Only Love Lasts Forever

Only Love Lasts Forever

From Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul

Only Love Lasts Forever

Yesterday, after telling my brother, Rhys, and me to stop playing like wild animals in the house for what she said was the thousandth time, Mom went to take a bath. That’s when it happened. We were playing around, bopping each other with pillows, when one slipped from my brother’s grasp and smashed the glass dome on the coffee table, shattering it into a zillion pieces!

With her supersonic hearing, my mom heard the tremendous crash and then the sound of glass hitting the tile. Wasting no time, she came flying into the room to find out what had happened. I was sure my brother and I were dead meat and she was going to start yelling at us, but instead she just knelt by the pieces and began to cry.

This made Rhys and me feel pretty awful. We went over and put our arms around her, and she explained to us why she was so upset. Under the shattered glass dome was a white porcelain rose. Dad had given it to her on their first wedding anniversary. He had said that if he ever forgot to bring flowers for an anniversary in the future, Mom was to look at that one. It was like their love—it would last a lifetime.

Now it lay chipped on the floor, one petal gone. We began crying, too, and offered to glue it for her. She said that wouldn’t really fix it. Now that it had been broken, the value of the “limited edition” had lessened. We got our piggy banks out to pay for it, but Mom replied that to her the rose represented Dad’s love and could never truly be restored.

As Mom slowly began to pick up the mess, we tried everything we could think of to cheer her up, but even our best funny faces didn’t work. Mom just looked away. Rhys and I were even really nice to each other, which always makes her eyes twinkle, but she didn’t seem to notice. The tears kept coming down her cheeks as she cleaned up the mess.

DENNIS THE MENACE

After everything was picked up and Mom was on her way back to the bath, I stopped her in the hall and said I had something important to tell her. She tried to go around me, replying “Not now,” but I wouldn’t let her by. I told her, “I want to say something very important; it’s a rule of God.”

I put both hands on her shoulders and told her, “All things can be broken, Mom; everything breaks sometime. The only thing that isn’t like that is love. It’s the only thing that can never be broken.”

Mom hugged me very tightly then and finally smiled. She said that I was pretty wise and understood some things that even much older people didn’t!

After dinner that night, we had a family meeting. We discussed mistakes and the importance of learning from them. Mom glued the petal back onto the rose. The tiny petal now had a thin, almost invisible line of glue. Then Mom softly said, “Even though other people have ‘limited edition’ roses, mine is truly unique. Its tiny flaw reminds me of something more important: the realization that only love lasts forever.”

Denise and Rett Ackart

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