron a John, estaba en cama con gripe y fiebre, no fui al Colegio, tenía la radio encendida y escucho la noticia: “mataron a John Lennon” comencé a llorar, me levanté de la cama, comencé a correr por todo mi cuarto, lloraba, lloraba sin parar, vino mi madre a consolarme, fue terrible para mi, fue al mediodía en mi país cuando escuché la noticia. Hasta el día de hoy tengo la foto de Jonh en mi bibliotca.

  16. Trisha says:

    I thank God for John Lennon. His music and words taught me to love and know myself. He inspires me every day of my life.

  17. Marina says:

    Yo tenía siete años cuando asesinaron a John, y en ese momento no me enteré de lo que había pasado, pero recuerdo que poco después vi la fotografía en una revista de ustedes tres (John, Yoko y Sean) juntos, y el epígrafe decía algo así como “Esta fue la última foto que se sacaron juntos”. Aún no sabía de quiénes se trataba, pero me dio mucha tristeza.
    Conocí la música de los Beatles a los 11 años, y de inmediato me enamoré de ella, pero mucho más me gustó la de John como solista, un par de años después. Tenía casi todos sus cassettes. Durante muchos años (podría decir que incluso actualmente) fue mi modelo a seguir: una persona que no tenía miedo de decir la verdad, que se ponía de parte de los oprimidos y que apostaba a la vida. La Humanidad perdió a un gran luchador por la paz y el amor la noche que lo mataron. Ese es un vacío que nadie va a poder llenar nunca.
    Va mi admiración también hacia ti, Yoko, porque junto a John fueron pioneros en la lucha por los derechos de las mujeres, y gracias a ustedes yo heredé un mundo mejor.
    ¡¡Que Dios te bendiga siempre!!
    Marina, de Resistencia (Argentina)

    • Pablo says:

      wow Marina, a la misma edad y de la misma manera me enteré. Todo lo que dices, lo diría exactamente, nomas que desde Guadalajara, México. Gracias por compartir eso.

      Logré conocer a Yoko una vez hace 15 años a traves de un proyecto de arte digital en Los Angeles, y te quiero contar que Yoko se portó tan bien, tan amable y humilde.

      Junto a John y Yoko, seguiremos luchando por la paz y el amor.

  18. Hadley says:

    Of course, I am one of those who never knew John. I hadn’t even been thought of by then — in fact, my parents hadn’t even met each other. I’ve gone through most of my life with the faintest knowledge of The Beatles hanging around the edge of my mind. I really didn’t pay much attention to them until I was up late doing a project in sixth grade and had been loaned my dad’s iPod. I heard Paul’s Yesterday, and even though it’s pretty much a solo by Paul and nothing to do with John, it made me notice them all. Over the course of a few years, the songs slowly moved into my life. We even sang Imagine in chorus earlier this year. Everything came down to a week last fall. My science teacher/cross-country coach told me to check out Google that night. I did. It was an interactive doodle with John and Imagine playing in the background. I thought it was amazing. Later, I came to possess a copy of Remembering John Lennon, and was struck at the end by how much John seemed to…mean something, I suppose. To me. So I started listening and watching and, er…peace-i-fying. I’ve been looking up songs, slowly but surely, and watching movies, and just paying attention. I can’t say I know him. I never did and will never be able to claim that I know why he did this or that. And from the outside looking in, I can’t say what sort of person he really was, but from what I’ve observed, he was really intelligent and had a handle on what was happening and what worked and didn’t. Plus, he was funny. Anyway, it’s all affected my life profoundly for the better. Thank you.

    I love you.
    Hadley

  19. kmoran says:

    My memories of Yoko & John on Mike Douglas..the TEACUP inspired me to buy Garapefruit…thanks for the wisdom…
    Now Japan is the teacup..we must all help rebuild in enlightened ways.

    Communications technology gives us a glimpse, that some day war is not necessary…and there is no country…

    goosebumps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. harry57 says:

    as time goes on, am sure will be remembered as romeo and juliet of our day yoko keep smiling bless and good health

  21. love you says:

    In the clearing stands a boxer
    And a fighter by his trade
    And he carries the reminders
    Of ev’ry glove that layed him down
    Or cut him till he cried out
    In his anger and his shame
    “I am leaving, I am leaving”
    But the fighter still remains

  22. Ines says:

    Thank you, Yoko, for sharing.

