Lost a Grandmother, Gained an Inheritance

kissing grandparents
I don’t really know how to start this post, other than to say I really miss my grandma. Even though she’s been gone for a few months now, I’m constantly reminded of my grandparents w/ all the pictures I have up around the house. Specifically on the top of my drawers – one of the first places I look in the morning when I’m getting changed and putting on the bling ;) I’m a lot more at peace with it now, and incredibly happy she’s with grandpa again!, but reality set in a second time when I actually saw that inheritance check come through the mail this weekend. The card was even in her handwriting REALLY stopping me in my tracks.

My grandparents were never rich, but they always wanted to “leave something” with us to help their grandchildren pursue any of our dreams we were constantly cooking up. They had lived a long and very fulfilling life – my grandma being a clothes designer on Madison Avenue back in the day, and my grandpa a member of the Italian Consulate – but the parts I remember most was the incredible love they shared for our family. I have never seen anyone CARE so much for someone as they did – their whole life was about family, and family only, and they always made sure we knew it.

It’s funny. I remember being so embarrassed all the time by them growing up a kid – always hugging and loving on us every time they came around, and now no matter how much I want to see them, or just get a quick “I love you more” in our constant battles of affection, it’s no longer possible. And no money in the world can bring them back. (Sorry for being so sad – it’s all rushing in again :()

They were no strangers to the value of money either. If anyone taught me how far a dollar can stretch, it was them. I remember one day walking into a Goodwill – a place my grandfather had never known about, having been born and raised in Italy – and his eyes lit up like a little kid on Christmas! He was so impressed with me – that I had known the places to go to get the great bargains, and I literally had to stop him from bringing home ten or twelve 3 piece suits he really didn’t need! Haha… he couldn’t bare to leave such deals behind :) “Do you know how much these cost back in my day??”

But life is what it is, and at some point we all rise up and accept what’s next for us. Whether you believe in heaven or not, it’s comforting to know that we’re all in this together. We’re born the same way, and we all pass on the same way – whenever “it’s time.” What we DO on Earth though is the big difference. I’m constantly asking myself if I’m affecting people in a positive way, or if I’m being too negative and dragging others with me? If I’m hurting them, or leaving behind the values that my grandparents and THEIR grandparents taught to them? These are all questions I think about on days like this. What WE’RE going to leave behind when it’s time for us to move on.

So while today’s a sad day for us siblings, it’s also an opportunity to do something great w/ the money we were blessed to be left with. A not so small $20,000 each (of which my sister plans on using for the purchase of her new home, and my brother to pay off debts and save for his own financial future). Being a dreamer myself, just like my grandma, I’m thinking of investing it back into my business and self-employed lifestyle in hopes of solidifying my future even more. But I’ll be taking a little while before I make any definitive plans.

To me, this money is way different than any other $20,000 I have saved or invested into my financial game plan. This money represents 60+ years of hard work and tears over my grandparents’ generation – something I can’t even begin to fully comprehend. My grandfather always thought I’d grow up to become a banker one day, even before I knew myself I had a passion for money!, but the thing he didn’t realize was that I’m way too connected emotionally to stuff than I am for the numbers themselves. This money is much more important to me than all the rest, and I want to make sure I use it wisely and make them proud whichever way I go.

I’ll let you know what I decide to do, but for now it’ll remain in one spot. The same spot where my beautiful grandparents are – my thoughts. If yours are still living, do me a favor and let them know you appreciate them?

(Photo by – JOE MARINARO. Not my grandparents, but exactly how they were :))

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  1. Seekingcat October 10, 2011 at 7:34 AM

    I feel your sorrow, I feel your pride and I wish you an ease to your pain. May you always be a reflection of their values and may you continue to garner the lessons these grand life experiences bring

  2. Chris C October 10, 2011 at 8:16 AM

    My heart and thought go out to you, J, and your family. Your grandparents sound like they were great people. I have a special place in my heart for grandparents as two of mine passed before I was born, of the remaining two one had Alzheimer’s for most of my memory and the other lived 1500 miles away.

    Thank you for sharing this emotional post with all of us. Have a great day!

