My tea cup is gone. It died. It was a good cup, although it would be offended that I call it a cup, as it was very much a mug and really begged for coffee. It came from Starbucks some years ago and we bonded right away. I took it with me everywhere. The entire town knows me and my crazy cup, squat and ceramic with perky blue and green stripes and an intrepid stainless steel bottom. That it never fell over and rarely splashed all over me, I ascribe to a certain mutual affection, despite my selfish tendency to leave it in the car overnight. In the morning, however, it would be lovingly rescued (ah! There you are!) and washed out to accompany me on another day of walking and talking and driving around town, hand in handle, nice and warm.

The loss of it was sudden and shocking. My youngest even cried. “Mommy! Your cup! What are you going to do now?”

She knew how much it meant to me.

But alas, in a rush to get out the door one morning my coat sleeve hung on the screen door handle. My arm stopped but the cup, unfortunately, was still in too much of a hurry to get to the car. The garage floor is a cruel concrete slab. It didn’t stand a chance.

I kept the pieces on the kitchen table for a week. Not sure what a decent burial is for a ceramic tea mug I just looked at it, willing it back together, shrugging off my children’s offerings of glue and Daddy’s fix-it prowess.

“Nope, it’s done. It’s too broken,” I told them. “Too many pieces.”

I went to Starbucks to see about buying a replacement cup, but they don’t make them anymore. All their travel mugs are tall and nerdy. No cute preppy stripes. No fat stainless steel bottoms. No stoic ceramic pallors. Just plastic towers, one after another.

I am sad.