A broken perfume bottle, a 60-year old necklace breaks, and “are you freaking serious?!”

When Mimi died, there were only a few things I wanted immediately: a simple gold band (I have worn it every day since she died), a tiny perfume bottle that had her “smell,” a strand of white beads with matching earrings, and one of her paintings I loved.

The morning of Mimi’s funeral we were busily preparing ourselves for both the funeral and the reception, which would be at our house. I have to say, I was a wreck. I was trying really hard to hold it together for Pop (and my dad), but I truly couldn’t believe we’d lost her. Mimi was everything to us. More than a grandmother. Beauty Queen, soft skin, amazing laugh, nurturing, smart…I could go on for days. She was a true “10.”

Anyway, the morning of the funeral, I was at Mom and Dad’s house coming down the stairs with my music in one hand and Mimi’s little perfume bottle in the other…yep. Perfume bottle flew out of my hands and shattered in the middle of the foyer.

Last Monday evening, for the first time ever, I wore Mimi’s beads to a party (Mad Men themed). I arrived at the venue (super cool store called “Urban Bliss” in Zürich), took two pictures, and then without any warning…yep. I felt dozens of beads fall down my dress, scattering all around me.

Mimi would say, “Princess Wawie (or “sweet girl,” she liked both names for me), tell them this is not a grey cloud story!”

I assure you, it is not a grey cloud story. Mimi and I will continue to amaze you.

When the perfume shattered two amazing things happened. First, the shattered perfume had a healing effect because I was covered in it all day (smelling like her) AND the foyer was really covered in it. When we returned from the funeral, it was as if she was there! The scent was so strong and literally greeted every person as he/she walked in the door. Second, when the bottle shattered I really lost it. Momma took me in her bathroom and wiped away my tears. She saw how important it was to me, so she took a small bit of the perfume and shopped around. Unable to find an exact match, which was all she would settle for, she finally went to a perfume manufacturer in New Orleans, I think, and had one made. FOR ME. Two blessings from something broken.

Now, when the necklace broke, this was a serious thing. I have a major back injury. When it broke? I thought, “Are you freaking serious?” because there was no way I could bend down and pick up the beads from my dead grandmother’s necklace. I almost cried. Before I could? My friends all dropped to their knees and recovered every bead. Here’s the other kicker, that necklace didn’t break when I was walking or on the train or on the tram getting to the party. It waited until I had friends around me to help me. Yes, that is what I said. A 60-year old necklace literally appears to have waited to break.

Mimi sent me a reminder. She’s done it before with the perfume. Something very important might look broken and beyond repair. We may want to scream out, “Are you freaking serious?!” Take a breath.

“There is hope even in the break, sweet girl.” Hope for healing, hope for seeing who loves you when something breaks, hope for possibility for a new approach, hope for new packaging, hope.

Always that.

also pre-break
also pre-break


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