  3. Emily October 10, 2011 at 9:06 AM

    I completely understand – my grandma has been gone for about a year and a half now, and I still miss her. Hearing about your grandparents makes me think of how much mine loved each other (and Grandpa still does, her picture is on his dining room table and he does his daily Bible reading with her every morning). I know you’ll do something with that inheritance they’ll be proud of. :)

  4. Trinnie S October 10, 2011 at 9:07 AM

    Aww, my heart was literally breaking and tears were rolling down my cheeks as I read this. My grandparents were/are the most favorite people in my life. I still have my grandma, but my grandpa passed when I was 13. I was “the apple of his eye” as he told everybody. I see alot of my grandpa in Baby Tony. From his eyes, to his side smile, to his expressions. It pulls at my heartstrings, but reminds me he’s still in my life.

    It’s strange getting money when a family member passes. I know you’ll keep your grandparents spirit alive and do with it what they’d want you to do.

    I love you, my friend.

  5. LB October 10, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    Sorry for your loss. I have one grandparent left, so I understand how it feels like a huge part of your life is gone with each one that passes.

    Just a friendly suggestion from experience, put the money in a savings accound and don’t touch it for a few months. It’s just easier to let your emotions back off some while you find the best way your grandparents wanted you to use the money. :)

  6. Brian October 10, 2011 at 9:50 AM


    I was in a very similar position to you. My grandmother passed away a couple years ago and left money and property to my dad, my sister and me. I ended up with her house (which she and my grandfather built). It is paid for free and clear. To me it is the greatest gift I have ever received. She was able to make sure my wife and I don’t have to worry about a place to live (and it allows us to save a boat load for the future). I know you feel the same way I do. You are extremely grateful but would trade it all to have your grandmother back.

    Remember, no matter what you do with the money, she will be proud of you.

  7. Hank October 10, 2011 at 10:13 AM


    Sorry for your loss, man. I love how you ended your story with your plans to honor their memory with your use of the money. But, I wanted to throw a word of caution in there. Don’t leave the check on top of you dresser with the pictures. You have to cash it within six months or risk losing the money. Keep your grandparents and the money in your thoughts, but cash that check!

  8. CityFlips October 10, 2011 at 10:35 AM

    I can sort of relate. My grandfather passed away when I was about 11 years old, so I didn’t know him as well I as I wish I could now! We’re alike in that we both love to travel and we both pursued the same career (academia). I really really really wish I could talk to him now! When I got my inheritance, I thought a lot about what he would want me to do. I used a small portion for travel knowing that it was a love of his. The rest has been reinvested. Even though I barely knew him, he gave me a retrospective appreciation for money management!

  9. Sherrian @ KNS FInancial October 10, 2011 at 10:45 AM

    Beautiful thoughts – thank you for sharing, and so sorry for your loss. I never had the chance to have any of my grandparents in my life the way you have, and I am glad that you have such cherished memories, and valuable lessons that you learned from them.

    I am sure that you’ll use that inheritance wisely, and you’ll continue to make them proud. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Eric October 10, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    I have been there myself J. This post is a great tribute to their memory, and I am sure it is just one of many ways you remember them. Good job making the smart decision to hold off on using the money until you are sure about what to do with it.

  11. Wende October 10, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    Receiving a check when someone is gone is very painful, and I agree that the money is special and different from what you make yourself. I lost my mother and grandmother last year. Getting that insurance check was bittersweet to say the least. I put mine in savings and consider it part of my emergency fund for now. I’m very thankful for the peace of mind it gives me – which would make my mom very happy.

    My grandmother gave me an early inheritance gift about 8 years ago, and after a great deal of thought, I used part to pay off my credit card, part to fund my Roth IRA, and part to start my savings. I wanted to use it responsibly to help my future and make her proud.

  12. Peter October 10, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    I feel your pain on the loss of a grandparent. I lost my last living grandparent a couple of years back, and it’s not easy. While my Mor Mor (swedish for Mother’s Mother) was sick and ready to go home to heaven, it’s always hard for those of us left behind.

    I’m sure she was proud of you, and I’m glad you’re doing your best to honor your grandparents with how you use the money.

