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A Meal For a Queen

Simple, yet special

By Gail WyliePublished 8 months ago 4 min read
Runner-Up in Nourished Challenge

I was in my 36th year of life and had returned to college to finish up the university degree that had been interrupted by a pregnancy and marriage while I was in my teens. My children were now teenagers and I felt I could finally put some effort towards bettering myself. It wasn’t an easy decision. I was married to an extremely jealous man who had clearly demonstrated that neither me nor the children were safe when his rage overtook him. This had led to my developing coping skills over time, skills that had very little to do with who I was an individual and much to do with keeping us all safe. I didn’t like the person I had become and I missed the one I had been as a child. I knew I could not continue living like I was. Returning to college was the first step in a journey to reclaim my self.

I didn’t have much support from either the children or my husband. After all, the kids had become very used to me, as a stay-at-home mother, doing everything in the home for them They didn’t want to change their ways. As for my husband, my being out of the home in a world he had no control over was very difficult. He would leave work and arrive at the college, hiding in corners and behind pillars trying to catch me having an affair with another student. I didn’t worry too much about this as I knew full well that I wasn’t doing anything of the sort. However, it did make our life more difficult as his paycheque was much lower than we were used to, as he was docked for all the hours he was away from the job.

In the midst of this, I was determined to succeed, taking a full load of courses as well as keeping up the home as it had always been and acting as the chauffeur and support for the children in the various activities they were involved in. There were many days that I felt completely overwhelmed by everything that I had to do, but I knew that complaining about it or even asking for help would not be useful. They were all too ready and eager to have me give up, quit and return our lives to their normal, to respond in a positive manner. So, I kept my mouth shut and struggled on in silence, in the same way I had done for so much of my marriage.

Rick was a fellow mature student who was taking some of the same courses I was. There was absolutely nothing romantic about our relationship, It had far more to do with him admiring my talents as a mother, than as a woman. He had met my oldest son during the summer and was quite enthralled with his talents and determination to succeed as a musician. The fact I was the mother of this young man intrigued him, as he realized that I had played a much different role with my son, than he had with his own mother. Thus, the time we spent together focused more on his catching up on my son’s life than it did on the two of us.

During the second semester I had to take an evening course to get the credits I wanted. This made my life even more difficult as I was driving over ¾ of an hour each way to attend classes. Now I left home early in the morning twice a week, spent all my free time in the library catching up on my homework and drove back home in the dark, after the class, to a home in chaos because of my absence. Needless to say, I was exhausted and felt abandoned by everyone.

One evening, I left the library and headed to the cafeteria to get something to eat from the vending machines. I met Rick in the hallway. He told me that he had a surprise for me and led me to a table in the back of the room where he had spread out a meal on a table, complete with a cloth tablecloth, matching napkins, real dishes and cutlery, as well as the food. It was just a simple meal; pork chops in mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes and a salad, but the fact that he gone to all that trouble for me had me in tears. I had never been so acknowledged in all my life. It might have been a very ordinary meal, but I felt like a queen sharing it with him.

Pork Chops in Mushroom Gravy


• Pork chops – 1 or 2 per person depending on the size and thickness.

• Butter

• Salt and Pepper

• Condensed Cream of Mushroom soup: 1 can or more depending on how many pork chops you are cooking.


• Heat oven to 325 degrees

• Melt butter in frying pan.

• Place pork chops in the pan and brown on each side

• Sprinkle salt and pepper on each side as they fry

• Move pork chops to casserole dish

• Spoon the soup out of can over the pork chops

• Place cover on casserole

• Place in oven and bake until soup is bubbling and meat is tender (about an hour).


A simple meal, shared with love and understanding, is not just about nutrition. It fully energizes at all levels: physical, mental, emotional, social, environmental and spiritual.


About the Creator

Gail Wylie

Family therapist - always wanted to be a writer. Have published books on autism. Currently enjoying trying my hand at fiction. Loving the challenges of Vocal. Excited to have my first novel CONSEQUENCES available through Amazon.

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Comments (3)

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  • Raymond G. Taylor7 months ago

    What a great story to tell. Glad to know you got the recognition you deserved and congratulations on your recognition for this story too. Well done for being a winner.

  • Babs Iverson8 months ago

    Superbly written story and recipe!!!❤️❤️💕

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