Dear Grandma Green,
Even though you have been gone a long time I still feel guilty every time I think about breaking Grandpa’s tall beer glass with the mirror (and breaking the mirror too) when I tugged too hard on the stuck drawer of the chest of drawers in your bedroom the summer after Grandpa died and I spent a few weeks with you in Chetek.
I don’t think of it often, only when I see a very tall beer glass like the one to the left or when I hear about one like the one I am reading about in Charlotte Gray, one of my “read-a-shelf” books. I may also think about it when I struggle to open a dresser drawer or see a broken mirror too. I know I thought about it when Clare did something similar with a case holding all of my glass unicorns.
Here’s what happened. I needed something out of the chest of drawers (notice I am calling it a “chest of drawers” like you used to call it) and the drawer which held that something was swollen and stuck fast to the rest of the dresser. I shook the drawer which made the mirror that was tilted at the back of the dresser tip forward onto the very tall beer glass in its wooden stand. They both fell down, shattering the beer glass and breaking the mirror.
When you heard the crash you came running into the bedroom. I believe you said “shit” or some other colorful word. You also mentioned how much Grandpa liked his very tall beer glass. You were momentarily angry at me, but I think you understood it was an accident. I don’t remember if I cried or not. I was 17 years old, so I may have. I probably said something about it being an accident and you may have said I should have been more careful.
We cleaned it up and never spoke of it again. I meant to buy you a mirror to replace the mirror I broke, but never did. I don’t know that I ever apologized for breaking the mirror and very tall beer glass.
Grandma, I am sorry I broke the mirror, but more sorry about the beer glass since it was Grandpa’s and it was something he really liked. You’d just lost him, now you lost something he treasured. As a 17 year old I don’t think that registered with me. I only thought about you being upset with me. I know you forgave me long ago, but I just wanted to get it out in the open.
PS I miss you
4 thoughts on “An open letter of apology to Grandma Green for breaking Grandpa’s tall beer glass and your mirror when I was opening the dresser drawer”
Well, missie, that was a long time coming! But there never was anything to forgive: you were just being a klutzy teenager, like we all were once. And frankly, that beer glass was a bit of a dust catcher.
I miss you too, lots…
Thank you for your reply, Grandma. I’m glad you got to read my apology.
This is rather wonderful. And evocative.
Thanks. IB. It felt good to write.