  13. Martin October 10, 2011 at 11:25 AM

    Sorry about the loss. I hate to think about death and what happens to us after. When I was in Europe I visited both of my grandmas. One is 88 years ill and still running round yelling at everyone. The other one is in here 60s doing well.

    Good luck with your decisions!

  14. Dr Dean October 10, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    Hey J.Man,
    I am truly sorry for your loss. As many have said here, I’ve been there and feel your pain. I have lost both my parents and grandparents years ago and still think of them every day.

    But usually it’s good memories of the times we spent together.

    I know the money will find a way to make others happy, as that is YOUR nature and destiny. I knew that the first time I saw you across the room-you have that energy and goodwill that shines and others feed off it.

    Keep it up, you are making them proud everyday!

  15. Walnut October 10, 2011 at 12:04 PM

    I will call my grandparents today. I love them dearly and I know they enjoy the conversation.

  16. aj October 10, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    That is the only thing that I truly regret in my life, is not spending more time with my Grandfather before he passed away. We were so very close for all of my school years, but once I was out and about going to college and graduating on to “real life” I just never made the time to go visit as I should have…It has been about 15 years ago since he passed away but every now & then I still get choked up about it. I can’t do anything about the past, but I vow now to make sure my kids get to spend more time with their Grandparents while they are still around. We haven’t been doing very good at this lately with all of the extracurricular activities that they are in…but your post reminds me to remember to make this a priority!

    Thanks for the reminder & I am so sorry for your loss!

  17. Cordelia October 10, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    I’m so sorry for your loss. But I know your grandparents would both be incredibly proud of what you’re doing with your life–not just budget-wise, but in terms of Love Drop, etc.

  18. Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager October 10, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    Could tackle your bucket list: Donate $10,000 ANONYMOUSLY to a charity…

    Sorry to hear about your loss. I’m really luck to still have my grandmas around. They definitely love on me way more than I could ever love on them. For that I’m really grateful.

  19. CrystalH October 10, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    Thanks for sharing such a touching story with us JMoney. (It was nice getting a hug from you at the conference instead of a boring handshake-I like your stye!)
    I lost my daddy when I was 13 and growing up on the south side of Chicago (yes in the ‘hood’). We were left with absolutely nothing. That inspired me to work hard and be the very best that I can be so that I can leave lots of riches for my family members (maybe kids if you have any hot friends you can hook me up with). But the important thing is that I grew up with a lot of love and totally didn’t even notice that we weren’t “rich” by the mainstream definition. Not sure if I’m rambling by now. But thanks for sharing! This post totally made my day and reminded my why I do this everyday!

  20. Bryan at Pinch that Penny! October 10, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    1) I’ve already lost one pair of grandparents, but my other two grandparents are still kicking along really well for the most part (my grandma especially). My grandpa is healthy, but every time I see him, he looks a little more frail. I understand that it’s part of how life works, but I’m unhappy to see it coming. I hope we’ve still got a lot more good years with both of them.

    2) “What we DO on Earth though is the big difference. Iā€™m constantly asking myself if Iā€™m affecting people in a positive way, or if Iā€™m being too negative and dragging others with me?” This is a big issue with me as well, particularly in regards to acting/playwrighting. If I act or write something that is negative (though it could be part of a potential work of art), is it worth it for the negative toll that could be taken on the audience? I just don’t know sometimes, and it kind of keeps me in a state of inaction.

    Not that this is at all the sort of drama that I’m involved with or interested in, but, as an example, over at Slate.com, there was an article last week about this movie from 1975 called “Salo” which is supposed to be revolting on a number of levels (I haven’t seen it). The article assents that the movie is disgusting, but it ends on the note that it should be seen by students of film due to how good a job the movie does at being disgusting. Is that really the case? Should this movie be seen (or even made in the first place)? How much of a responsibility does the creator/artist have in creating things like this?

    Huh. I’m getting further and further from the intention of your post. I guess I’ll spend some more time thinking about this on my own. I guess, uh, thanks for the food for thought. :-)

  21. Briana @ 20 and Engaged October 10, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    I’m sorry for your lost J, but I’m sure your grandparents both lived such fulfilling lives, and obviously were pretty financially savvy if you and your siblings each got $20K. We’re in no position to tell you where to put that money. As long as you give it some thought and remember how it came about, I’ll be satisfied to hear whatever you plan to do with it.

