When I was younger, when I woke up, I would lay in bed, listening to Mama sing as she made breakfast. I loved it when she sang. Her low pitched voice would echo throughout the house, her made-up songs and the sizzling of butter the only other sounds to be heard. I'd laugh when the sounds of pans clattered across the cupboards because I knew she had gotten lost in her made-up song. I'd imagine her wince at being so loud and picture her slightly shocked face before she went back to cooking. I allowed myself a soft giggle at the thought before going downstairs to see if she was okay.
Mommy made breakfast every morning, and when the aromas of bacon or sausage floated to our noses, we rose out of bed like the dead with grubby eyes and fetid breath as we shuffled down the stairs and into the dining room, where a spread of eggs bacon or toast awaited us. And we waited for Mommy to come to the table for us to eat. Mommy made everything seem brighter in the mornings as she smiled at me and my dad. She looked so beautiful with the new day window light shining on her as she told my father, my brother and I "good morning," giving each one of us a kiss on the head and cheeks before sitting down herself.
We all smiled at her and said our thanks before digging in and savoring every taste. Then, we all ran back up stairs to get ready for the day. Before leaving, we'd all give her a kiss on the cheek, me going to school and Dad going off to work.
Though one day, Dad had to stop going to work. He had hurt his back, and he couldn't get out of bed anymore. I had never seen Mommy so sad before.
I woke up in the mornings, and the skies were cold and gray. And my mother didn't sing. The smell of bacon and eggs went to our noses, and I, as usual, got out of bed like a zombie.
"You better get down here!"
She started to yell at me. I was taking too long to come down stairs.
When I came into the kitchen, I saw her eyes were red and her hair was barely presentable. She looked frazzled and rushed as she hurriedly made herself a sandwich for lunch before running out of the house off to work, yelling a quick "I love you" and a goodbye. I was left in the dimly-lit dining area, and the only sounds to be heard were silent chewing and the scraping of the chair as I went back up stairs to get ready for the day. I went into my father's room to tell him goodbye, though he was still asleep, and his food was on a table to the side, turning cold. I gave him a kiss on the cheek before heading to school to live another day.