Just a Story, based on a Kitchen

Maurice's kitchen

While talking, a man and his wife enjoyed their morning cup of coffee in their rather small kitchen. They were content there, with its cozy feel and just enough space for the two of them.

Their kitchen had become their place, a place to reminisce about days long past. And to dream. Dream about what will be.

They talked about how they had met fifty years previous, and were married within the month. They talked about their five children, each of whom had moved on, living their own lives, and how proud of them they were. The man and his wife talked about their love for each other. A never-ending endearment that began so long ago.

One morning, the man rolled out of bed, smelling the aroma of their morning brew. He gently guided his feet into his worn slippers then headed to the bathroom to wash his face and brush his teeth.

Not long after, he found his wife sitting at the kitchen table, with a pained look on her face, clutching her chest. He could see that she was trying to say something; instinctively he knew he needed to call 911.

She was having a heart attack.

While the dispatcher listened to the man, he rushed to his wife’s side, tugging on the coiled phone cord, willing it to stretch across the table. He pulled up a chair and sat, facing her, knee to knee. The man didn’t know what to do, how he could help, so he simply held her face in his smooth, wrinkled hands, while clinching the phone between his ear and shoulder.

Within minutes, he heard the blare of an ambulance’s arrival, causing him to drop the phone, and yell to the medical team, alerting them to their location. They rushed into the kitchen and quickly began attending to his wife, maneuvering about in the confined space. The man stepped back, almost into the adjacent room, watching, tears flowing from from his eyes.

His neighbors, a young guy and his pregnant wife and their two adorable kids, offered to drive the elderly man to the hospital.

“I love her so much,” he kept repeating over and over. “I don’t know what I would do without Anne.”

After having a stent inserted into her artery to prevent further heart attacks and a little over a week in the hospital, Anne returned home. Her husband cared for her, with the help of their children, who had flown in from various locations.

Post-recovery, after their children were gone, the man and his wife returned to their morning ritual, sitting in their small, cozy kitchen. Conversations flowed easily. They shared well-worn stories of their past, dreams about their future, and most importantly, conversations about the present moment.

One morning, after many mornings of enjoying each others company, there was a knock on the door.

“Come in!” they both hollered in unison, smiling at each other.

The door opened, and a small boy and his sister entered, holding a basket full of homemade muffins and freshly ground coffee. The kids’ mom, dad, and their newborn brother followed, greeting the man and his wife with a hug.

“Well, good morning!” the wife said, pulling the boy onto her lap.

“What’s this?” the man wondered, smiling coyly, when the little girl handed him a drawing.

It was a colorful picture of the man and his wife, sitting in their kitchen, drinking coffee, and talking. Over their heads was a big red heart.

“It’s you two. You are in love,” she giggled, looking at her brother, who laughed and proudly stated,

“We drew it together. For both of you.”

The kids’ mom and dad clasped hands and looked at the joyful man and wife, sitting comfortably in their kitchen. The young couple seemed to be dreaming about building a lifetime of cherished moments. Moments consistently filled with love.