Recently, I was sorting out stuff and trying to make a dent in sorting out papers when I came across a file that my mom had put together for me of all my Primary and High school reports, certificates and everything that goes along with 12 years in the education system.
Stuffed into plastic sleeves I also found my mom’s own school reports, gift vouchers that were never redeemed and newspaper clippings.
Then there was this…
It’s my Last Will & Testament written at age 11.
A couple of things crossed my mind:
- Why did I write a Will at such a young age?
- What could I possibly have had to bequeath?
- What did I value back in those days?
- Who did I cherish to be included in my Will?
- Will my own kids even know what a Will is when they are 11 years old?
I remember very well that stationery stock that I used to write my Will. I used to collect writing paper sets back then like kids download Apps today.
It turns out that my brothers have always been an integral part of my being. I love them as much now as I apparently did then (although I really didn’t think so at the time). I am an only daughter with 3 younger brothers – they drove me nuts most of the time; broke most of my dolls by using them as targets for their pellet guns and “Katties”(slingshots), they were so needy – I was ALWAYS the babysitter!
I only ever received one non-girly gift growing up – that was a set of golf clubs from my uncle Stan who just threw me in the group with all the boys in my family and shopped accordingly. Other than that set of clubs, it was the usual girly gifting that made growing up with boys all the more bearable. An escapism of sorts I suppose. It comes as no surprise then that I bequeathed my toys to my brothers future children and charity. I’m not really certain why I would have wanted to have given my “Granny Doll” to my youngest brother – I am pretty certain that he wouldn’t have been clear on the reason either.
Apparently I also never questioned whether any of my brothers would grow up to get married and have children of their own either. I can see how the wiring of my brain was already formed into my life attitudes, assumptions and beliefs.
Another thing I assumed of course was that all the furniture I was promising to others actually belonged to me – I wonder what my parents thought about this at the time. “Computer is to be done what mom and dad decide” – at least I gave them some say in the matter…
I particularly love the fact that I had Rollerskates (not Rollerblades) and there’s a pretty big chance they were the type that you strapped over your shoes. Remember these?
The tape recorder I had was sturdier than any protection that triple layers of duct tape can provide. It was black and simply had options to Play, Fwd, Rwd, Pause and Record. (If I was insightful back then I would have included a pencil with this gift – you know, to wind up the actual tape when it got jammed or to manually rewind or forward…)
My absolute favourite game was Boggle. I still have my original set today. I have absolutely no idea what the “Granny Doll” was that I left to my little brother…
The R500.00 (500 South African Rand) that “I leave to each of my brothers” would be equivalent to about R1,200.00 in today’s value. That’s a pretty tidy sum for ‘little brothers’ to receive back then considering Wilson’s Toffees only cost 1c for 3 toffees, and Chappies chewing gum sold for 1/2c a piece. (Do you remember the Chappie Chipmunk Club?) My next project will be to track down my old Post Office Savings Book to see how much money I held in my account back in 1984.
There are 2 main recipients of all my 11-year old belongings; my brothers and charity.
“All my clothes must go to charity” – I liked this entry. A lot. Very possibly, if I had laid claim on my family linen then the Twitter Blanket Drive could have started all those many years ago 🙂 I also stated that “BUT my Love Doll & clothes must be given to charity”. Bless.
As to the reason for why I decided to pen my Last Will at 11pm one day in August 1984, I don’t really recall. I do know that finding the document some 30 years later has been really wonderful. I’m glad I’ve stuck it out all these many years down the road.