The other day a woman that I've known slightly for a few years dropped by my house to pick up her daughter who was hanging out with my daughter. The girls used to dance together, so I know a few things about the mom just by dint of passing the time waiting for dance classes to end. So, for example, I know that this woman's parents died when she was quite young and she was raised by 7(?!) older brothers. She was old enough to remember her mom, but still quite young if I recall correctly. I only tell you this because it is important to the rest of the story.
So she came to pick up her daughter and stepped into my kitchen. Her eye was immediately drawn to my lovely new plate rack and it's three Kathie Winkle platters. She said, "I like your plates. They remind me of dishes that my mother had when I was young." I asked if her mother had one of those patterns and she said, "No, but similar to those." I proceeded to give my "mini" Kathie Winkle lecture, and then to illustrate reached into a cupboard to find a dish by which to illustrate the numerous lovely patterns available. As I pulled out the bowl and turned it towards her. She gasped. "That was my mother's pattern." I immediately offered it to her. She demurred that she wouldn't "break up the set". My daughter guffawed(!) and I patiently explained that, really, I have plenty and I would be really pleased if she would take it. I checked it for chips and cracks (remarkably, I have several pieces of Rushtone, the pattern I had grabbed, and wanted to give her a decent one) and insisted. She held it to her chest and said, "I don't have anything that belonged to my mother."
It really makes all that gathering worthwhile. She has since told me it holds a place of honour in her china cabinet. Sigh.