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Using the china

Once upon a time (and what seems like only just yesterday), I was wandering the fine china and crystal section of Marshall Field's department store in Chicago. I was preparing to marry the future father of my future sons and I was on the registry quest for the china and silver of my dreams. (Those were the days when the bride made the selections.)

I'll never forget that outing with my Aunt Pat. She created treasured memories for me as she directed: "Hold the spoon in your hand, how does the weight feel?", "Imagine yourself sipping out of this teacup on Thanksgiving twenty years from now... will you still enjoy the pattern?" I thought: "I will, and I will."

As a newlywed, I cherished the china. There were dinner parties and young-bride-cooking-snafu's and a chipped Waterford bowl that still makes me nostalgic when I remember my husband not being careful as he washed it that one night after the guests left.

Then - struggles - much worse than chipped Waterford.

Change. Dreams that didn't pan out. Divorce.

Once, when in need of cash, I considered selling the china and crystal and silver. I did not.

And even as a single parent, I kept setting the table with the china. Not often enough - but enough. Enough to remember.

Then - tragedy - something akin to shattered Waterford. But worse.

Change. Dreams that didn't pan out. Death.


Of the father of my two boys.

Of my firstborn son.

At one crazed point, I considered chucking the china and crystal and silver. I did not.

Recently, I was reminded of that lovely afternoon field trip to Marshall Fields' 37 years ago. As I was wandering an antique mall, on an entirely different quest of no import, I happened upon a dusty corner shelf full of my china. I mean to say: my pattern of china. Wedgewood Rosedale. Dishes and cups and saucers and bowls (I didn't have any bowls!) and an oval platter (I didn't have one of those!).

I passed it by, not liking the price and thinking I certainly didn't need more of that.

Once home, I couldn't get it out of my mind.

Two days later, I went back and bought it all.

I rearranged the kitchen cabinets today.

Change. New dreams. Hope.

The china is front and center on all the shelves. I don't care that it's pricey. I don't care that it's not microwaveable or dishwasher safe. I don't care about things the way I used to care about them.

I'm using the china.

Every day.

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Unknown member
May 27

I know my Chad and all our children would want us to live life to the fullest. And, to use the China. Thank you for this.


Unknown member
May 26

Beautifully written and so packed with goodness. Thank you, Rita. You are such a blessing! It does my heart good to read of you being kind to yourself. A good example for us all.

P.S. I love your china and am so glad you’re using it!


Unknown member
May 26

I think it's time you write a book....


Unknown member
May 26

Beautifully written Rita! One thing I continue to learn through loss is a constant search for hope. I love that tender memories have revisited you and offered new hope and new dreams❤️


Unknown member
May 26

Such an important reminder to live in the moment and live each day to its fullest. Thank you Rita! 💜

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