After Gran Vanna said the blessing for the meal, Caroline spread an embroidered napkin in her lap and asked if the table was new. Her grandmother confirmed that it was a find from her recent treasure hunt with friends in a coastal antique shop. “Your Poppy Noble never tired of stargazing over the ocean, remember? This design, with the waves on the shoreline and the sprinkling of stars above, it reminded me of him. He’d like this table. As I stood there in the shop considering how it would look after cleaning it up, it occurred to me that life is like a mosaic. It’s beautiful from a distance, but when you get close, you see that everything in it is broken and mended back together. Those dark shapes had sharp edges, and on their own, they’re ugly, like our problems, or bad things that happen to us. But the artist had a vision to use them to create a background that sets off the pretty pieces. We appreciate the picture, but we have to accept that the dark ones are part of the whole effect.”
Caroline chewed a mouthful of her dumplings, recognizing this familiar tactic. Gran Vanna was painting a word picture to communicate a life truth. It was her subtle way of giving comfort or advice. Caroline swallowed and sipped sweet tea with lemon before she took the bait. “Are you sayin’ that even the good things in life are broken?”
Gran Vanna swallowed her dainty bite. “Everything in this world is broken, child.
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