Several years ago my folks told my sisters and me to tell us if there was anything in their home that we wanted to have when they were gone so that we didn’t argue over stuff later. We thought it was a great idea. We all picked a few things that we really wanted and that was that.
My parents have had this giant clam shell since I was a kid. I think they got it on a vacation they spent in the Bahamas when I was about 9. And since I’ve been an adult and had my own place, I’ve coveted it. These days a shell this size is practically a museum piece. They just aren’t allowed to get this big anymore. I have a lot of sea shells, most of which I’ve collected myself. I used to scuba dive and we’ve spent many vacations at beach rentals all up and down the west coast. I’ve wanted to add the giant clam to my collection, especially since my decor is sort of natural history/steampunk.
A few weeks ago I went to have lunch with Mom and noticed that the shell was gone. She’d gotten a decorative item from a friend and wanted to display it, so she gave the shell away. To the gardener. I was almost in tears. I realize that I hadn’t mentioned it when we were going over things that we wanted, but it never occurred to me that she’d start giving things away. And I’m really not all that comfortable going around the house saying “When you’re gone, I’d like that.” It feels too much like I’m waiting for her to be gone so I can have her stuff.
Well, she could see that I was pretty upset and she talked to the gardener and got it back. She told my sister that she’d gotten it back and my sister predicted that I would cry. My sister knows me well. Mom has also let the gardener know that she can’t give anything else away without checking with her daughters first. Good idea, Mom. And thanks.