“When I’m gone,” said Mom about a year ago, “I want you each to have back the gifts you’ve given me over the years. I’ve marked them all with a sticker on the bottom.”
My siblings and I shot quick glances at each other; we hadn’t expected this. We had gathered at Mom’s for our annual Mother’s Day dinner, and I suddenly wished that my gift to her this year had been a vinyl Duran Duran album.
Sister Kate said what I was thinking: “But Mom, I gave you those gifts because I wanted you to have them. I don’t want them back.”
“It’s only fair that you should get back what you gave me dear, and I insist,” Mom said in her Stern Voice. I was well familiar with that voice; when we were kids proclamations in that voice were always followed by “I’m counting to three!” as if doing so could magically bend the universe to her will.
I hadn’t given much thought to Mom dying, at least not in an immediate way. I suppose she was right to be thinking about how her personal possessions would be distributed after she’s gone. It’s best to have a plan in place. Cousins Ralph and Teresa nearly came to blows over a couple of Christmas tree ornaments when Aunt Judy passed away two years ago. It’s odd what family members place value on. Sometimes we get really attached to an item as we grow up. When a sibling becomes attached to the same item, deciding “who gets what” can become a difficult decision. Dividing money among heirs is easy. Dividing personal property can be a major challenge. Read More >>>
Originally posted 2014-11-14 16:16:00.