“I did not want to die without being married to her, for forty-nine or seventy-nine or preferably a thousand and ninety-nine years. Deathbeds, sickrooms, a smudge of ashes on her brow: I would wait forever,” writes Kathryn Schulz in “How I Proposed to My Girlfriend,” published in the New Yorker and excerpted from her memoir, Lost & Found (Random House, 2022). The heartwarming essay tells the story of Schulz wanting to propose to her girlfriend while reflecting on the history of the wedding ring that once belonged to her late father. “He was seventy-four when she took it off. Life had grown on it, grown into it; for as long as I could remember, the grooves of the pattern had been charcoal, the surface a flat deep bronze.” Write an essay about a prized possession with a storied history to it. How did you come to acquire it, and what new life does it breathe?
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