I was alone… permanently, not temporarily. My husband had passed.
It was still recent enough that it felt like he soon would be home, as though he had been out simply to run some errands.
I was making breakfast and the toaster broke. One of the two levers wouldn’t stay lowered. “No problem,” I said to myself. “I can fix that. It probably just needs a minor mechanical adjustment.” Of the two of us, I was the one to tinker with small repairs. So I removed the outer cover to access the inside toaster parts, took a look at the problem, and realized that I couldn’t fix it after all. Time to put the toaster back together. “I’ll just use the one working side” I thought. Well, apparently I had over-estimated my tinkering skills, because I couldn’t get the cover back on. So it was time to get a new toaster.
Off to the store I went, selected a new toaster, and returned home. I placed it on the counter. There it sat. I couldn’t use it. I felt so sad. My husband was no longer here to share it with. A new purchase for the house, once a source of pleasure, now was a reminder that I was alone.
This toaster, a small kitchen appliance, marked the first change to the house since my husband had passed… a painful milestone. Never before would I have imagined that a toaster would signify so much.
Alone, and saddened by a toaster.