The Coffee Mug

by Terri Hess

Terri, the writer

Years ago when my husband and I were dating I purchased two coffee mugs; the kind that has your name on it and a description of what your name foretells and it was pretty accurate. People used to make fun of our corny coffee mugs but that’s okay. I didn’t purchase them to impress anyone.

We have had those mugs now for 25 years. They are crackled, worn and very faded and no longer usable.

In 2007 and into 2008 (and as of this writing, more surgeries in 2010 and 2011), I had a long battle with breast cancer – numerous surgeries; too many to count; chemo and radiation, more surgeries, infections. Pretending to be fearless and unafraid I forged onward with a smile and a joke. Or at least I tried until the demons took over. Underneath, only those closest to me and always there for me – my family – really knew I was cracking beneath the surface.

One morning, my husband Doug poured my coffee as he did every morning in my “Terri” cup. The cup could no longer take the heat. It finally cracked and broke. This was a sign to me. I lost it. I began to cry.

“Doug, what if I break? What if I die? This means something! I am broken! What if I can’t be fixed?” I was hysterical.

He just hugged me and calmed me down. He quickly left the room and went to the basement. He came back with some ceramic glue. I could see the tears in his eyes.  He took that mug and told me he was going to fix that mug and that nothing was going to happen to me. I would be healed and cancer was not going to “break” me.

Doug feverishly fixed that cup with such determination.

He did the same with me with his care. The cup is not the same strength as it was before (kind of like me) and I can no longer drink from it but it still sits in our cupboard.

I am the same but I am slightly altered; a little cracked but not completely broken. “Glued” back together of sorts.  I will never forget that day my husband tried to save my favorite coffee mug.  It was a turning point for both of us and all we had been holding in.

 And that mug – like Doug –  will stay with me as long as I live.

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Categories: Reflections

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36 replies

  1. Just saw your post, the lord will perfect all that concerns you In Jesus Name.

  2. What a lovable story.. Affectionate by it..

  3. That was such a beautiful story of love & courage

  4. How awesome this is 🙂
    People who love us for who we are, no matter what stay with us at any given moment of life. They mark you on their hearts. So they stay in our hearts even when not physically present.

  5. thanks for sharing ur beautiful story..i can relate..i lost a cross and chain my husband gave me for my anniversary..i too thought this must be a sign and broke down…but like Mike said..he can replace the chain on our next anniversary:) that’s how sure he is i will still be here..i try to be strong all the time..i cry when im alone…

  6. Thank God you are doing well! Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. May God continue to bless you and your wonderful husband!

  7. Like some people who made comments, i too discovered your blog by accident, nevertheless, God is so good and he has purpose for everything. I knew of a product that has saved so many cancer patient here in the Philippines. A dear friend of mine survived from ovarian cancer with the help of this product. Nothing to loose, maybe you should try. Email me if you’re interested.

  8. What a nice story of love and devotion. It must have been heartbreaking to lose such an important mug, especially at such a difficult time in your life.

  9. Touching story, beautiful message. Wishing you all the best Terri. May you find the strength and courage to keep on fighting!!

  10. This is a lovely story. One of hope and love and strength. A true love story. Thanks for sharing Terri. My prayers for your continued health and well-being.

  11. Such a wonderful warm story. Best of luck to you.

  12. This is such a moving story, and so touching of your love with your husband. You’re a true inspiration and I will hold you in my prayers; thanks for sharing this!


  13. Your story brought tears to my eyes. You and he are so lucky to have each other. God knew what he was doing. Love, hope and prayers.

  14. thats a wonderful stoy thanks for sharing that means Gods love you so much because God healed you,glory to God.


  16. Such a beautiful story Terri! Thank you for sharing it! That reminds me of something my husband would do for me!! We are lucky women! Stay strong!! You’re in great hands!! <3

  17. What a touching story Terri. I have been hearing a lot of people talking about how there were in similar health situations as yours and they feel better or almost healed. here is one of the links i found online about a natural chinese herb they used you can also contact me directly if you have any questions about who some of these people are. I wish you all the best and stay strong

  18. Great story. Gave me goosebumps. Still giving me goosebumps as I write my comment here. Scary, scary stuff you’ve lived with and so great to have such a wonderful, supportive husband!
    Love the blog. Live well & be strong.

  19. Where one breaks and is glued back together, that place is stronger than it was before. Bless you.

  20. As a two time breast cancer survivor my self, THANK YOU, Terri for sharing your story.

  21. To all of you out there who are fighting for your life ; my heart goes out to you all …

  22. i by accident found your post. i am fighting breast cancer now and have felt very much like you and i to have a wonderful husband with all that said i still get down and today was one of those days but, after reading your post it made me remember no matter how broke i feel i have so much to fight for and it lifted me out of a dark day. best wishes for you and thank you so much for being my ray of hope today.

  23. i by accident found your post. i am fighting breast cancer now and have felt very much like you and i to have a wonderful husband with all that said i still get down and today was one of those days but, after reading your post it made me remember no matter how broke i feel i have so much to fight for and it lifted me out of a dark day. best wishes for you and thank you so much for being my ray of hope today.

  24. Dear Terri, thanks for sharing your story. What I have felt while reading it is that your mug broke so that you would stop drinking coffee, which is not good for cancer. Please look for all the information available on internet about alcaline and acid food and drinks. Most cancers can be healed by getting rid of acid food and helping the body recover alcaline PH. Doctors will never tell you, but believe me, it is absolutely true! Good luck and keep smiling. Lots of love, light and laughter to you, brave woman.

  25. Thanks for sharing your touching story.

  26. That is such an interesting story and I sure feel for her. I would not mind getting in contact with her as I would love to find out what was written on the cup as my name is Terri as well. I am probably just like her. Please send her courage to continue the battles and life is worth living!

    • Hi! Thank you! I am pretty much just like the mug says. My full name is Teresa too! My mug “Terri” says: Meaning: Prosperous.
      Your will to succeed is foretold in your name
      For there’s nothing can stop you
      Once you’ve set your aim
      You know the way to make a chore seem like fun
      You get things to happen
      You see things get done
      You’ll prosper from each idea you generate
      And reap rich rewards from all that you create

  27. Beautiful story, Thank you for sharing!!!! May God Bless you & your family with many, many more wonderful years.

  28. Deep waters. Thanks for this Terri. It’s a beautiful testament to your marriage!

  29. Very Touching Story, With support, like that from your fabulous husband, you will def have a long & happy life together. Wishing you strength & continued support from all.

  30. Terri, your story is as beautiful and inpirational as you are. You may be be “glued back together” but to your family and friends, you are strong and just as beautiful as you ever were. Keep smiling, my friend!!

  31. This is a beautiful story!!! I am so glad you are doing well!

  32. Good lesson about life. One need to be brave and strong no matter what surrounds you and that strenght will continue to pull you along in life.

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