The Vase

I see the vase shatter. It slides innocently off the box my husband is carrying in from the truck. I reach impulsively to catch it, but it's too late. Almost in slow motion, small pieces break off first, then larger cracks start to form, and soon it's on the floor, futilely attempting to pull itself back together.
It was my mother's vase. I don't remember seeing her make porcelain, but it must have been a hobby of hers when she was younger, because there was the vase on the floor, adorned with her detailed strokes.
I see the terror on my husband's face. This vase is one of the last things I have to remember her, and now it is gone, ruined. Gone like the gentle suggestions, like the carefree talks—fond memories turned sour like neglected milk. I can see that he's waiting for me to react, but I can't get anything out.
I contemplate the vase. It reminds me of her, but not in the way the rest of the old house did. In our new home, she won't be able to occasionally help me with my cooking or help change her grandson's diaper. But seeing the vase lying there, I remember her. The memories of us together are not gone. Love is still love in pain or grief, and milk is still milk, even when it's gone sour.
I set down the box I am carrying, and embrace him.
"Thank you," I whisper.
And then we both cry.