I just made eggs for breakfast

Dear Rick,

I just made eggs for breakfast.

You used to do this for me every day before I left for work. You’d ask, “Do you want breakfast?” and I’d say, “Yes, please.” And you’d make three scrambled eggs in a small pan while I showered, and dressed, and ran to catch up because, as usual, I’d overslept.

Meanwhile, you’d already have put a frozen sausage patty in the microwave. When both the sausage and eggs were done cooking, you’d take out a small plastic bowl with a blue lid. You’d layer the sausage on the bottom of the bowl, topped by the egg, topped by some shredded cheddar cheese, then twist the lid onto the bowl and leave it sitting on the island. Then you’d get out a cold Diet Coke and place it next to the breakfast bowl.

When we were leaving for work, you’d say, “I’m going out to start the car.
I’ve got your laptop. Don’t forget your breakfast.”

It’s the memories of those mundane things in life that are the killers. The memories that make me want to drop to my knees in grief. The small kindnesses you performed for me all day, every day, every week, every month, for 21 years.

The simplicity of what you did in that five minutes as you prepared my breakfast and left the house speaks volumes. You loved me. You cared. You’d do the smallest loving acts of kindness, just to make my mornings easier. Just because you were you.

(And you knew just how much I hated mornings. You knew because you were my human alarm clock, my human snooze button, reminding me every ten minutes, “Gerry, get up.” “Gerry, it’s getting late.”)

I got up on my own this morning. I made my own breakfast. I didn’t want to eat, but hunger finally overtook the lethargy. I don’t ever want to eat again, to be honest. I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, shower, dress. I just want to disappear. I want to reappear wherever you are, and just be with you forever.

But I made a sausage and egg breakfast because I knew you’d want me to. I will live because I know you want me to. I will go on, but I will never forget the warmth of your love. I will go on, but I will never stop loving you.

10/6/2017

About the author

Katherine Billings Palmer is a technical writer, poet, and essayist from Garden City, Michigan. She’s won several academic writing awards, including first place in the University of Michigan Dearborn Critical Essay Contest for her work about poet John Donne: “‘The Sun Rising’: A Lover’s Boast.”

In 2017, Katherine’s husband, Rick, died of complications from small cell lung cancer. She wrote a series of poems and essays about her struggles to cope with her grief. I Wanted to Grow Old With You is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

Her latest book, A Widow’s Words: Grief, Reflection, Prose, and Poetry – The First Year was published in January 2019 and is also available on Amazon.com.

Katherine is a guest blogger for the Hope for Widows Foundation and writes about her grief journey at www.TheWritingWidow.com.

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