It was just a fork, and yet on our visits to Grandma Hostetter’s house, I was always quick to claim it as “mine” for the duration of the visit. Tines slightly bent and dull from use, it truly was not among the nicest of Grandma’s silverware and certainly of little material worth and yet, for some reason, I loved it.
The silverware Grandma used on a daily basis wasn’t entirely a matched set, but composed of various different pieces collected over the years. So while this piece may have been different from the others, it wasn’t all alone in its uniqueness and sadly it never occurred to me that it might have a story. So I now wonder how she came to have that fork and it serves as yet one more reminder to ask questions of the older generation when we have a chance.
|Grandpa Nephi Glen Hostetter
and myself, California
It wasn’t until I was a young adult that grandma shared with me that the fork held a special place in her heart. She told me that it was also my grandpa’s favorite fork. My grandpa who died when I was two years old, the grandpa I had no memories of, the grandpa I was told loved me dearly and liked to stand at the bedroom door just to watch me sleep. Suddenly I had a tangible connection, albeit through a crazy, beat up fork.
Although I think in ways it was hard for Grandma to give it up, she decided I should be the one to have the fork. I am grateful that, although we live in a throw away society where people toss things judged to be of little material worth, my grandma knew the worth of such treasures. You see, my Grandma Hostetter loved family history, she knew the value of our connections with the past and it was she who first instilled in me the love for my ancestors.
The fork is retired from service, but sits on the shelf in my office as a reminder that Grandpa and I had something in common, albeit the love of a beat up ole fork.
Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2016, All rights reserved