At precisely 6 a.m., the sound of the alarm clock pierces the air. Sandy drags herself out of bed and begins her morning routine with a quick shower. After her shower, she prepares a simple breakfast. Grabbing a clean bowl from the dishwasher, she empties into it a packet of instant oatmeal. She pours in a cup of milk, stirs and heats the mixture in the microwave. While waiting for her oatmeal to cook, she dresses for the day, mindful of the weather.
Fully dressed now, she removes her oatmeal from the microwave, which has now cooled just enough to suit her taste. It is her favorite flavor, apple cinnamon. As she savors each bite, she is reminded of her mother, who always made sure Sandy ate a warm breakfast before leaving the house in the morning.
Checking the time on her phone, she hurriedly swallows the last few mouthful of oatmeal before heading out. As she steps into the street, a gust of wind blows back her hair. She covers her head with the hood of her coat, tightens the scarf around her neck, and braces for her walk to the train station.
After settling into her seat on the train, memories of her mother stir again. She takes out her phone and texts: "Hey mom, thanks for the scarf you knit me. It came in real handy this morning. Love always."