I missed my late husband dearly. But on a girls' day out with my daughter, I knew he was there...
Tom, my second husband, had a deep appreciation for the bond I had with my grown daughter from my first marriage.
He loved treating Kris and me to a girls’ day out and got a kick out of the giggle fits we got into when we recounted our day for him.
He’d have to join us one day, we said.
Shortly after we were married, he was diagnosed with melanoma. The treatments left him too weak to go out with us, but he never stopped exhorting us to have a good time.
Two days shy of our second anniversary, he passed away. I felt a part of me had died too, that joy had gone from my life.
A few weeks after the funeral I tried to clean out Tom’s dresser drawers. I thought I could handle it, but I was wrong. These were his favorite shirts, sweaters. Even a drawer full of change he’d emptied from his pockets made my heart ache. I sorted the coins, my eyes blurred with tears.
Kris knew I needed a break. “Let’s get out of the house, Mom,” she urged. “We’ll spend the day together. A girls’ day out.” A movie, dinner, something to get my mind off my grief.
We went to the bank to exchange the coins from Tom’s drawer, then headed over to the theater. We bought two tickets, some snacks and drinks. “Twenty eight dollars,” the cashier announced.
Wow! “When did a trip to the movies get so expensive?” I exclaimed.
Kris giggled. “It’s not five cents for a double feature anymore, Mom.”
The movie helped push my thoughts elsewhere for a while. Afterward, we took Kris’s dogs to the park and later we ate dinner at a casual restaurant.
Spending the day with Kris was exactly what I needed. I just wished Tom could have been a part of it.
I got the check and tacked on a nice tip for our waiter. It came to thirty-eight dollars and thirty cents in total. As we walked to the car, a thought stopped me in my tracks. No, it can’t be…
“What is it, Mom?” Kris asked. I reached into my pocket and pulled out the receipt from the bank. The coins in Tom’s drawer added up to sixty-six dollars…and thirty cents.
For the first time since the funeral, I felt joy. I looked up toward the darkening sky, filling up slowly with stars. “Thanks, Tom,” I said, “for treating us one more time.”