May 7, 2012

An Old Glass

I have been feeling kind of homesick for Vienna lately.  Probably because my parents just got back from there, and I haven't been in over five years.  And my parents, sweet wonders they are, brought back treats from my second home, and I love them (my parents and the treats).  But, you know, they also remind me what I'm missing.

Visiting would not be the same, of course.  The last time I was there was for my grandmother's funeral.  But I wasn't there at Christmas to pack up her things.  And I haven't been back to stay in a hotel.

Yesterday I took out a glass of hers.  One that I kept from her home after she was gone.  I gently touched the edge, it felt so delicate.  And I remember telling myself, Be careful, Christine.  You would be so sad if this broke.  And I was.  Careful to slide an ice cube in, to set it far away from the girls' wobbly reach.

It sat in the sink over night, and today while I was putting away a pile of clean dishes, a bowl fell.  It broke the glass.

I am disappointed and a little sad.  But I know the things that I have of hers, while precious, are not what I need.  They will not bring her back to life.  They will not pay for a family trip to show my daughters my birth city.  They will not make my memories stronger.

But, it does almost feel like I let her down.  Or a memory was almost lost.  Which is why I can't bring myself to throw the broken glass away.

This pull between the logical "it's just stuff" and the emotional "it's a part of us" is what I struggle with.

Even though glasses and necklaces and dishes are just things, I struggle with remembering this and instead feeling like they are a part of me.  A part of my grandmother.  A part of our past.

Sometimes, it's just hard to say goodbye.  Even to a broken old glass.

Linking up with Heather and Elaine.


  1. I knew as I was reading that the glass was going to break, which is interesting, don't you think? :) I'm so sorry it did. I broke a favorite coffee mug this morning that has different meaning to me but yes, it still has meaning even if it is just a "thing". xo

    1. Yes, sometimes those "things" that have meaning are so hard to lose.

  2. So true - goodbyes are definitely hard. And as one who shares your predicament for being far from another place that you love and have precious memories from, I imagine that, like I find, anything associated with that place or the people there just carries extra sentiment - including in loss.

    As you grieve the symbolic loss of the glass, I'm sure much of it includes your feelings about the loss of your grandmother, and even the loss of Vienna, on some levels.

    Even as you'll have to get rid of the pieces of the glass eventually, I hope you're able to think about some really precious memories you can treasure - conversations with your grandmother, or times shared sitting in the kitchen, using those very glasses - and cherish those and remember even if everything is gone, you get to keep those memories with you!

    I hope you are able to get back to Vienna again soon, too!

    1. Thank you for such a thoughtful response. Yes, there are many memories I will treasure, even without the glass.

  3. Losing the "things" that have meaning is so hard. I have a way of attaching so much of my heart to the little things that remind of someone...some memory. You're right though...your grandmother will always be a part of you. I hope you find yourself back in Vienna soon!

    Visiting from EO.

    1. Thank you, yes. I also attach my heart to those little things. And am hopeful to get back to Vienna again in the next few years.


Any thoughts? I'd love to hear from you!