Kinda similar post but from a Gramma point of view...and not warm & fuzzy, sadly!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I don't want to usurp the post that had a different origination but "leaving things" and "what was left" or "what might be left" is the topic. husband and I are old. One of my "surprises" as a senior citizen with a health issue is realizing that aside from monetary bequests there really "ain't much" that has any real meaning to the children and grandchildren. This does not mean they are a bunch of selfish losers, lol, it just "is a fact". Even though I was the youngest of four I was Executor of both parents affairs and omg did I learn about human nature and ?? possibly greed?? or maybe grief manifested in a greedful manner?

    We honestly did do our best at parenting........and, obviously, grandparenting. We will pass on without sizable financial bequeaths. What's bothersome is that items with-o financial value but full of emotional value to me (or husband) have little to no value to most of the children. An object that easy child/difficult child really hoped he would inherit no longer has a potential place in his new home as his SO has a decorating theme that wouldn't include that space. It's surreal.

    Yes, the sterling silver and the imported china and a few special pieces of jewelry "may" be hoped for or valued but that is not what we thought our life was about. Our life was about the happy times that are shown in the photo albums. My most precious items (other than a few pieces of jewelry that I did inherit) are books. Yep...books that have covers and slightly krinkled pages and don't pop up on an electronic device. Just thought I'd let you guys know how some old people think. Our of eight children I have one who "gets it". DDD
  2. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    I let young difficult child and easy child know that I am leaving them my Art and my poetry. I would love to leave the photo albums with both boys wives for the grandchildren.

    We do have a sizable life insurance policy that will be split between our 3 children. Like you, I hope the memories that are in the photo's will be cherished...there were ALOT of good times before drugs/alcohol took over the picture.

    My husband's mother died early of Alcoholism. She "willed" all money left to her daughter who was a single "deadbeat" mom. My husband felt slighted as he was "successful" and so therefore was "rewarded" (his thoughts) with nothing in her will. He still wrestles with this.

    I am very sentimental too and have many bins full of each of my children's school years: pictures they made, school/class photos, books they made in school, writings they wrote at school, even toys they played with...Yes, I let them play with Power Rangers, lol. I know they mean something to my children as all of them have looked back through those things even in the past 5 yrs or so.

    I hope I did not sound "greedy" in my post about my mother. I know what I really want is a redo of my childhood and a less selfish mom in general. Lately it's just been too much.

    by the way, don't you go anywhere anytime soon okay.
    We value YOU...because you are a wonderful person, a loving and caring person that gives everyone the benfit of the doubt and I know you are always rooting for the underdog, the hurting, the afflicted too!

    Anyway...I love you.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thats why I said I would wait till middle age for my least I hope I live that

    I wouldnt have appreciated my mom's things when I was in my 20s so I sorta understand that. Now at my age I am very attached. Some of the items are simply pieces of furniture that were in the home I grew up in. I hope my kids will cherish the items too but I dont know. difficult child does want one thing badly but I wont let him have it yet. I gave my middle son a set of my mom's china when he married his first wife and then when he married his second wife she "dropped" a whole box of it and it all broke. I think she thought it was the first wifes but it wasnt. My middle son was MAD! They all thought it was expensive china but it really wasnt. It was nice but it was just a set she got at a Im darned glad I didnt give him the good stuff!
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    DDD, I can understand what you're talking about. I think as we get older, our personal landscape shifts considerably, especially if we're facing health issues........... which bring important values like love, family, memories, intimacy, connection, etc, right up to the fore. I'm not entirely in that place, but I'm close. Our kids and grandkids are in different age groups, life looks so different from a younger perspective and would feel so much better to us if as one of your children does............. if they could just 'get it' and understand what we now know to be true.

    SO and I were just talking about leaving our kids/grandkids money.............and in the conversation we realized that his sons have an abundance of resources as do their in-laws, so the 2 grandsons are well taken care of. My granddaughter would be the only one left bereft without us, so our efforts are around her. She is a teenager, so she is looking at life from an entirely different perspective.........I'm sure if I died tomorrow, she would be devastated since I am her main 'parental' unit..........but anything I would leave her would be simply monetary and nothing I value would be appreciated because of her age. She would understand it all better as she grew up, as I did too. I think she would hold on to some piece of me that she knew I valued, but she won't REALLY know the depth of the loss until she grows up more, until she lives more and then those memories will likely be precious to her.

    I think it's really hard to look at our own passing and what we leave behind to our kids/grandkids in terms of the 'stuff' we leave, whether it's a lot or nothing...............but I do believe in my heart, that all those memories you speak of that are shown in the photo albums and even your books, will be looked at and valued immensely after you've made your final exit. Many of us don't seem to truly know the value of life until we lose someone so important to us, as you've been to your kids and may not be here to see the way they experience the loss of you and husband, but from reading your posts now for awhile, I think your passing will leave an enormous hole in the lives of many. Perhaps the 'stuff' won't mean too much, but YOU do and will and the memories are what is the most important thing we leave, even if those we leave those memories to aren't aware of it quite yet. They will be. YOU are the precious, valuable inheritance to your kids/grandkids, all that you taught them, all the laughter, all the nights spent listening to them, how you looked at them, how you showed up for them, how you loved them.........that will last for their doubt about it........
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I dunno DDD. I know what you're talking about but when that time comes their minds stand a high chance of abruptly changing.........for all the right reasons.

