Keep Your Fork

Not long ago I was helping with a fun wedding reception dinner of barbecue and the fixings. Unaware that there was another box of utensils, I collected dinner plates from satisfied guests and said, “Keep your fork for wedding cake.”

I have lots of forks. But I’ve never been one to set a fancy table with two forks or even put a spoon on the table if there’s no need for it. Why  wash more silverware? And I have said to plenty of folks who’ve sat at the kitchen table, “Keep your fork.”

At a funeral, I heard a man tell a story that many of you may have heard before (but I had not) about a woman who wanted to be buried with a fork in her hand. She always knew that if she needed to keep her fork there was more to come, and it might be apple pie or chocolate cake or caramel bread pudding (or wedding cake). Keeping the fork meant the best was yet to come, and she was hoping for a heavenly reception.

This time I really heard the phrase I’ve heard all my life.

Keep your fork.

Anticipate that something good is coming.

Lately, I’ve not been looking at life that way. I’ve spent a lot of time looking backwards. Living in memories. Thinking of what’s behind me, not what’s ahead. Dwelling on what I’ve lost and not what I gained from living with a smart funny man for forty years. A man who knew me, who listened to me, although not always agreeing with me, but who listened to me without judging.

So going forward, I’m going to change my outlook and keep my fork. I’m going to anticipate something good is coming my way, is around the corner, is beyond the bend. Why not keep your fork, too?