I bought this lamp at an antique store in my hometown the summer my husband and I were engaged. I was working as an apprentice at a theatre, making a decent wage but not a lot of extra money. Still, when I came across this lamp, I thought, "This will look beautiful in the home my new husband and I build together, and after all, we will need some lamps." I haggled over the price and purchased the lamp. Five months later, it was put on a moving truck and shipped across the country to the new home I shared with my brand-new husband.
The lamp did, indeed bring light and beauty to our house. It sat in our bedroom, and we would curl up in bed at night to read by its light. A year later, it followed us from our rented house to our condominum across town: the first (and so far only) house that we purchased together. The little lamp remained unscathed.
Fast forward another few months: the day of our friends' wedding shower. We were moving furniture in our bedroom, and I had set the lamp well out of the way of danger. As we were moving the mattress back on the bed, my husband set it down awkwardly for a minute, knocking the lamp off the table where I had placed it. It fell backwards and hit our metal baseboard heater. The porcelain globe shattered everywhere. After the reality of what had just happened set in, I ran from the room, choking down tears of disappointment and anger.
My husband followed me to the other room where I sat, crying bitterly, as I had not done since I was a child. I felt so foolish, but I was angry, too, and so sad. He apologized. Through my sobs, I blurted out, "I know it's stupid, but that lamp meant so much to me! And, I know I'll never find another one like it!" My husband wisely concluded that it was probably best just to let me cry it out. After all, I was six months pregnant and very emotional to begin with. While I continued to blubber in the front room, he returned to our bedroom and started gathering the broken pieces of the lamp shade. When I was calmer, he showed me what he had done. "I can't promise you I can fix it," he said, "but I'll do my best." I nodded with a sniffle. I forgave him, and we hugged. Finally, we headed off to the wedding shower.
Over the next couple of days, the two of us worked side by side, painstakingly working to reconstruct the lamp with super glue and tweezers. It was one heck of a puzzle, made more complicated by the fact that some pieces had been obliterated into a fine powder, as evidenced by some of the larger cracks in the pictures. While we worked, we talked about the importance of forgiveness in marriage and the value in not giving something up for lost just because it was broken. Though I would have liked to have my lamp whole again, I would not have traded the experience, because it brought my husband and me closer together and strengthened our marriage.
Today the lamp sits on my bedside table, a testament to the strength of our marriage and a reminder that forgiveness and hard work can fix even the most seemingly irreperable damage.