History, Advanced Art, and Biology 101

She came to see me.  Her smile was familiar, but something was different.  Missing.

She was clutching something wrapped in fabric resembling a quilt.

She leaned forward and gently placed it in front of me.  As I began unfolding the edges, I saw the broken pieces.   Some were so damaged I barely recognized what I was looking at.

I sighed.  Who would do this?  I glanced across at her, but she wasn’t looking at me.  She was gazing down at the shards.  Her eyes glistened, but she remained silent.

After a moment, she raised her head and asked the question.  Was it fixable?

Oh my.

I spread the collection out to assess the damage.  I turned a few pieces over to get a better look.  There was evidence that this had been broken before.  Had it been dropped?  Thrown?   Upon further inspection, I spied a set of fingerprints.  They would be hard to identify. But that didn’t matter.  She knew who had done this.  That was not the reason for her visit.  I smiled as I touched one of the largest recognizable pieces.  Forgiveness.  We could start with that.

Some of the smaller bits were harder to identify.  Hope was nearly lost.  Self-worth was shattered.  Faith had been destroyed.  And there were bits that clearly didn’t belong.  Maybe they had been swept up by accident when she was collecting it.  I recognized them as well.  Insecurities.  The same person who had dropped it had left those behind.

Yes, yes.  It was fixable.  But it wouldn’t be the same.  I could tell she already knew that.  Luckily, I had more hope to give her.  I attached that to the forgiveness, and began to assemble the remaining pieces.  I carefully picked out all of the insecurities, and added some laughter to hold the rest together.

When it was complete, I swept the fine particles of memories into my hand.  I paused before tipping them into the trash.  I waited for her to nod.  Instead, she reached over and took my hand, pouring them onto the finished piece like glitter.   What was once a factory-perfect heart now resembled a piece of art.  Unique and beautiful.

As she carefully wrapped it up to head out, I reminded her that it was still fragile.  The smile I remembered crept back over her face.  “That’s okay,” she assured me, and then reminded me of the one thing she knew to be true about the heart, “love regenerates.”





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