Material Possessions Are Great, But Are A Small Part of Inheritance.
Recently the last of my grandparents passed away. No, I'm truly not so sad about my grandmother's passing on - as she just wasn't having any fun at all, and was in a great deal of pain, and suffering from other forms of discomfort as well. She'd lived a good long life, raised five terrific children, and left a huge impression on everyone that she'd come to know.
Yes, of course it saddens me to no longer have any grandparents. Life is just that way, and all is as it should be in this, the most "perfect" of all possible worlds.
One thing that you have to understand about me is that I'm a guitar snob. More specifically, I'm an acoustic guitar snob. I've just a fetish for very expensive steel string acoustic guitars - the kind of guitars often called Flat Tops, or even Dreadnoughts. This guitar snobbishness that I have is a direct result of me having spent huge amounts of time with my grandfather, the husband of my grandmother that just passed away. I'd spend the night with them every Friday night, get up before dawn on the following Saturday, and head off to whichever Flea Market or Trades Day was going on within driving distance. My grandfather always had acoustic instruments that he'd previously bought and repaired - and he'd carry them around, as would I, to swap them for tools, or better instruments.
We'd spend hours and hours talking about acoustic instruments. I was taught the entire history of Martin guitars, the legendary C.F. Martin & Co. became a towering thing in my mind - as did Gibson, Fender, Guild, Gretsch, and others still. I didn't understand much about what I was being told then - and I wonder if my grandfather ever knew that these things would "stick" in my head as they have. Mostly, he did the talking - and I did the listening.
Of course I also started learning how to play a guitar from hanging out with my grandpa; as soon as we'd get home with our flea market instrument bargains, we'd drink ice tea, eat some Blue Bell ice cream, and then grandpa would play and sing some tunes while I struggled to play rhythm behind him.
The first song I ever remember him playing and singing was Me and Bobbie McGee. That's really strange to me now, but I didn't realize that it was odd then - I had no concept of what an "ultra hard core fundamentalist" was, nor did I realize that Kris Kristofferson or Janis Joplin were what would be described as "liberals." The first song I learned to "pick" was Wildwood Flower, the old Carter Family tune. That one is so burned into my neural pathways that I could play it after not even seeing a guitar for ten years or so.
So I learned to play the guitar a bit, and took lessons for a few years too. I still say that the finest moment in my life was when I'd overcome my tremendous shyness for a few minutes, and really kicked butt playing a complicated medley of Celtic tunes at the school talent show my senior year. I played the guitar, seemingly, all the time then - and man, my fingers could really fly. I'd got to be so good by the time that I was sixteen or so, that my instructor told my parents that I needed to own a top notch instrument - and so it was arranged for me to purchase one, with my own earned money, of course. I did purchase a top notch instrument, and I still have it - but that guitar is so very fine that I just won't take it anywhere, or ever allow it to encounter any sort of imaginable risk.
What all that boils down to is this: I needed another guitar - as I'd not hardly been playing the expensive one for various and sundry reasons. I wouldn't travel with it, or take it anywhere. I hardly let anyone touch it at all. I needed a cheaper guitar that I could always have with me one to play. I didn't get a cheaper guitar, really - but now I have a less expensive one that was my grandmother's. The real inheritance, however, was acquired over the long years from the blessings of having known them.