Today, during the end of the Packers game, I thanked my grandma for giving me my grandpa’s SUV. It wasn’t exactly a straight-up gift. I gave my 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid to my mom so that she could trade that and her old car in to buy a new car that could accommodate my grandmother. But, even if it wasn’t a 100% gift, it was certainly an upgrade for me.
How can an SUV be an upgrade over a hybrid? Well, I did love driving that stick-shift Civic with the little green hybrid tag on the back. I took it on many road trips to many states in our beautiful country. But, I also used it like a truck and hauled stuff in it, drove through rough terrain with it, and wore out the hybrid battery pack. So, its gas mileage at the end wasn’t anywhere near its gas mileage when I first bought it (used at around 20,000 miles). And now we have a car that should be a little more dependable in the winter. Plus, I rarely drive more than 20 miles in a work week.
But, back to my grandma. I thanked her for the Ford Edge and she told me I was welcome and that she was glad it would be useful to my family. Nice words. The right words. But, there was a sadness in her voice. And then she told me that it’s really hard to give your whole house away.
Her husband, her health, her belongings, her home. All these things given away in the span of a couple months.
My grandma hasn’t even had a night at home since before my grandfather died. She’s spent all her time in the nursing home or hospital. My parents are preparing space for her to move in, and have taken some of her items to their house. But, the rest of her belongings, including everything else in her house, and the house itself, needs to go.
Many belongings are going to her grandchildren, most of whom are younger than me and just getting started in their careers. The items that served my grandparents will help my cousins get on their feet as they start families, move into new homes, finish school, etc.
I wonder what I will have to pass on to my children and grandchildren when it’s my time to let go of my material possessions, and how would I feel if it came on the heels of losing my lifelong partner.
My grandma has every right to be sad.