  23. Águeda says:

    Although I am a girl of 12 years, you were someone who fought for PEACE. My father was the first invited me to listen to your songs two years ago. I’m still listening, translating (I am Spanish), and inviting my friends to listen too. And imagine all that you imagined.

    I also hope that some day people will give him an opportunity that many call it PEACE.

    Thanks John.
    For all these beautiful songs written.
    I think that legends never die, so
    JOHN LONG LIFE

  24. Joshua Woodford says:

    I’m only 19, but John has and always will be my idol and hero. Ever since i was young i was brought up with the beatles and i love them to today, which to be honest sets me apart from my other freinds, but my love of the beatles made me dig deeper in to each of the members lives, and Johns was by far the most interesting. As i researched John i found tragedy, pain and anger but i also found humor, love, peace and his ability to speak out and speak the truth. He truly was a great man, he brought peace and love to the world that is so angry and broken, his music was created with pure emotion that soothed the soul. I love you John Lennon. Thank you for what you have done and given to the world, you have changed my life and i am still only young. Thank you.

  25. @girodrigues says:

    I’m too young to say anything about John, i’ve never seen his alive, but i feel a good person on his songs, and i love him, i’m sure that he was a realy good person, i hope, some day i have the oportunite to see him, when i was not in earth anymore. Love from Brasil

  26. Doreen says:

    I absolutely love this story Yoko and just now posted to my friend, just before Christmas I was trying to remember how this story went when I was at her house and we were having tea… hahahaha

    Your stories are so from the heart that I feel so filled when I finish reading them. Thank you and have a Joyous 2011. It is one Christmas Wish I have is someday our paths will meet and I will shake your hand and say to you, Thanks.

    ~Peace Love Joy~

  27. Mike McShane says:

    Love Is an Art, And Your Love With John, Was A Work Of Art In Progress. Thank You For Giving Us Such A Wonderful Museum, Filled With What Your Union Has Created. Your Love With John Is Eternal And Should Be Shared… Like All Love Should. God Bless….And Grant Us All Peace.

  28. mary mahoney says:

    it is so clear why he loved you so – feeling his presence stronger than ever…the world continues to need you and John and the message of love and peace – thank you Yoko

  29. Štěpánka Tomášová says:

    Greeting from Czech Republic,
    I´m young, so I can´t have memories, but my parents and grandparents have.
    I´ll share theirs.
    I’d tell you about how we perceive John in my country. I think you don´t know our history but may be you will know USSR. We were 41 years under his rule.
    John’s messages to us was something more we believed in freedom. And he talked about it. The peace and love. It was for us a symbol of liberation.
    In our capital city – Prague, as soon as we heard about his death, we painted a wall, which we named the John Lennon wall and we did a demonstration in front of her. Demonstration against the non-free regime.
    Today we are Republic and we have freedom, but Lennon wall on Kampa is still alive. We teenagers write there messages for John. Like our parents. It´s something diferent but we feel John’s message as they did. And I think it´s good. Peace and love. Forever.
    Thank you Yoko for this memory. Here is mine. And I’m sorry if there’s anything wrong with my grammar … :-)

    • Yoko Ono says:

      Dear Stepanka,
      I was there at the wall in Prague and participated in the painting of the wall.
      I think it is a lovely idea and John would have loved it.
      yoko

  30. Maxim Rausenberger says:

    ‘A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.’ (John Lennon)

  31. Melissa Schmidt says:

    I just watched Imagine for the 2nd time and I cried again…. I so miss him and his music….. his music taught us all about love and peace. I see this world today as it is and how we are really destroying it and the living critters too. That recent oil spill killing all types of wild life and killing baby sea turtles… makes me sad so terribly sad.
    I just want you to know, that I love you as a dear sweet sister of this world. May the Peace that John wrote about comfort you and protect you.

  32. In my heart and my spirit tell me that John has never left us. Peace resonates through many people and in many ways. He helped me find peace and stand in my own truth. I stand for future generations in that peace as a native woman as a war veteran, I continue to be inspired by him and celebrate his birthday every year during our ceremonies. Thank You John for your continued message of Peace and thank you Yoko Ono for helping him become his potential and holding that space of peace on this side of the world.

    Peace

  33. stephen james says:

    Thirty years later after the horrible event, the US still has not got decent and strong gun control laws, and the rest of the world remains mystyfied as to why not.??

