Broken Vase, Broken Siblings

30 Jan

Dear LetterBalm: I’m a junior in college. On school break last month, I house-sat for my big sister and her husband when they went on a trip to Hawaii. They have a really cool house and pool, and they said I could have a few friends over for a party. So, I invited six people for beer and swimming. I trust my friends, who are mature and responsible. Everything was fine, except later on I discovered that somebody (I don’t know who) had broken a vase in the living room. It was a valuable heirloom wedding gift from my sister’s mother-in-law, and she’s so mad, she’s stopped speaking to me. I can’t afford to replace the vase, and I don’t know what to do. Help!

–Swimming in the Doghouse

Ms. L.B. assumes the usual – Facebook, e-mails, texts, phone, intercession by family members – hasn’t worked. Your sister’s still steaming, right? (And, what about the person who broke the vase in the first place? Another LetterBalm, another day.) Your current predicament calls for a hand-written note, hand-delivered, if possible. Just say “Please read this,” when you put it into her hand. And, be patient – if you two have always been good sibs, she’ll eventually calm down. But don’t push it. The note:

Dear Emily,

It’s always been important to me that you and I be the closest of sisters. You know that I look up to you. So, this makes me so sad that I caused you pain and made you angry. I know what I did was terrible, and I apologize. I can never replace something so valuable to you, but can you see it in your heart to forgive me? I know it will take time, but I hope you can trust me again to be a considerate and responsible sister.



One Response to “Broken Vase, Broken Siblings”

  1. Andrea 01/28/2013 at 11:58 pm #

    Great advice!

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