  22. Maria Nedeva October 10, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    Sorry for your loss, J$ but at the same time I am glad you wrote this post. It is not only that you are helping so many people remember and not be ashamed to grieve but this is also a way for you to do so. Both my parents passed away in the last two years – grief still comes and overwhelms me unexpectedly. They visit in my dreams…

  23. Elle@Odd Cents October 10, 2011 at 6:02 PM

    I’m sorry to hear about your loss. I can tell that your grandparents meant the world to you and I’m glad that you enjoyed them when they were alive and you’re still enjoying them via photos and your memories. I can only imagine the lovely stories that you will pass along to your children about them. Their legacy will be around for a long time.

  24. Me October 10, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    Just a thought… put some of that money – a small portion – aside for future generations. That way you will pass along your grandparents hard work to the children that are yet to come. Even though they will never know your grandparents here on Earth, they will still be touched by their love and compassion for family.

    I’m sorry for your loss… I recently lost my own father, and it isn’t easy some days. I miss him a lot.

  25. jane downy October 10, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    I know what you mean about wanting to do something useful with the money. When my mom passed away almost four years ago, my two siblings an I all received just under $25,000.00 on her death. My siblings were both still in school but being 24 with no debt at the time she died, I could have spent that money on anything I wanted, however I’m yet to decided what to do with it to this day. Instead, I’ve kept it separate from my income earnings and have been investing it in a fixed rate bond since then.
    Like your grandparents, my mom also taught me the value of a dollar. By her teachings and her example, she laid the foundation for my frugal mindset and I would hate to use this money in an arbitrary manner. When she passed, she was realizing one of her long term dreams of building her own house. Sadly, she did not live to see the completion of her dream but the timing of her death brought home to me the the value of pursing your dreams. So though I’m not sure yet what to do with the money, I look forward to using it in a manner which would help me to achieve financial independance goals.

  26. Melissa October 10, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    I’m sorry to hear about your grandma, J. Money. My grandma (and last grandparent!) passed away a little over a year ago, and I definitely still miss her. My cousins and I also each received a small inheritance (around $1200) and I had a heck of a time deciding what to do with it, because I wanted whatever it was to be “good enough” to honour my grandparents. In the end, I just put it in a savings account and declared it the first step towards saving for either a home, or graduate school. (I had just finished university at the time, so I didn’t really have anything else in savings.)

  27. Well Heeled Blog October 10, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    I’m sorry about your loss, your grandparents sound like very wise and generous folks. I am sure you will be a good steward of the money they have left you, and I’m sure they know that as well.

  28. J. Money October 10, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    Thank you for all the warm thoughts everyone, it really means a lot. You guys are always so good to me, which is why I never get scared to be more personal on the site. I really thank you for that :)

    And as a side note, you’ll be pleased to know that my grandma was def. ready to go when she did. A few months ago I noticed she got a lot more quieter as time went on, which for her was strange as she was the Queen of chatting!, and when I asked her about it she just smiled and whispered to me that she had said everything she wanted to say in this life. It hit me hard, and was kinda eery at the time, but I also remember this sigh of relief come over me (and her) that she had lived an incredibly full and happy life, and was now just waiting to finally be back with her husband again – my dear grandpa. She was ready to go the second he passed away, and was probably only hanging on for all of us. So I’m glad they’re finally together again! :)

