What does Mrs. Gibbs serve her husband for breakfast?
In Act II when Mr. Gibbs appears for breakfast on the morning of their son's wedding, his wife "puts a plate before him." He says, "Why, Julia Hersey--French toast!" She replies, "'Tain't hard to make and I had to dosomething."
This is one of the little things that go unnoticed in people's daily lives, but it is filled with significance. Mrs. Gibbs has been unable to sleep during most of the night and is filled with conflicting emotions in the morning. The coming wedding has made her sad about losing her young son and the responsibility of caring for him. She has been thinking about her own wedding and marriage, which of course has made her think about how much her husband means to her. From now on she will be turning more of her attention on him because her son will have another woman to love him and care for him. Mrs. Gibbs doesn't want to talk about her feelings because she is on the verge of tears already. The French toast, which is obviously a favorite of her husband's is her way of telling him she loves him.
Losing their son through his marriage will change the relationship between the Mr. and Mrs. Gibbs. It will draw them closer. The fact that he calls her by her maiden name of Hersey indicates that his love for her is being rekindled, just as the French toast indicates that hers is being rekindled for him.