The Treasures I Never Expected To Inherit From My Mother

The unexpected treasures I inherited from my mother.

They are not mentioned in my mother’s will.

And yet,

It is so clear she left them to me.

True treasures.

So grand,

I never planned on an inheritance so rich.

Probably you should wait,

Before you start fantasizing about how I will spend the millions of dollars,

Move into incredible homes,

Drip myself in sparkling jewels.

Let me clarify.

My mother passed away last month leaving very few material things.

It wasn’t the life she planned.

It’s the life that was.

I figured what was coming my way would be very little.

I went through her things, picking out some special dishes of my grandmothers, a few purses, some handwritten recipes.

That was to be enough.

And it would’ve been.


Not to say the hole of my mother’s leaving didn’t begin right away.

Who to call on Wednesday, just because its’ Wednesday?

Who to let know I landed safely from my trip?

Who to give advice raising kids?

Which leads me to the treasures I never expected.
The women.

My mother has left me her women.

Judy, her best friend since third grade.

Her other best friend, Barbara.

Her most recent playmate and confidant, Jinx.

I’ve known them my entire life.

Always in relationship through my mother.

That started to change from the moment I arrived to help care for my mother in the hospital and than in hospice.

Without asking, each one showed up for me and my siblings.

With wisdom, with encouragement, with laughter when the moment allowed.

This older tribe of women offering the love I didn’t know I needed.

With my mom now gone, they’ve still held on.

“How are we going to stay connected?” each one has asked.

She didn’t just leave these women to me, I realize.

I’ve been left to them,

To fill their own holes.

And like that we’ve stepped into our own relationship, our own friendship, our own connection.

It’s Auntie Judy I called to let her know I landed safely.

It’s Jinx I talk to on a regular basis for her guidance on the life stuff.

It’s Barbara I call, well, simply because it’s Wednesday.

All those things I had my mom for,

I now have them.

In me, I guess, they get a piece of my mom.

I can only hope I fill up a piece of their heart with yet another dear friend departed.

“I’m so mad at your mother for leaving me,” Barbara said the other day, “I could kill her.”

Yeah, we got a laugh out of that one,

And tears.

I suspect there will be more of those.

On Wednesdays,

Or Sundays,

Or just because.

Have you experienced this, Dear Reader?

A gaping hole filled by a treasure you didn’t plan on?

I never imagined I could ever be so rich.

Enveloped in the love, wisdom, and friendship of three women in their 80’s.

The world’s richest queen never bequeathed more valuable jewels.

(((Please catch my column each week in The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Dayton Daily News and other Cox Newspapers across the country.)

And if you connect with my column on losing a parent, you might like my book–

“Hope Possible: A Network News Anchor’s Thoughts On Losing Her Job, Finding Love, A New Career, And My Dog, Always My Dog.”

final front cover



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The Treasures I Never Expected To Inherit From My Mother

by DarynKagan time to read: 2 min
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