    @Seekingcat – Thank you! You have a way with words :)
    @Chris C – I’m so sorry to hear that :( That’s hard.
    @Emily – Awww, that is so sweet! I like your grandpa :)
    @Trinnie S – I love you too, Trinnie. Thank you so much for always being there for me!
    @LB – I think you’re right. I’ll cash it and put it in savings until I come up with a good plan for it.
    @Brian – Wow, what a most wonderful gift indeed! I’m so glad you guys can build off that and have such a financially sound future :) You’re totally right – would much rather have my grandparents back than money. It’s all rather freaky.
    @Hank – Agreed, my friend. I will be cashing it and putting it into savings until I figure out what to do with it. Thanks for bringing it up :)
    @CityFlips – Aww, good! I like that you traveled just like he would have done :) That’s cool. We may use some for that too, not sure yet.
    @Sherrian @ KNS FInancial – Thank you for sharing too – I’m so glad we met the other weekend. You both are amazing people, keep spreading that positive energy! :)
    @Eric – Thanks bro, means a lot. Really glad to have met you the other day too :)
    @Wende – Oh no, that is so sad! :( I can’t imagine losing my mother, that scares me so so much. You are a very strong person, I admire that.
    @Peter – Thanks buddy, I like that you say “home in heaven” – it feels good being reminded of that :) Also real glad we met in person finally after all these years – so impressed with how much you’ve grown your blog. Keep rockin’ it my man!
    @Martin – That’s awesome they’re both still a live :) That makes me happy.
    @Dr Dean – Are you trying to make me cry? Thanks so so much Dean, truly means a lot from the bottom of my heart. I totally want to be like you when I grow up :)
    @Walnut – Wonderful! Please do! :)
    @aj – Awww, I hope you do! It def. gets harder the more we “grow up” and start having all these responsibilities all over the place. I think we all need reminders to keep in touch w/ our loved ones :) In fact, I really need to call my mom too here soon, it’s been a while.
    @Cordelia – Thanks Cordelia :) My grandpa never got to learn about it, but my grandma did at least! she was around for the first handful of people we helped, so that was good. She was missing my grandpa way too much though, and mentioned a few times that she was ready “to go” at any time. So at least she did everything she felt was necessary on Earth :)
    @Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager – That’s not a bad idea, my friend. I will for sure keep that in mind – you’re right. And make sure to call them this week and remind them how much you love ’em! :)
    @CrystalH – YAY! It as a pleasure meeting (& hugging) you too my new real-life friend! I had no idea about your dad, I’m so sorry :( I can’t even imagine how that would be. It’s so great you can channel all that energy into hardwork and building up a good future for yourself! That’s hard to do, esp with temptation to just cave in left and right in this world. If I can ever help you with anything make sure to let me know, okay? I totally got your back. And in the meantime I’ll start looking for some hotties for you, haha…
    @Bryan at Pinch that Penny! – Haha, no worries at all dude – I love the way your brain thinks. I go down that path all the time :) And I hear what you’re saying too, esp when it comes to positively affecting others vs. bringing them down. The one thing I’ve learned this year is that it’s so EASY to be more negative than it is positive, but once you train yourself to catch these negative thoughts, it also becomes much easier to stay positive! It’s one of my top 3 goals this year too – and so far it’s working! :)
    @Briana @ 20 and Engaged – Thanks Briana. I’ll for sure let you all know once I have a game plan going on :)
    @Maria Nedeva – That is so sad! :( I’m tearing up over here Maria, I’m so sorry you’re dealing with all that. If you ever need to talk just let me know okay? So wonderful they visit you in your dreams too – you always get a chance to see them every night! :)
    @Elle@Odd Cents – Thank you Elle :) I for sure hope to pass on their legacy to all my future kids and their future kids. Grandparents are one of the most beautiful things in life and always deserve to be loved.
    @Me – I’m so sorry to hear :( That takes such an incredible amount of strength to deal with, I don’t know how you do it. I will def. take your advice into consideration too – I like that idea.
    @jane downy – That’s so sad she never got to realize her dream! :( I bet a lot of people end up passing without doing the same too – it really scares me. Even more so than dying sometimes. I think it’s great you’re still trying to decide what to do with it even after all these years. A lof of people would prob. give in and just start spending it, so that’s pretty impressive of you. I like that you keep it separated too, that’s what I’m gonna do for a while as well :) Thanks so much for sharing Jane, I enjoy hearing all of these stories and thoughts from people. You’re good to me.
    @Melissa – That works :) Both are wonderful big goals in life, and def. (in my opinion) worth putting the money towards. Good job.
    @Well Heeled Blog – Thanks so much my friend. Great usage of “steward” too, haven’t heard that one in a while :)

  29. retirebyforty October 11, 2011 at 2:13 AM

    My grandma passed away a few years ago and I still miss her sometime. My parents are getting older too and I really need to let them know how much I appreciate them more.
    Looking forward to see what you’ll do with the inheritance.

