Today’s #maydays prompt we look at something breaking.
My mother’s most valued vase stood upon the mantle above the fire in a place of prominence.
She had told the story of its importance all through my childhood and was more than happy to relay the same tale to my children as they came to understand and visit Grandma’s house.
My older two accepted grandma’s word and never went near it but my youngest Robin was another kettle of fish.
Robin loved to climb and we were constantly on the look out to watch he didn’t climb somewhere he might harm himself. So at Grandma’s the vase on the shelf was a lure he looked at and decided he had to conquer.
It was the crash that had us all a panic as without even going into the room we knew what had happened. I had turned my back for a second and Robin had acted.
The vase, which occasionally had flowers in, it, but only occasionally, was on the floor in a thousand pieces. The silence that followed was deafening. There were gulps and exclamations of horror as we surveyed the mess.
My mother went into her story immediately telling us the tale of the vase, carried carefully on the boat from England, packed in the bedding sheets for the trek to the block grandfather had purchased, the vase an heirloom passed down through the family and destined to be given to my eldest daughter was no more.
Robin with guilt all over his face retreated to behind his mother as Grandma’s tirade continued long into the afternoon.
That night she went to bed and didn’t bother to say goodnight to any of us.
We all slunk off to bed whispering ideas as to how to make it up to her, as we had never seen her in that state before.
We dreaded the next morning and I had a plan to try and rescue the situation.
But a lot can happen overnight.
My mother was up early, I heard her fussing about in the kitchen and I heard the sound of tiny feet on the polished floorboards. Robin was up too, he was going towards the kitchen, he’d quickly come face to face with his grandma.
I rushed out of bed intent on rescuing my son from a fate worse than death when to my surprise there was mother with Robin sitting on the bench beside her as she cut flowers she had gathered earlier and was arranging them in a vase.
She was chatting to him as she placed each flower stem into the vase and Robin was paying close attention. I stood back to watch and saw my mother then lift him off the bench and follow her into the room where yesterday had stood her favourite vase. She took the vase full of flowers and placed them in the spot where the prized vase had stood.
Standing back she lifted Robin up to show him the beautiful arrangement she had made.
I heard her utter: “Don’t tell anyone but you did me a favour yesterday knocking that monstrosity off the shelf. It was a heirloom but I hated it Robin, hideous thing that is was.”
My mother never ceased to amaze me.