vendredi, avril 23, 2010

Unexpected Inheritance

Oh boy.
If someone had predicted me yesterday of what would happen today, I'd told to him that he was nuts.
I think such days are really scarce.

But well, I will try to sort things in correct order.

This morning I received a letter from Basel. It had the official seal of the town on it and I wondered what the City of Basel could want from me. Well, it was a letter and a lot of official documents informing me that my paternal grand-father had died October 10, 2009 and that I am a heir, since my father -  his son -  is dead too. I share my father's part of the inheritance with my Grandmother and the three surviving children (two uncles and an aunt.)

Thing is, that I never saw or talked to neither my grandfather, nor my grandmother, let alone the uncles and the aunt. All these years, I did not even know that they were still alive. I did not have any contact to the paternal side of my family. 
At the inheritance-department in Basel they said to me that I have to return the form where I accept the inheritance and then my Grandmother will have to pay me out. 
Aw sh...
So I had to write a letter to her, informing her of my payee information. It is a truly scary feeling to contact for the very first time such a close relative. What should I write? "Hey, I am the grandchild whose existence you know very well but you never were interested to see during 44 years so now that the old fart has died, just give me the money, thanks"
No.
Another scary coincidence is, that she lives in the same street my mom and I have this little apartment we go to, when we are in Basel. So in fact, my unknown grandma lives not more than a few meters away from  me (or at least from my Basilean home)
I finally wrote her, saying that I am her grand-daughter, who, due to the ways of life, she never met yet. I said I was sorry for her loss and that if she wants, we can meet next time I am in Basel, since we really do live in the neighborhood. (And of course I gave her the payee information.)
I am pretty confident that she will pay me out pretty quickly. According to my mom, she is  the kind of person who wants to have everything in order. But will there be any further contact? Will she be willing to meet me?

Don't understand me wrong. I am not in any way "hoping" for some kind of  "late family-reunification". I offered her this meeting as a tribute to destiny who forced us to get in touch, to the fact that we are close relatives and the one that it will be probably the very last chance for the old lady to see the only living offspring of her son, before she goes away, too.
If she doesn't want, maybe because she is afraid it would raise too much of a past she wants to forget, then it is okay for me. I lived 44 years without her, I can do it another 4 decades.

The inheritance itself is not a big fortune, but it will probably allow me to buy a second-hand car. Since I was not able to make any significant saving for a car until now, this sure will solve a big headache.
So thanks Grandpa, and rest in peace. Still, its sad that the only thing I ever had from you is the news about your trespassing and a few bucks for a new car. 

10 commentaires:

caroona a dit…

It must be difficult getting emotional over family you have never met. The more I talk to people the more I realise that almost nobody has a really intact family which I find very comforting. I am happy for you that unexpectedly you got the money for a replacement car.

President Snow a dit…

That's sad that you never got to really meet or interact with them. :(
But it's good that he left you something. Money for a car that can get you places is always good.

Diana Kennedy a dit…

@Caroona: Yes, I think most people have the one or the other flaw in their family.

@Presdent Snow: I can use the money, for I would not get a new car for a long time, otherwise? So well. It was not my choice to have this being the only thing that connects me to my Grandfather.

Feronia a dit…

It's good fortune that you have some money for a car, but a complicated way to have received it! All you can do, I guess, is appreciate this windfall and send a thought of thanks to your grandfather wherever he may be.

Diana Kennedy a dit…

@Feronia. This is actually what I do.

2woelfe a dit…

I would really like to know if your grandmother never wanted to meet you, or if she would have loved to meet her grandchild, but was incapable of coming along with your parents.
I spent quite some time with my grandmother as a child, yet never really knew her. This is especially sad today, because she lives in the same house with my uncle an his wife, and they're arguing all the time, so both sides are kind of lonesome. My granny hardly does remember any of her grandchildren anymore, not to speak of their partnes, jobs...

Diana Kennedy a dit…

@2Woelfe: My grandma definitely didn't want to see me (just as the whole family from the paternal side). After my Mom got divorced (just after my birth) She was a persona non grata in their eyes and hence, me too.
My maternal grand-mother (who raised me) one day took me with her as a baby and made an unexpected visit to paternal grandmas working place, putting me in her arms and saying "Look, this is your grand-daughter". Well, she ordered to take me out of her sight.

I only had ONE Grandmother and ONE Grandfather, nothing will change this.

Yes, it looks that the fate of you and your Grandma isn't barely better.

Gina a dit…

What mixed feelings you must have! I am sorry your grandparents and whole paternal side kept their distance from you--it is their loss they never contacted or got to know you. But, I am happy you can use the money to buy a used car. No more long bike rides?

Diana Kennedy a dit…

@Gina,

Oh, I will still do the cycling, I love it too much.

Gina a dit…

Ah, good--I feel better after exercising or walking, too!