My husband used to leave me notes on the table each morning before he left for work – sometimes sentimental and sometimes not, sometimes informative, but mostly just a gentle reminder of his thoughts for me. He’d find an old notepad already covered in far too many doodles and would squeeze his tiny words onto a page – a Where’s Waldo of sentences for me to explore as I ate breakfast. He’d slide multi-colored images with Dry Erase markers across the mirror, decorating the letter I with an image of an eye, followed by a heart and complete his artwork with the typical upside down arch. On Fridays, he’d write, “I can’t wait to spend the weekend with you,” and on Mondays, “I miss you already.” They were short yet sincere, simple and sweet. In the busyness of conflicting schedules, he hand scribbled bits of his mood, hopes and thoughts to me all before I rose for the day.

I cannot recall when exactly the notes stopped, not even if it was a slow dwindling like an exercise routine or a bold attempt from an alcoholic or a long-time smoker to immediately cease the habit all together. In truth, the mornings have become a blur, the soft sunlight blinding my once crisp memory. The only notes I remember are the ones stowed in a clear, plastic box appropriately labeled “Letters from Kevin.”

It has been years since the notes have accompanied my breakfast and me, but I still remember his handwriting, now mostly practiced when signing important paperwork that must be read in earnest – not the skimming kind. We swap occasional cards on the days that have made their way onto the calendar – birthdays, anniversaries – few days instead of the many that make up so much of who we really are. I wonder how much anyone really knows who I am, accept for the moments I’ve left my words.

It was my decision, really, even before we decided to start a family, that I would leave my corporate career to pursue the lonely life of a writer and stay-at-home mother. They don’t tell you much about the occasional loneliness, even as an introvert (although I don’t really know who they are and I’d rather not point the finger). There are times I’ve questioned, am I completely forgotten? Were it not for the movement of my hand gliding across paper or the tap dance of my fingers along tiny square letter-blocks, I may have become like the letters stowed away – the ones that made it safely into the bin are the only ones remembered. So which parts of me are preserved? The ones I’ve filed, printed and tucked inside a labeled folder in someone’s heart? Which part of me will my child remember – the love-note mother or the informative one without a deliberate emotional evocation but a daily presence?

Tucked inside a tiny space we call home, I am forgotten the moment I cease interaction, which is why I’ve grown so fond of my husband’s. Although the notes are dried up, he hasn’t left me without his mark. The once odorless morning without a trace of ink scent now greets me with the aroma of an American morning. Bacon. In fact, when I don’t smell bacon, I become alarmed, just as the mornings he became too busy to jot down a note on a 3×3 Post-it. Bacon has become his symbol of love for me now. While dressing for the day, the grill methodically heats up three thick slabs of devotion – two for him to go with his eggs and one for me.

What goes through your mind in all his bacon work? I asked him this once. It’s the thinking of you, he said. He imagines the famished eagerness when I wake. Hungry with child inside, I nibble a salty strip of morning that had been waiting for me on a waxy, moistened paper towel. The words I love you replaced with bacon is his way of saying it now. Saying, “I think of you each morning. While preparing for the day, you are in my mind. Smell my love for you. Taste it. Grab hold of the most delectable uncured bacon and know I will take care of you and our child.”

Perhaps his written words have faded away. Perhaps I cannot store each piece of bacon in my plastic bin, but I have a promise each morning. He provides a morning treat, a presence that leaves a lasting mark. Something that shows me his love, at this point in time, in the only way he knows how.

It is a Tuesday morning and the house smells like love. I saunter into the kitchen unsure what today will bring, but assured that this morning I haven’t yet been forgotten.

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