The Menu

Every year for 19 years I made Kim the same thing for Mother’s Day.

She asked for it on our first Mother’s Day and each year asked for it again.

“Our” first Mother’s Day.

I always thought of Mother’s Day as something that Kim and I celebrated together.

I remember our first Mother’s Day and I remember most of the last ten – the ten since Elena died.

Maggie would come down after Kim and I had eaten and she would eat while Kim sat with her and finished her cup of coffee.

But Kim would have eaten already.

She’d come downstairs while I was finishing up.

She’d stand in the dining room and read the card I’d made for her. She’d come in and give me a hug.

“What do you want me to do?” she’d ask.

“Just sit and read the paper and enjoy your cup of coffee,” I’d say.

“Thanks honey,” she’d say.

I’d hand her the coffee with just the right amount of half and half. She’d sit down with the paper. I hated the paper but she liked it so I brought it in for her.

I’d go back to cooking. It was better that she wasn’t in the kitchen – I had so many pans and bowls in use. Even though I cleaned everything up, she rolled her eyes at how many things I used when I cook.

I’d prepare her plate and bring it out.

“Don’t wait,” I’d say.

“That’s ok,” she’d say.

“No really,  mine will be a while – eat while it’s warm.”

I’d stand there to make sure she did.

“How is it,” I’d ask.

“Really good,” she’d say.

I’d go back to cooking. The next two would be hers as well.

“What about you?” she’d ask.

“I’ll eat, but you might as well eat these.”

Mother’s Day was one of our favorite holidays. A morning we would spend together. A meal I would prepare for Kim and enjoy by watching how much she loved what I made her.

After Elena died, Mother’s Day was about both life and death.

The separation between the time that we spent together and the time when Maggie joined us was like a division between us observing the day with memories of our dead daughter and celebrating with our living one.

I can’t imagine Mother’s Day without Kim.

Kim was something special before she was a mom but she just became so much more amazing once she had children.

We spent a long time discussing whether or not we wanted to have children. For a long time Kim wasn’t sure.

That’s still so hard for me to believe – she was such a great mother. She didn’t lose herself in her children. She was still a great wife, friend, co-worker, neighbor, … all the things that combined to make her who she was. She didn’t lose herself in her children – she brought all those parts of her to being a mom.

I can’t imagine Mother’s Day without Kim.

I suppose if I stop and think about it, I still can’t imagine any day without Kim.

I suppose if I stop and think some more I realize that I still don’t live a day without Kim.

She’s not here. I don’t talk to her. More importantly, I don’t think she talks to me. But her memories are everywhere.

This weekend is going to suck and there’s nothing you can do about it.

If you try to be nice to me about it, I’m likely to snap at you.

No offense, but you’re not enough and the nice things you have to say aren’t enough. They will just annoy me.

You know what will annoy me more? If you ask me how I’m doing.

I’m already not doing very well.

It’s going to be Mother’s Day and I’m very grateful that my mother and Kim’s mother are still alive and doing well.

But Maggie’s mother isn’t.

At some point my focus on Mother’s Day shifted from my mother to my wife in her role as mother.

Kim and I celebrated Mother’s Day together. And this year we won’t.

I considered making the same meal I’ve made for nineteen years. But that was the meal I made for Kim. And Kim won’t be here.

It’s like the life has gone out of Mother’s Day.

My breakfast will just sit there and get cold.

Published in: on May 11, 2017 at 8:29 am  Comments (4)