I start to stir. I hear the alarms blaring next to my head. One from my obnoxious radio alarm clock and one from my iPhone. I grab whichever one is annoying me the most that morning and shut it off… promptly. And then the next. I move, start to sit up, try to stretch, and realize all the places that hurt, that crack, that burn like fire. “Good morning world. Fuck you too.” I speak in grunts and grumbles with one eye open and one functioning brain cell. I weigh the pro’s and con’s of never leaving this bed again because I can’t stand the idea of facing the cold outside these sheets. But bills and real life always win. And I know what waits in the kitchen. It’s just enough to make me move. I rip back the covers and try to get into sweatpants and a hoodie as fast as my stiff, angry, body will let me. The cold feels like daggers slicing across my raw, exposed flesh. The warm clothes aren’t warm enough fast enough. I’m already second guessing whether or not I can do this. But I do; quickly as I can so I don’t change my mind, get back in bed, and lose my job. I grab my purse, head down the 7-8 feet of hallway that leads to the living room. I try to maneuver around the living room table without falling over. All in an attempt to make it to the kitchen. Finally! I’m there! I look down at the little pot set atop our microwave. You’ve done it again. You had the presence of mind to start my coffee for me and in turn, make my day tolerable. This is the only moment I look forward to in the morning. Unless I get to see you that day too. Then it’s a really good day.
That first cup of coffee is generally the only thing that pushes me out of bed. That feeling of looking forward to sitting down again, coffee in hand, to type up a “Morning Mindfulness” post on WordPress. I used to have to turn it on whenever I woke up and stand there in agony waiting for it to finish because I just couldn’t do anything else until I at least had my coffee. It makes my day doable. It makes waking up not as suicidal thought inducing. It makes me willing to be a functioning member of society in a body that wants to trap me in the disability, narcotic hustle. And you, my dear, sweet, amazing, thoughtful partner: you make it for me. You make my day ten times easier with this little action that most couldn’t be bothered to do. I know your mornings are insanely busy and you have your own things to focus on and yet you do this for me. Every morning.
I never expect it though. No. Because the second I expect it is the second I’ll start taking it for granted and I never want to do that. No one has ever made me coffee, even when I asked. Except you. You made it even though I never asked. You’ve woken me up to surprise cups, kneeling by our bed, warm cup of joe in your hands, and a smile on your face because you knew it would make me wake up happy. You’ve turned it on even though you wouldn’t be there to see me enjoy it. And it appears, me being happy is the only reason you do this. It wasn’t until yesterday or the day before that I even expressed how much better this makes my mornings and why. So no, I will not take it for granted. I will not take you for granted. For I realize that you are an all too rare kind of man to find. I realize that you do these little things just for me. You don’t even drink coffee. And yet I entered our kitchen this morning and there was a hot pot of coffee waiting for me.
Thank you. Thank you for all you do. Thank you for the coffee. Thank you for making my mornings bearable in an otherwise unbearable body. Thank you for thinking of me. Thank you for being an amazing partner. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I love you.
by Ashley Hebner
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