The Million Dollar Breakfast

This post is a winner of ChicagNow’s Best Posts of June 2017

This is a story I’ve been disinclined to write and share since it seems to be airing personal laundry.  But I’m boosted by the support of the ChicagoNow manager and its writers to continue writing on a regular basis.

An unerring post by The Friendly Curmudgeon reminds us that we all have to step outside of our comfort zones.

Also, a post by My Peace of Food inspired me to share the story below.

Kudos to their content.


For 8 years my wedding rings sat in my jewelry box on my dresser.  Sometimes I would look at them – they were pretty in my eyes.  But I often wondered what exactly I was supposed to do with them following divorce.


Although innocent items, the rings represented harsh memories from time spent in a cheerless relationship.  We haven’t heard a peep from him in over 13 years. Let’s just say the guy was ill-suited for marriage and fatherhood.

And I’m certain he still is.


But things were getting better.  I had just met my future husband.  He is funny and handsome.  He is a conscientious worker and he’s great at fixing things around the house.  He tells me and my daughter he loves us.

Finally a decision was made and I walked down to the neighborhood jeweler with the rings along with a few odd pieces of gold jewelry.  The owner offered me a measly $100 for the lot.  Was that all they amounted to?

Although disappointed, I took the money and left.


The following Sunday morning I stopped to wash my car before meeting friends for breakfast.  Our respective daughters had each been admitted into their dream high schools and we were planning a celebratory meal.

At the car wash I ran into a former flame I dated following my divorce. He looked well as he polished his beloved sports car.  I told him about my daughter’s good news and he mentioned his own kids were doing well – one headed to eighth grade and the other being recruited for the U.S. Marines.

It was good to catch up since it reminded me of how far I had come in those last years.

We said our good-byes and I drove back home to my family and friends.  I looked back at all the hurdles my daughter and I had faced and met over the years.  We had a comfortable home in a nice neighborhood; she was doing excellent in school; we were surrounded with friends.


There were six of us at breakfast that morning at Beverly Bakery and Café.  I asked the server for the check.  I took the $100 bill from the jeweler which was tucked away in my wallet a for a rainy day and left it to pay the entire bill, plus tip.

And, all of a sudden, that measly $100 bill made me feel like a Million Bucks.

Kudos to the rings.

My Whitney M. Young Graduate

June 2012

If you like, share your own restorative moments in the Comments below, and please subscribe for more posts.  Also, check out the links to the posts I mentioned above — they are worthwhile reads and gave me the inspiration I needed.

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