When his wife of 41 years died of skin cancer in 2012, David Hoskins packed up and moved in with his daughter to nearby Hazard, Kentucky.
Hoskins didn’t take much with him, but he kept two things: the last can of coffee his wife Karen bought before she got sick and the spoon she used to stir her coffee every morning.
Five years later, the 66-year-old widow still uses both every day.
“Looking at that picture of him with his coffee can, you’d never know that that’s all he has left of her,” his daughter Kim Hoskins Fields wrote in a now-viral Facebook post shared on the page Love What Matters on Saturday. “Because that’s how they always started their day was with coffee, and so each day he starts his day with my mama.”
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Hoskins Fields said the spoon and the Maxwell House coffee canister ― which her dad refills when it starts to get low ― are sacred items in her home.
“When he moved in his things, he told me to never throw the can away and to never touch the spoon inside of it,” she said. “He didn’t want it mixed up with my other spoons.”
“I kind of laughed and asked him why,” Hoskins Fields said. “He explained that it was all he kept because it made him feel close to her, like she was still there each morning.”
The couple had six kids during their marriage (two from Hoskin’s previous marriage), so couple-time was often in short supply. Every morning, though, they made time for coffee.
“Even when I was little and she went to work super early he would get up with her and have a cup,” their daughter said.
Karen’s diagnosis of melanoma in October 2012 came out of nowhere and he grappled with the news, according to his daughter. Two months later, Karen died.
“When she was dying, he made himself sick with worry and tried to save her,” Hoskins Fields said. “He begged and pleaded with God. He would have traded anything, gave anything or done anything to save her.”
These days, coffee is all Hoskins needs to remember his late wife.
“He says he has all the pictures and memories he wants in his mind,” she said. “He kept what he knew would make him feel the closest to her.”