My grandparents got married in 1932. They were farmers in western Kansas. Not really a great time or place to be, really. But my great-grandfather bought land for each of his five boys, and so farm they did.
My grandpa passed away last year at the age of 94. In his final year or so, he was back on the farm in his mind. He was concerned about the drought, and how the milo crop was doing. He told my dad about the latest news – his brother’s barn burned.
That barn burned in 1948. But my sweet grandpa was back in the place he loved, the land that his father had bought him.
He and my grandma didn’t buy farms for their three kids. But they financed graduate degrees for all three and came to financial rescue here and there.
When my dad came back from Vietnam in 1972, nobody wanted to hire him. He moved back to his hometown and started working for his dad. He eventually bought the business and still runs it today.
My parents paid for my brother and I to go to college. Now, my brother’s car loan is with our parents. And now, my parents are loaning me money to pay my hideous tax bill.
I explained the situation in detail. My dad asked questions to understand the entire situation. And then he said, “Tell me how much you need.”
I cried not because I was crazy stressed about the taxes. I am. But I cried because it seems to be a given in my parents’ minds that of course they will help their fat, stupid and broke daughter. They kept saying, “The folks helped us out many times – of course we want to help you, too. That’s what we’re here for.”
I am humbled. And relieved. And feel the need to procreate just so I can give some kids some money.
On one hand, this speaks to the upper-middle class’ burgeoning ability to create cross-generational wealth. But mostly it speaks to the cross-generational kindness and generosity of my family. I am so, so blessed.