  34. Linda Galve says:

    Dear Yoko, I was only 22 when I heard the news about John.I had just come home from work when I heard the terrible news.At first I could not belive my ears and eyes.. I was in total shock… I thought to myself,No! that cannot be true.. It hit everyone hard. I was very young when i was a beatle fan..
    Even though times changed between the group, John did a world of good during the war.. I can remember when both of you held your bed-in’s. All of my friends followed John’s protest against the war in the 70′s.. He will always be with all of us.. Merry Christmas& Happy New Year

  35. Kris Sherwood says:

    Dear Yoko, I hope you read this as I’ve always wanted to share with you the dream I had two nights before the horrible night John died. I’ve had a lot of dreams with clairvoyant content but none so specific as this one and it’s had a lasting effect on me. I dreamed of a place that felt like New York City and a dark man hiding in the dark while holding John’s poetry book, “A Spaniard in the Works”, up in front of his face and peering over it. He seemed to be spying on someone. As you know, on the cover of that book John is dressed as a Spanish Matador holding a “spanner”. The title of it was John’s word play on the phrase “A spanner in the works.”, meaning something causing a problem of some sort. “Matador” in Spanish means “killer’. The book his murderer stood and held in front of his face that deadly night until the police arrived was, as many know, J.D. Salinger’s “A Catcher in the Rye”, one with an identical phrase construction as John’s book title. After I heard the terrible news in an interrupted TV broadcast in the US that night I instantly remembered my dream and chillingly knew it had been a foreshadowing of the unspeakable event. And that it had nearly literally said “John Lennon’s killer was “in the works”.” John and the Beatles had been such a formative force in my young life that it must have somehow helped my subconscious tune in to the collective consciousness of the awful danger at hand the night I had the dream. The meaning of my lifelong clairvoyant dreams has usually only been made clear after the event they seem to foreshadow. I’ve so often wished this weren’t so and could have somehow warned someone of the “glimpse” that I didn’t understand until after it happened.
    Love and continued wishes for the Peace you and John imagined.

  36. regina says:

    Hi Yoko, I understand you. I’m sure that they appreciate everything you have done for him. His legacy will live on forever.

  37. stephen james says:

    Hey Yoko, i bet if John were alive today he would be right on the side of Julian Assange and wikilieaks, exposing the truth and lies about war,diplomats,the hypocrisy of politicians,the lies politicians tell the people, the deceit of world leaders,the cover ups,and the lies about wars.

  38. cherry says:

    Hello Yoko, thank you for sharing your beautiful memory with John. In 1980 I was not born. Yet “The Tea Maker” first catched my eye when I was checking NY times headline on 8th earlier this month. I was deeply moved… I still clearly remember a strong vein of emotions came on to me when I visited John Lennon Museum in Saitama before its closing last September. At the time I just couldn’t help sobbing out of emotions… Every exhibit, those were just amazing… I miss the museum a lot & believe so do many others. I hope another museum or something at which we get to see those memories is on the way…! Again, thanks sooo much for sharing Yoko, Keep going Yoko we love you!!!

  39. Leasha says:

    Yoko,
    I am late to the party. I was three when John was shot. I do have a faint remembrance of the day. I remember the news talking about it vaguely.

    I became a ferverent John Lennon fan just recently. I watched a movie and at the end was Watching the Wheels. I had never heard it. I had heard Beautiful Boy in a movie as well. I started peeking into John’s songs and into articles about him. I watched Imagine and all sorts of John anything. I must say that his music from his Ledgend Album is my favorite. His honesty in song has been such an inspiration. I find it ironic that a man, such a famous one, has taught me so much about life and enjoying staying home with my children. Watching the Wheels sums up what I had been feeling about my choice to put my career on hold and spend time and raise my children. So many people look at me as if I had more than one head. I enjoy it, and I feel inspired that John did too.

  40. Dee says:

    The day the John died, I almost lost hope. Through the years I used as part of my signature, a quote of John’s that eventually led me to the love of my life, Tom,who shares John’s birthday date (October 9th) and stands in support for life on our planet. Together we now work for peace. October 9th will always be celebrated by me as the day that two beautiful and inspiring men were born, destined to change the world through their advocacy for peace in the universe. There is hope.