  30. SMB October 11, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    I know exactly how you’re feeling. My grandpa passed away about 3 years ago and left me $10,000. I’ve been keeping it in a CD and gradually adding to it. I feel like I’ll probably use it towards a down payment on a house, but I just really want it to go to something that would make him proud of me. When he passed my parents found detailed journals tracking every penny he ever spent. I have definitely inherited his obsession with finances and I hope that I would make him proud, even if I’m not as detail-oriented :)

  31. J. Money October 11, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    @retirebyforty – Yes, please do! Our parents are turning into grandparents too, time is going by so fast! EEK.
    @SMB – Oh wow! That would be so interesting to read actually :) Have you done that yet? I wonder what he spent the $ on, and how much things cost back then! So cool!!

  32. Cherleen @ yesiamcheap October 11, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    I understand how you feel. We lost my father 20 years ago due to a vehicular accident. During that time, I was fresh out of college and trying to build my career and my siblings were all still in school. He did not leave any inheritance as we were living on a hand-to-mouth existence. Despite the 20 years, we still miss him. Now that my mom is getting older, we do our best to show our appreciation for taking care of us, especially after our father passed away. We are not expecting any inheritance from her, but knowing that she gave her best to raise us up to have good future, it is already the greatest inheritance she could leave us.

  33. Stephanie October 11, 2011 at 7:20 PM

    This was such a sweet post. And I’m sure you’ll think of a way to use that money that will make your grandparents proud!!

    Both my grandmothers passed away before I was born, and my paternal grandfather died when I was still very young, but I inherited my current car (that 2003 Cavalier I mentioned in a comment on an earlier post!) from my maternal grandfather, who died in 2003. I’m SO grateful that it means I haven’t yet needed a car loan!

    Oh, and this is very sweet: My husband is a filmmaker, and his maternal grandfather loved photography and filmmaking as well. He passed away back in 2005, but just recently we inherited this AMAZING old camera that used to belong to him – the kind that used glass slides. We also have his accordian, as well as a recording he made for his mother (my husband’s great-grandmother) of him playing that accordian. Money’s great and all, but it’s really the sentimental stuff that makes for the best stories. :-)

  34. Philip October 12, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    Nice post, J. Thanks for sharing this with us. I’ll definitely give my grandparents a call.

  35. J. Money October 12, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    @Cherleen @ yesiamcheap – That is so sad! :( I’m so sorry to hear Cherleen, wow… I really can’t imagine that. You guys are so strong!!
    @Stephanie – Awwww, that is so cool! Yeah, old stuff is already dope – but old stuff from your family line? Even better!! Thanks for sharing my friend :)
    @Philip – That would be awesome PT :) They’d appreciate it so much!

  36. Evan October 12, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    I am sorry to hear about your loss.

    My boss tells this story of one of his oldest clients. He had to deliver a death claim for a life insurance policy for a couple million dollars, and all the while, other planners were trying to tell the survivor how to invest. Boss-man walked in and said lets keep it all in cash and when you are done grieving we can talk about it.

  37. J. Money October 13, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    I like that :) Very very smart indeed – you really can’t think straight when going through all that mess. Thanks for stopping by my man.

  38. Natalie @ Mango October 13, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    J. Money, so sorry about your grandma. Losing someone is always hard, and often times gaining an inheritance only complicates things! I’m glad to see that that hasn’t been the case with you, but at Mango Money we recently did a post on inheritance, and the TAX that comes with it. I was shocked at some of the information we found. Not only have you just lost someone dear to you, but if that person happened to leave you a large inheritance, you’re then stuck paying taxes on it! Check out the post if you’re interested: http://www.mangomoney.com/blog/money/death-and-taxes
    What did you have to deal with on the legal end of things here, J. Money?

  39. J. Money October 14, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    Thanks Natalie — My mom actually did everything through a lawyer. She was the head of the Trust or whatever, and made sure none of us siblings have to pay any taxes on it whatsoever which is great. That was actually my first question to her when I heard we were getting something ;) Money def. complicates things sometimes, so we’re lucky everything has been smooth sailing so far. Thanks for the well wishes, have a great weekend okay?

