at least she wasn’t in it

By: ewhite422

Jul 31 2010

Category: Uncategorized

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I sat in the floor with the shattered marble vase all around me.  I put my face in my hands and cried, “Just shoot me!”

Then I looked up to see my clients with horror on their faces.  The elderly man moaned, “You could have broken anything in the house, and I would not have cared…but THAT…my mother gave to us as a wedding gift!”

They looked as though they had been married for 50 or 60 years, so I was pretty sure that his mother was no longer alive.

It was a very bad day for all of us.

I had arrived with the furniture they had ordered from me, and I took out accessories to finish their new living room.  Everything was spectacular!  Just as I was finishing the final details, I noticed a marble urn in the entry that would look perfect on the end table I had delivered.  I picked it up by the handles on either side, not knowing that the handles were part of the top of the vase and not attached to the bottom.  It stayed together until it cleared the table, and then the bottom crashed to the tile floor and shattered into a thousand pieces.

I was stunned.  I thought my clients were going to cry…especially the man.

Through my own tears, I apologized over and over and then asked for a broom and a bag to collect the pieces.  I offered, “Maybe I can find someone who can restore it,” while I thought to myself that it would be a miracle if they could.

I cried all the way back to the design center.  The manager tried to make me feel better when I blubbered out the story about the man’s mother who had given the elderly couple the vase as a wedding gift.  “At least she wasn’t IN it!” he ventured.

I had not even thought about that.  “Oh my God, yes!”  I brightened, “If she had been, then I would really have had a death wish.”  I smiled a little, trying to look at the bright side.

Later that afternoon, I drove to Dallas to visit my son with the broken urn in the back seat.  I thought of our strained relationship and that the vase was symbolic of just about everything in my life at that time.  I wondered if anything would be restored.

I found an art restoration place in Highland Park.  My son went with me to deliver the shattered pieces. 

The rest of the story is that they were able to restore the vase to almost perfection.

I presented it to the couple a few weeks later to their delight.

Sometimes things do work out.

My son and I are closer than ever now, too.


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