pumpkin bread

Starbucks Pumpkin Bread

Why did I have to order the pumpkin bread?  I’m not even a huge fan of the fall inspired option at Starbucks.  But there I was standing in line, thinking I should just get my regular bold coffee with cream and sugar.  But NOOOO!  I had to add the extra order.  And as the words, “I’ll take the pumpkin bread” left my lips, the grandmotherly woman working the register slowly looked up at me.  Her soft, caring eyes smiled in approval.   And as she put the pastry into the signature brown paper bag she said to me, “Make sure you call your mom and tell her you’re eating your veggies for breakfast!”  With that, my entire body got a strange tingle, as if all blood left my extremities and headed for my head simply to keep me upright. I blinked my eyes quickly hoping they would act as the dam I needed to hold back the flood of tears that threatened to pour down my face.  I thought about how she saw me… a young woman, in her early 40′s, certainly too young to not have a mom.  Someone who should be able to call home and tell Mom what she had for breakfast or that she was trying to eat healthy or raise kids following her example.  But this kind woman didn’t know a fucking beast called breast cancer had ripped my mom from my arms just 9 months prior.  I’m sure she didn’t even think twice, the way we do when we ask a woman how long she’s been pregnant, when she asked me to check in with my mom.  There was no doubt in her mind I still had a mom.  As I quickly walked away, she yelled after me, “Don’t forget to call mom today!” With that I ran to the shelter of my car and sobbed.  I cried because I have no one to call.  Yes, I have a great husband. I could have called him.  But how would that conversation go?

Me:  “Hi honey, I’m eating my veggies for breakfast!”

Darrin: “Is that our new code for I’m getting lucky tonight?”

No, you need a mom to tell those things to.  Only a mom would answer that call and appreciate what’s being said.  Even if the message is you’re getting your veggies from a pastry.  But still, I am blessed.   I do have remarkable girlfriends who are doing their best to fill that void in my life. So if any of you get a call from me and I start sputtering something about veggies and breakfast, you’ll know I ordered the damn pumpkin bread again!  However, I think I’ll go with the coffee cake on my next few visits to Starbucks.

About Wendy D

I was born in San Francisco and ended up marrying a rancher in Reno, Nevada. I have a big city job anchoring the 5 o’clock news but come home to the country where my husband’s family has ranched for 5 generations.


  1. Marci says:

    My heart breaks for you and is right there with you, too. Being a member of the same club (different cancer, but cancer nonetheless). Ugh!!! I’ve had similar experiences! I can tell you it does get better. Just give yourself the room to grieve (even if in public). I’ll be praying for peace for you :-)

    • Wendy D says:

      Those times are just a part of my new life I guess. Thanks for the comment! The blog won’t always be this emotional!!

  2. Kate says:

    Next time you wanna eat veggies for breakfast… call me and I’ll go with! That looks delish. You can also call me. I get it. <3

  3. Nancy Heggarty says:

    I lost my mom too. I know that feeling of wanting to call and tell her something, anything but can’t.

  4. Paul Mattson says:

    I almost cried when I read this . Words said indescriminately have soooo many meanings to so many different people …
    I nice smile and ” THANK YOU ” works for me

  5. Maria N says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I won’t tell you I know what you are going through, but I am going through something similar. We just lost my father to a tragic car accident on the 4th and then on the 9th my mother was diagnosed with “The Beast” that you spoke of. She is having surgery on the 25th and all I can do is worry for her and pray for her. I live in Fernley and she lives 2600 miles away in Georgia so it is hard on us both because as much as I would love to be there for her, I can’t afford it nor can I leave my husband and children to go there. I have the peace of mind enough to know that all our lives are predestined and God has all of our days preplanned, we go on His time, not ours. I will keep you in my prayers and your family in my prayers.

  6. Jim Fannin says:

    You never know when they well hit you, but the feelings are at their bottom good ones. Because you loved her so much, and you were well loved in return. Those feelings that hurt now will be a comfort to you and may even make you smile someday.

  7. Nancy Turner says:

    Wendy, please stop saying the blogs won’t always be that emotional. You are human. Don’t be so afraid to let people see that. i am almost 70. My mother died less than 2 years after we moved to Reno ….. i was 42. i was not, not, not ready to have her be gone. My sister called me the other day to tell me what how melancholy she was feeling thinking about our mother. You will always miss your mother. Sometimes more painfully sometimes with fond remembrances. This is part of life. Embrace it. And i send you love filled condolences.

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