A few years ago, in attempt to absolve the Skoczen clan of squabbling over possessions after her death, Nana began giving stuff away. To an outsider, coupled with her incessant talk of what she’d like to be buried in, this may seem a bit morbid, or at the very least, something of a downer. But to Nana, this is just being practical. You get used to it.

My bit of legacy was her wedding ring, the ring she wore for the fifty years she spent with my grandfather. In all her memories of their romancing, she always tells me that every Friday night before he took her out, he would bring her a fresh gardenia, his grand gesture. And every time I wear this ring, I remember those 50 years of pasta-making, love, and the advice she’s given me – that sometimes you need a grand gesture and not to settle for anything else. So I’ll keep waiting for mine, and hope that the next time I fall in love it won’t be quite so messy and filled with the intense need to get over it like ‘the consumption’ or a bad perm.