Thursday, January 03, 2008

Mom's Wisdom: The Task of Distributing Grandma's Inheritance

Some of you may know that my grandma (Mom's mother) spent her last years with us. To read the story of my Mom's childhood and how my grandma got to live with us, go here: In Memoriam. Anyway, my Mom was given the task of distributing grandma's inheritance to everybody. Grandma had worked all her life as a food seller in a traditional market in Indonesia (this is also the job that my Mom still does until now), so she had plenty of belongings.

My grandma died when I was still in High School. Back then I didn't understand the true value of my Mom's wisdom in distributing grandma's inheritance, but now it truly amazes me.

You see, Mom has 5 elder siblings, one of whom had died years before grandma did. When grandma was sickly and dying, she asked my Mom to promise her to give some specific jewelleries to one of her daughters-in-law. Mom remembered that promise, so she gave them away to her after grandma died. But what about the rest of grandma's belongings? She had her own fridge, her own cabinet, her own cupboard, her own plates, pans, table, kettles, cups, tea service set, etc.

Mom knew that if she didn't distribute them fairly and wisely, some of the siblings or spouses may be suspicious or disgruntled. So she decided to write everything down on a piece of paper. The list went like this:

1. A set of tea service.
2. A fridge.
3. A table.
4. Two diamond earrings.
5. Two silver belts.
6. A cupboard.
7. A dozen of bowls.
8. Etc.

Then she wrote down each number along with the items' names on small pieces of paper and rolled each of them. She made sure that there would be equal number of pieces of paper for all six of them. I don't remember whether in the end there were 24 rolled pieces of paper or less or more than that. Then on a certain date, she gathered everybody and asked them to grab the rolled pieces of paper from a big bowl, one at a time until all the rolled pieces of paper were distributed. As a rule, she stated that nobody could protest since it was they themselves who chose the rolled pieces of paper.

Even so, one of them complained after getting some things that she didn't want, but Mom didn't care about it. After all, it was fair and square and everybody was there to witness it.

Six siblings with six different temperaments and characteristics (well, the dead brother was represented by his wife or daughter), yet Mom managed to do the right thing. I salute her!!! ;-D


  1. That's a really good idea. Your mom is so smart! I would be agonising over the task.

  2. what a smart mother...i bet you take after her and her infinite wisdome!

  3. you lucky have her, Amel :D I never knew my grandmother ;)

  4. Normally, we'll do that for random exchange gifts or lucky draw, where everybody's gets a chance of getting an item. Your mom is so wise... :)

  5. I LOVE this story. You Mom is so clever :-)

  6. Its hard to satisfy everyone !

  7. Blur Ting: Yeah, she took some time to think of the best idea to do it he he...

    JYankee: Ahhhh...I HOPE so, but my Mom and I are two different worlds - different personalities he he he...but I hope I can be as wise as she is. ;-D

    Jul: Oh, sorry to hear that, Jul. I never really knew my grandfathers, but I got a chance to know both grandmothers.

    Choc Mint Girl: Yeah, in Indonesia people do that, too he he he he...

    Fish: Glad you enjoyed the story. Yeah, GO, MOM! HE HE HE HE...

    Frasy: TOUCHE!!!!! ;-D

  8. What a brilliant idea to distribute those items. Really fair n square... keke...

    What did your family get? ;p

  9. Janice: Hmmm...I don't remember anymore, to be exact. Some of her kitchen stuff and...OH YEAH, one cupboard. We got one of her cupboards (she had two) he he he he...

  10. Hello again!

    I think that your mom's method was quite fair!
    Having brothers and sisters means exactly that: not everyone will be satisfied!

    I salute your mom as well *raising my bottle of water*!


  11. Max: Kippis then!!! I'm raising my mug of warm chocolate HE HE HE HE HE...;-D

  12. You have a very generous mom. The fact that she made a plan and took the time to make everyone in her family feel special says a lot about her. Very remarkable.

  13. Dolce: THANK YOU for your kind words. My Mom is really something indeed! :-)))) Now I MISS HERRRRRRRRRRR he he he he he...