When a Mug is Not a Mug


About five years ago, my boss brought in a bunch of extra mugs he had at home. We seemed to never have enough at work for all the hardcore coffee drinkers we were at the time. They were all sorts of designs and his wife was probably thrilled to get them out of the house. I know I would be. Mugs seem to multiply like rabbits over the years.

The “My Mom is the Best” mug used to stare me down every day. After Noah had died and we were desperately trying to get pregnant, this mug mocked me for two years from the cabinet above the industrial coffee maker in our break room. If a coworker was drinking out of it, I would watch the words on the mug as they went from desk to lips and back again. I would never ever choose it from the cabinet. Ever. Even if it was the only mug left, which it never was thankfully. I set a little goal for myself. Once I was a mother again, I would be able to drink from this mug. It became a talisman of what needed to happen. It had to happen. I need to be a mother again.

I choose this mug often now. Miriam is four years old. As I pour my coffee in and add my half ‘n half, I still can’t believe I made it through those years. I still can’t believe I have my perfect daughter, Miriam. I still can’t believe Noah is really gone.

Tangible things help us make sense of what is not tangible. The emotions that are too hard to sort through. The fears that are too big to rationalize. This mug stays the same as I change constantly. This mug waited for me. And I drink a lot of coffee.


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