For many years I’ve treasured a small Mr. Funny mug, given to me when I was a child. It has travelled with me from home to home, sometimes tucked away at the back of a cupboard, sometimes front and center. I was so pleased to pass Mr. Funny along to Daniel when he was three. I smiled every time he used it; it was quite wonderful to see Daniel enjoy the mug so much. If given the choice between Mr. Funny and any other mug, he always chose Mr. Funny.
“May I have some more water please?” Daniel asked.
“Hold your mug still – here you go.”
S M A S H ! ! ! Between the two of us we’d knocked Mr. Funny to the floor; obliterated into hundreds of teeny tiny pieces. Gone. Forever. Daniel burst into tears and began trying to pick up the pieces.
“Daniel, go sit at the table, I need to clean this up. It’s okay, honey, I’m not cross.”
“Mommy, please can you buy another one?”
“Sorry pumpkin, they don’t make them anymore.”
I began sweeping up the shards. Definitely nothing retrievable: neither the teapot house on the back nor Mr. Funny’s picture on the front. Daniel tried everything he could think of to avoid Mr. Funny’s inevitable trip to the garbage can. Could we put him back together? Could we put him in a baggie? In a final desperate plea, Daniel asked for Mr. Funny to be recycled instead of being thrown away. I suppose he realized that if recycled, Mr. Funny would somehow have carried on.
Daniel sobbed for the dear friend he’d lost. I’d never seen him so heartbroken. We sat together and cuddled. We cuddled for a very long time while he wept. Daniel repeatedly asked for another Mr. Funny mug. This might have been the first thing for which he’d felt a sense of loss.
I hadn’t promised Daniel that we’d replace his mug, but over the next few days I tried to locate one anyway. Nothing. Well, except the for £40 mug for sale on eBay in England, shown in the photo above. Sorry kiddo, but once that mug had been shipped to Canada and duties and freight paid in addition to the original price, this particular Mr. Funny mug just wasn’t in the budget.
My heart broke to witness Daniel’s grief. Every day for a couple of weeks after “the accident” he asked for Mr. Funny. Every day I told him that “No Sweetie, Mr. Funny is broken, we don’t have him anymore.”
Although saddened that the Mr. Funny mug is gone, I am pleased that Daniel loved it so much before its demise. I’ve always felt that beautiful or sentimental items with a specific function should be enjoyed while serving that purpose. As Alfred Lord Tennyson so eloquently puts it ‘tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.