Memories. Memories come in the strangest of forms. I never met my great-grandmother, but her four daughters were an integral part of my daily life. They shaped my world, spoiled me, taught me, loved me. Of all the things they collected and treasured, the drawers full of their mother’s tarnished silverware is the most beautiful. Of all the things they sold in order to keep food on the table and clothes on their children, they always protected the silverware. I refuse to polish away the patina and fingerprints, the years of use that have darkened the monogrammed “R” that adorns the graceful handles. I never met my great-grandmother, but when I look at these pieces of silver, I have memories of her Christmas dinners and Sunday lunches. I never met my great-grandmother, but her four daughters taught me everything I needed to know: love deeply, laugh loudly, and life is too short not to use the good silverware.

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