  41. Jacqueline says:

    Just watched “Imagine”…Now, 46, I grew up hearing what an awful person Yoko was…that she broke up the Beatles, etc. I have a new found respect for you, Yoko. You are an amazing woman, who loved and cared for her husband, providing him with the love, care and guidance he so desperately needed. You were, as he said, a part of him and he a part of you. A beautiful, but tragic, love story. The fact that you carry on with “ImaginePeace” just shows your commitment to what you two believed and the love you two shared. He needed you…and you were there. How amazing that is. Peace and Love.

  42. jumbilya says:

    what a beautiful piece. your husband will forever be remembered as one of the world’s greatest musician and songwriter who ever walked this planet. i find it an honor that he was able to grace us with his presence for as long as he did, and though his career ended much too early, i savor what he left behind. a legacy of peace and happiness. long live, john lennon. he asked us to go beyond our comfort zones and truly imagine the world as a better place. he asked us to take action where we could and speak out with what we truly had to say. in a world full of hate and anger, he stood out, bold and strong, willingly to dream the impossible and make it happen. it was a shocking burst of reality and tragedy when his death came, but his dreams and hopes for this world continue to live on through his fans and supporters. best wishes to you, yoko. you’ve done great work and i hope that you find peace with the rest of your life. it’s what you deserve.

  43. Amanda says:

    such a cute story AND picture =)

  44. Bob Valente says:

    December 8th puzzles me. It is the birthday of my late Mom who died from parkingsons and the day that the music died. I first heard of the Beatles when I was in 5th grade and it changed my life forever. I remember watching them On Ed Sullivan with my older brother and sister and my parents. My Dad said, they won’t last for 6 months. They death of John still haunts me 30 years later. I feel that I’ve been robbed of not being able to grow old with him. What could there have been? I now own an internet business and I named it in reference to John. I do not want to reveal the name as I do not want to make money from such a tragic day. You said things that were true that no one dared to say. 30 years later I still think about you every day. While writing this tears are flowing. I thank you for all the joy you and the Beatles music gave me.

  45. Umber Khan says:

    I was only 6 when John past. I didn’t get into The Beatles until around the age of 12. And I was only familiar with their early stuff because of the local ‘oldies’ radio station. It wasn’t until my second year of high school that I discovered their later library and their solo work. I remember watching the movie Imagine around the age of 17, around 1991. I remember weeping uncontrollably during the film when they documented his death. I couldn’t understand why. I didn’t know this man, yet I wept like I just lost a close family member. I kept this to myself until later meeting other fans of John and finding that they had very similar experiences. There have been other musicians whom have been a very big part of my musical upbringing that have past; Bob Marley, Kurt Kobain, Jimi Hendrix, etc. As great of loss to music as these musicians were, for some reason, the thought of their passing doesn’t strike the same chord. There was something very special about John’s ability to channel a very pure spirit of love in his music. I feel very blessed to have lived a life filled with his music. Thank you Yoko for helping keeping his spirit alive.

  46. Joshua says:

    This is not my memory, but one of my mothers as I was not even a year old at the time. She was living in an apartment above the general store in a town of 800 in Ontario, Canada (Frankville, and ironically named after my Father, whom was a Freddy as well). So that December night as she arrived home, late as it usually was to greet the babysitter and her son. She sent her on her way and settled in for the night, to watch some TV. As she watched the news she began to cry… And then I began to share her tears… Not knowing how the world had been affected I shared in the tears of my Mother and the world…
    I can only wish you a Happy Christmas, in what must be a hard time for you and yours.

  47. Steve Arnold says:

    One of my earliest childhood memories was going to a friend’s house and dancing to Beatles records. My family moved in 1965 when I was six, so that memory is from age five. The Beatles’ music and rebelliousness changed a generation. Thanks Yoko, for being here and honoring John’s memory. He was a hero to many of us.

  48. Rach Jacquez says:

    I wasn’t even born when this terrible loss happened, but I still feel it so much because we lost an incredible human being who was able to inspire millions with only defend his convictions. the world laments his loss and above all a wonderful woman has been separated from her soul mate and a sweet child (now a man) of his superhero.

  49. Dylan says:

    John helped me through the loss of love, addiction, youth, family and ultimately through the loss of John. His voice is still here, imploring us to face reality and love truth. Thank you Sean. Thank you Yoko. Thank you John.

  50. Ishie says:

    John … a man of many talents, thoughts, ideas & inspirations. A hunter & seeker of the truth. A sponge, willing to absorb & learn about the many facets of life. A son, brother, friend, husband, lover, partner and father. A multidimensional gift of a man who’s memory lives in the hearts, minds and souls of millions.

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