My dear mother was an earnest soul who kept her promises and held to her convictions. She drove us nearly mad with her stubborn refusal to sell her condo and move to a facility or to one of our homes that would allow her 24/7 care in her last years of life. We were able to get her more care over the last couple of years and that made a huge difference in our peace of mind, but it was always somewhat of a mystery to me why she would refuse moving. I mean I understood wanting to be in familiar surroundings not wanting to part with belongings, and the stress a move would bring. But I also know she knew that we would take care of the many details involved.
After she passed and I started sorting through all the papers, journals, letters and more that she had kept over the years I came across 3 small slips of paper in which she made a vow, it was then that her conviction to hold on to her only asset started to make sense. She wanted to bless us to provide for us as she had been provided for.
Like giving up 30+ years of her life to work full time to provide for us as a single mother wasn't enough? But she wanted to leave us an inheritance.
On these three slips of paper, pictured here, she wrote:
Sept. 13, 1956
May the Lord help me to fulfill the following in my life--
To die leaving as much money to my relatives as was left to me
To never bring grief to my Grandmother or Uncle.
If by the age of 25 there is nothing foreseeable in my future which will... ( there may still be a missing page) shows logically a way I can save or earn the money needed to fulfill this goal I resolve to find steady, secure employment which will guarantee me benefits and the promise of renumeration as long as I stick with it- at any rate to find a sure thing and to be cautious and reserved, disregarding all tempting gambles until the specified amount is set aside- to consider the money I save not my own, but repayment of a debt to those who saved and sacrificed for me.
So help me God
Margaret Kirk Bragg
This was written when she was almost 23 years old. She had not even an inkling of who she would marry or who might receive this inheritance she vowed to leave. It was written after her father died, after she graduated from college around the time she ventured off to New York City. What prompted it I am not sure. As always, though she seemed to have one foot in the past and one in the future while living one day at a time.
She did gamble in love and life, and she was always generous and at times let people take advantage of that. In the end though she was a tough old broad and didn't waver in her commitment to her vow.
We sold her condo a couple of weeks ago and have received our inheritance and we are grateful.