    Nichole has extremely vague memories of her grandpa Oliver. She was two when he passed, but she was totally a papa's girl and he utterly adored her. (he did all 3 kids but he was a whimp for her big brown eyes lol) Oliver had brought back items from his tour in china in wwII. Nichole's husband had a cow when she wanted them. Would not go with his "modern" decor theme. Guy thinks he knows decor......actually he stinks and the place came off as non homey as you could get until Nichole took it over again. He absolutely loathed a pair of ivory book ends (huge) that were naked women in a striking pose. (I actually liked them myself) He broke one because she took them home. On purpose. She nearly killed the man. Since then he has had to swallow any objection to her bringing into the home what she received from her grandma when she passed........which was ALL the china things her grandpa brought home. Beautiful things, some valuable, some just plain gorgeous......each a precious memory.

    I went to get rid of books, some antique books. Kids had a royal fit. I think they did take some of them. I still have boxes more to get rid of. I love books but these are not quite my style per se and I likely won't read them. I'm sure someone else will enjoy them though.

    The kids have very little interest in their photos or photo albums, at least that I'm aware of. I know from experience that will likely change so I don't worry about it much.
  6. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    DDD, I totally understand what you are saying. I collected Waterford ornaments from the time difficult child was born. I collected a 12 days of Christmas set for difficult child and then started again and collected another 12 days of Christmas set for easy child. Each set started with the year they were born and I collected them for the next 12 years. I carefully unpack them every Christmas and put them on the tree and then carefully repack them after Christmas. Each girl is to get her set after I am gone.

    Sadly, I don't think that they mean much to either of them. I fully expect difficult child to sell hers and easy child might hold on to them just for my sake but I don't think she will carefully put them on the tree each year.

    I also collect Pfaltzgraf's Winterberry Christmas dinnerware. I don't think either of my daughters will care what happens to it even though I have collected it for years. Ironically, I have a very close friend who is 22 years younger than me who also collects Winterberry so I think I'll leave the dinnerware to her.

    The only real jewelry I have came from my grandmother. I expect that will be sold, too.

    Neither of my girls are sentimental.

    So, I get it.

    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I must be somewhat odd because I always knew the things my mom collected would eventually be mine and I wanted them even if I wasnt that fond of her. Maybe there is the kicker. She lavished attention on getting those items and I was with her many times when she did so those items also carry good memories for me too. Some of the only good memories I have with her. She collected old Blue Willow items. Not the knock offs you could buy in the grocery stores but the stuff from either England or China. Her theme was always blue and white. I love those things. She also had some silver and pewter items that I love. I dont keep them out because I dont want them lost.

    I do have to admit I have one piece of that newer Blue Willow but its a clock I bought to go with her motif. She liked it so I still have it.

    And dont get me started on pictures. I treasure every single picture I have now. I didnt back when I was young. I could kill my father because he put together one of those huge picture frames where you insert all these small photo's in various slots. He gave it to me when I was maybe 28 or so. They were all baby and childhood pictures of me. I liked the sentiment when he did it but we were still moving every so often and had no roots. That thing is long gone. Now I have only 2 baby pictures of me. I so wish he had waited until I was older and living in my own place before giving that to me.
  8. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Janet got me thinking about photos -- I did creative memories for years when I was a stay at home mom so both kids have individual first two years books plus I have big family books they can share later. I upload my iphone pics to my iphoto and then file them on a portable usb and put it in with my files.

    I remember back in the 80's, my mom purchase four shoe box sized plastic containers and went through ALL of the old family photos and split them up for the four of us! We each (my 3 sibs) got a shoe box filled with pics. I put mine in a creative memories album and I love it! Fortunately both my kids are sentimental ninnies like their mom!
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I wish I hadnt lost those dont know how badly. Now I want the videos my dad took of my boys. The last time he played them for me I was a crying mess halfway through. Im actually surprised he didnt just give them to me then because that was only a year or so before he died.

    *I also have a ton of pics online and at some point Im going to print some out for one of those books.
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Ever since I was a kid it's been impressed on me that memories are more important than STUFF. That said, when my maternal grandparents moved into assisted living... I WANTED their china cabinet and bedroom suite. A few knickknacks. My Grandpa's WWII books. A Brownie camera, a small bottle of Evening in Paris (empty of course), and a brass airplane made from artillery shells. Grandpa's patches in a shadowbox with a piece of shrapnel. (I'm the only grandchild.)

    My paternal grandparents have 4 grandchildren... And only one cares much about WWII. I got his uniform, and some other really cool stuff including a cover for Mein Kampf and some jewelry. I wish I had a display case for it.

    The WWII stuff will likely go to Pat, as he has shown a keen interest, and really there isn't much for him from his maternal grandparents. Biogpa died with nothing... And biogma, well, she's been excommunicated by a 15-y/o boy.

    I wanted Belle to get my cross, made by a great-uncle in WWII from a spoon; but she thinks it's tacky. Ah well. Rose will probably like it... She loves "shiny" things.

    I love photo albums... In fact I love making slide shows to music for my parents. We are slowly scanning them all in so we can keep them forever... SLOOOWWWWWLLLY.

    My parents have been going through and getting rid of stuff. LOTS of stuff. And before anything goes... Mom asks. Their headboard and dresser are Sauder - so I can just get rid of them someday. I have Mom's sewing table. And I have the coffee table and end tables her father made for them in 1973. They're orange and plain and weight a metric tonne and go with nothing I own, and I LOVE them.