  40. Ruby October 14, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    What an emotional ride you just took us all on, and for good reason. I’m a grandparent now, and can’t imagine life without the input of my known-for-such-a-short-time Grandma.
    She worked well into her 70’s, walking to the bus stop everyday. Her fridge was mostly empty but she bought cookies just for us. Her simplicity and stamina were part of her being 100% German, but she never told us about that part of her, I guess, because of the war and the risk of being scorned for her nationality. The only grandparent I had, she gave love not with hugs and kisses, but by being there. How I wish I could tell her, since I never did back then, how much her checking up on me really meant. Too bad we know our grandparents when we’re young and in the teens, when our minds are messed up. She left no money, but what she had–a few pieces of furniture and curios–I treasure, because those were all of her treasure. Very poor, she was. But she enriched my life greatly.

  41. J. Money October 14, 2011 at 9:53 PM

    Awww she sounds like such a wonderful woman!! That’s really touching, Ruby, thanks so much for sharing her story with us – genuinely warms my heart :) We are blessed to have known our elder family members for however long we had! Nothing better than that in life.

  42. Kay Lynn October 15, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    J., sorry to hear about your loss. I only hope my grandson gives me such a great tribute when I’m gone.

    I’m glad you’re taking the time to think about the best use of the inheritance versus a quick reaction.

  43. J. Money October 15, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    Thanks Kay Lynn – means a lot coming from you. Hoping to see you at one of the next conferences again! :)

  44. Ryan October 16, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    It’s wonderful to read about your love for your grandparents and you’re desire to make them proud. Grandparents are very special. All my grandparents either directly participated in, or were affected by WWII and the depression. The fact that they were so appreciative for life and family and reflected this in their daily actions was inspiring to me. I gave a few words at my grandfather’s funeral. He was a tail-gunner in WWII and faced death many times over as a young man in the war. My grandmother was just so giving and kind and hilarious. She made me laugh all the time. What I miss most about my grandmother was the family banter I had with her all the time. See, she wasn’t your typical grandmother- she generally didn’t cook, she told people what she thought, she argued with people all the time and she was always down to Eartg. My grandmother and me would have genuine arguments over all sorts of wordly affairs and that’s why I loved her so much. People would see me and my grandmother arguing and be surprised by it, but we both had the same independent spirit abandon were very opioniated. Ah, I miss that. I loved her so much that I felt free to have long discussions disagreeing on various topics.

    My WWII grandfather was abusive to my grandmother and my dad. He raised his kids and treated his wife the same way he was treated and saw his dad treat his mom. So in that regard I still have some conflicts of feelings about him. He faced down death and was severely impoverished growing up in the depression so I can’t imagine what he felt or what he went through. My grandparents didn’t really leave me anything. It all went to their kids (my dad, aunts and uncles) and my dad spent it all on remodeling his house and didn’t help me at all with school or grad school. I joined the Army to pay for those things. I’m not bitter about it as I now have a great career in the Army as an officer but that money would’ve really helped me with some student loans I had to take out for law school. Oh well. Just be appreciative for the money and thank your grandparents in your prayers. Many of us didn’t have the luxury I inheriting anything and had to take care of ourselves throughout life. I you stay grateful and remember them you’ll do what’s best.

    Good luck!

  45. J. Money October 17, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    Thanks Ryan! I think I’d get along with your grandmother a lot too :) I LOVE people who share their opinions and aren’t afraid to spark a little debate! (as long as they’re respectful, of course). One of my grandmothers was kinda like that too – she once told the priest that married my wife and I – AT the reception, mind you – that she didn’t believe in God because of all the sadness that surrounded her. The priest was super friendly and understanding, and debated back with her by asking tons of questions, and overall it was an incredibly interesting convo to listen to. I’m sure some people thought they were fighting a bit, but they both were trying to better understand each other, while at the same time proving their point ;)

    I’m glad you got to have all those great discussions with yours! Thanks for telling us about them – was a pleasure to read.

  46. tom October 20, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    My condolences. It’s always difficult to lose a loved one.

    Grandma sounds like a very generous and wonderful lady. Good call on taking some time to think about what you want and what she’d want you to do with the inheritance.

  47. J. Money October 21, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    Thanks Tom, appreciate you stopping by :)