Today we threw out my Keurig coffee maker. It stopped working and functioning correctly, so I drove it to the town dump this morning, along with this weeks other trash items; never to be seen again.
My parents bought me that Keurig somewhere around 2013 or 2014. I cannot recall the exact year, because it was within the first few years following the sudden death of Don Shepherd; and even now, some of that time is still very blurry. The survival years.
About a year and a half after Don died, I moved out of our New Jersey apartment, which I could no longer afford rent on by myself. I was forced to find a roommate and move elsewhere, if I wanted to stay in NYC and keep my dreams alive of being some kind of performer/actor/comedian. After a short-lived stay with a roommate I found online in Forest Hills, NY, I had to move out again and found another roommate through a mutual friend. We found an apartment in Flushing, Queens, and ended up living there together for almost 3 years. I didn’t have much at that time that was mine. I had Don’s recliner chair, our bed, and maybe a tiny office desk to put in my new bedroom. it was just me and the two cats that Don and I had adopted together; and I’m pretty sure the three of us were all equally terrified.
My new roommate, Mara, was understandably very excited about adding decor to our apartment and buying things like curtains and carpets together. Me? i was in a state of panic each time something new needed to be purchased, because I was way beyond broke – I was “widow broke.” My entire life had been stolen from me, and I literally had almost nothing. I was also feeling resentful about picking out curtains with a roommate, instead of with my husband, who was now dead instead of making life plans with me.
Honestly, I feel terrible for Mara; who decided to not only give it a go living with me and my two kitty cats; but also lived with my deep grief, depression, and resentment. And let’s be honest; she was also getting a roommate who couldn’t really contribute much to the table. Literally. Yup, my roommate bought us a kitchen table for our new pad, too! She made our living space the comfortable and lovely space that it became; and I was surviving, barely, on my small paycheck as an Adjunct Professor, any side gigs I got, and debilitating fear.
So my parents bought us a Keurig coffee maker, so I’d have some morning coffee, and have a little something to contribute to our kitchen. At that time in my life, that is what I had to contribute, and that is all that I could manage. And at the time, it felt both nice and really pathetic to be able to provide that miniscule amount to our kitchen, and our living situation. When we moved out a few years later, and both decided to leave NY altogether, I packed up the Kuerig and moved in with my parents in Massachusetts for the next 3 years. Then, after dating awhile and then meeting Nick, we moved into our apartment together. The Kuerig came back out of it’s box, and made its way onto our kitchen counter. Two years ago, we bought a house, and that Kuerig sat on our counter here too; providing us with coffee on a daily basis, for the most part. And let me tell you, Nick loves his coffee!
Today we bid farewell to the coffee maker, as we easily order another one on Amazon to replace it. I had the honor of driving the Kuerig to the town dump, and tossing it into the heap of various other items thrown in there by other varied people. Anc much like my Keurig, Im sure at least some of the other items tossed into that giant dumpster, have a story. Most things do. On their own, they are just items. But when attached to a significant time of transition in life, they represent so much more.
Goodbye, Kuerig. We had some nice times together. It was a good run. Thank you for providing me and others with coffee for so many years, during a time when it meant so very much. More importantly, thank you for being the thing that I could contribute to my various living environments, during a time when there was not very much I was able to provide.
These days, Im still rebuilding, but very slowly am coming into a place where I can provide a good deal more than a receptacle that holds and pours out coffee.
It’s a process, figuring out life after the loss of a spouse/partner.
Maybe we can sit at the kitchen table, over a nice cup of coffee, and continue piecing it all together.