Broke a “Relic”

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, April 13, 1914: Blue Monday. Yes it was. I broke one of Ma’s relics, and things got bluer yet. Made me feel real miserable.


Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:


Ouch. . . it’s no fun to break a family “relic.”

Was Ma really mad? . . . and then what happened then that made things even bluer?

46 thoughts on “Broke a “Relic”

  1. Oh, no–poor Helena. I hate breaking anything, even something with little value, and to break something that someone else cherishes . . . ouch.

    1. It’s difficult to tell from the diary entry how upset her mother was. . . though the way Grandma wrote that “things got bluer yet” makes we think that her mother punished her in some way.

    1. The term seems odd to me, too. I wonder if Grandma didn’t personally care much for the item–and that it just seemed old to her (though of course her mother valued it).

  2. I was 8 and I just had to show it to my girlfriend who was spending the night, knowing I had been told to keep my hands off. We were both sent to my room. Moms get over it but I know she was hurt and I’ll never forget. I can empathize with your Grandma.

      1. Absolutely. A very interesting point to consider as it is one we tend to overlook far too often and I think your project is wonderful the way it highlights the matter.

  3. Although it wasn’t a relic, I remember breaking a Chinese vase base of a lamp. My brother and I were mucking around and he was tickling me and my head flew back and hit the base which then smashed into some large pieces. My Mum went absolutely mental about it, although I apologised profusely and was in quite a bit of pain, I don’t think I was forgiven for quite some time!

    1. It’s so easy for things like this to happen. . . I can remember breaking a few things my mother treasured when I was a child, and I can also remember my kids breaking a few items I treasured when they were small.

    1. My guess is that relic means an old treasure. Of course even something that was only 15 or 20 years old, probably would have seemed old to a 19-year-old.

  4. Recently, I brought over a cake to a holiday party placed on my mothers ancient plate. The lady of the house dropped it and broke it into pieces. I wished her good luck on the breaking of glass and have missed my mother’s plate ever since.

  5. I had exactly the same reactions as socialbridge and wishfulthinking posted above! The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  6. Today we would say “antique” but a relic had to be something very special to her Mom. So, a blue Monday got bluer for Helena but if I were there I would tell her “this too shall pass.”

    1. You’re right. . . happier days follow sad ones. . . though I’m sure that’s a difficult concept for a teen to grasp right after she’s broken one of her mother’s favorite “relics”.

    1. I bet that they would find it interesting. I’m sure that I have lots of interesting ancestors, but the ones who pique my interest the most are the ones who left behind enough artifacts that I can get a sense of what they were like.

  7. I’m a butter-fingers ninja. I continually trip, fall into and over things. On our first trip to San Jose, I fell over my own luggage, head first and threw my laptop under a bus that I was carrying, LOL. I was ok, except my pants weren’t. I bet it was even worse for your grandma because she broke someone else’s treasure. Poor thing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s