It was long ago, and even my mother doesn’t remember the story. But you see, I have proof. I’m not sure how old I was, maybe 7 or 8, when I followed my mom into your tiny shop full of treasures on mirror lined shelves. I know I hadn’t yet heard the words, “you break it, you buy it,” and I probably wasn’t tall enough to read them if they had been posted somewhere. But mostly, I’m sure I didn’t think it at all possible I could break something I coveted so dearly.
I don’t know where my mom went or was when it happened, but the little bear that fit so perfectly in the palm of my hand had done the impossible, he had slipped and broken on the hard floor. You came running and I was mortified.
I’m sure I was crying. I don’t know what my mom said, or you said. I was just so shocked because this wasn’t the sort of thing that happened to me – after all, my very own Grandmother let me play with her whole box of china dolls! How in the world did I drop that little bear!
It’s the kind of painful memory it would have been easy to just forget. But you see, I kept the little bear. I don’t know if mom ended up paying for it or you gave it to me because I’d rendered it worthless. I’ve kept it all this time because I didn’t want to forget and besides, I love the little bear despite his stumpy foot. I’m not sure why this story is important to me but it is.
And that is why I’m writing you this letter – because whatever my mom paid for that bear or whatever sale you lost because he was broken, this little bear and his story are priceless to me – I just wanted you to know.