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Wisdom from Grandma Part 4378: “You can’t take it with you”

Not long ago, I inherited the house of my grandmother. It’s in the middle of nowhere and it’s so little and pretty and from another century that it’s heartbreaking. I would move in the minute I could if it would be in Vienna. But since it’s not, I now want to rent it out to somebody nice. If I find someone who’s willing to move out there ๐Ÿ˜‰ And if I find someone who is willing to pay me some rent for such an old house…but that is a whole different story ๐Ÿ˜‰

The secretary of my grandfather isn't that beautiful, but that one caught my eye. Maybe I'm gonna treat myself to one of those when I'm older... picture via inetgiant.com

Until I find that certain someone, I have to clear out the house. Which is a difficult task, considering it’s full of stuff my relatives loaded there the last few years since my grandmother died. The only thing I would have liked to keep was a little secretary that belonged to my grandfather. It has those little drawers and doors with tiny, beautiful keys. It also has a hutch with a round, built-in ceramic picture. I don’t think it’s antique but it is definitely charming. My granddad stored his most beloved things in there and nobody even dared to touch it. He died before I was born but interestingly, drawings he drew when he was a child only came to light when I was already in my teens. Somebody “dared” to look into the secretary and found those little beautiful drawings of his childhood home in the woods with a pond in front. He never showed those pictures to anyone. Not even my grandmother knew of their existence. Nowadays, all of his children have a photocopy of that drawing in their home and the original hangs in the house I inherited now.

Just a nice little back story to get to the point … because last week I told my mom to ask her siblings or my cousins if they wanted to have something from the house. Never did I think that somebody would want the secretary…

As it happens, my mom visited a cousin of mineย  last week. When mom mentioned the house, my cousin carefully asked her what would happen to the secretary. THE secretary. Of course. At first I was shocked. Disappointed. Sad. I couldn’t believe that she had the nerve to suggest to give her the secretary. She put me in an awful position. How could I refuse her wish? I was very upset and felt trapped. Grumpily, I told my boyfriend the story who wasn’t very impressed, since we don’t even have room for it. I would store it in some place that doesn’t do it justice. I still brooded over it a few minutes, and then I let go.

via cartoonstock.com

My cousin still knew my grandfather. Maybe she even saw him sitting there, writing letters or something. She still knows the real purpose of it. Additionally, she studied art and definitely knows how to restore the secretary to its old glory. With me, I would maybe paint it, but I would spoil the old appearance. If she gets it, the secretary will definitely stand in a fitting place in her house so that everybody can admire it. And then people will ask where it’s from, and she can tell stories about our grandfather. People should definitely hear more stories of him! He seems to have been a wonderful man. If I would have it, nobody would get to see it since I don’t have space. And that would be a pity. The most important point though, as my grandma (the other grandma who’s still living) always says: “You can’t take it with you when you die.”

I think of this saying a lot whenever I treasure material things too much so that they start to become a burden. I don’t want this flat to be my last one. I don’t want to only live here in Vienna. I hope to move a lot and get to know lot’s of places. How can I possess furniture if I want to do that? Where would I store it? Would it be fair to the furniture? Definitely not. What’s also important is that I can make my cousin happy. I always like to make others happy and this gives more comfort than holding on to it. Besides, she has four children. Those kids didn’t know our grandfather either, maybe they will appreciate their roots through the secretary. In the end, I hope I can admire the secretary in her house sometime with a feeling of perfect contentment. And maybe this is the chance to get back my Game boy I borrowed one of her kids in 1999 or something … what can I say, yet another crazy backstory ๐Ÿ˜‰

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6 responses »

  1. I love this entry! It’s fascinating to read the process by which someone else lets go of a grievance. I have lots of experience working myself through similar frustrations, but not so much experience hearing how other folks do. So it’s beautiful to see others striving toward use of reason to resolve emotional unrest. And how! ๐Ÿ™‚

    It will be interesting to see if you revisit the secretary in the future–say, a year or two. I’d love to see what use is actually made of it after having read what might come of it.

    Reply
    • Thank you! It’s the hardest thing to be reasonable and act like a grown-up in such situations … A boyfriend who’s always the voice of reason definitely helps ๐Ÿ˜‰
      A couple of years ago I wouldn’t have acted so mature … But since then I learned that I don’t need to possess stuff or hold on to something to feel happy, and treasure the memories and happy times I had with it … something like that!
      I’m also curious about where and how it ends up. I’ll give an update then ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  2. I like your username. Heck I am proud of you just reading this post. At first I was saying hecky naw. You had your eyes on it first. Than I continue to read on and saw the benefit of your cousin having it. Than my eyes was open and understand how you felt and saw all the reason to give it to her. Plus she is family. You can always visit, touch, feel, and see the the secretary. Also visualize your grandfather. If it went else where all that would of been gone. So good for you!

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Treasures from my grandmother’s house « Makingmomproud's Blog

  4. Pingback: What I learned in the past three months « Makingmomproud's Blog

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