I hate it.
Unfortunately this time, I caused it. I didn’t mean to, but innocently I caused a rift.
Here is how it started:
The weekend after Thanksgiving the entire family goes to my Grandfather’s house to put up his Christmas decorations. While we were waiting for everyone to show up Aunt #1 mentioned that she gave some of my Nana’s jewelry to my cousins. She mentioned that there was a ring that she gave to my elder cousin (“Golden Boy”) to give to his girlfriend (“Belle”), as a promise ring – if he wanted it. I’m not sure what his intentions were but nevertheless she was wearing it.
About half the day went by and I noticed a ring on Belle’s right hand ring finger. I commented on how beautiful it was, and then it dawned on me. OMG, that’s my ring! She was wearing the ring my father brought back from Thailand, when he was stationed there during the Vietnam War.
My Nana had been holding onto for me since I was a little girl. I remember trying it on when I was around 7, thinking it was a ring fit for a princess. When my Nana died, they divvied up her jewelry among the kids and grandkids. She had already given me her wedding ring and band, so there wasn’t much else for me to want. I did get the 10 ct. smoky quartz and star sapphire that my Dad brought back from the same era, but the ring was no where to be found. It is made in the traditional Thai style with opals and gold.
All day long I was irritated and hurt, that my Aunts would give away something that wasn’t theirs to give away. I knew that for all parties involved, if they had known the background on the ring this never would have happened. I didn’t say anything to anyone all day, but right before I left I mentioned to Golden Boy that I noticed Belle wearing the ring my Father brought back from Thailand, and they should take special care of it, and if they broke up we needed to get it back. I left it at that.
BUT…it ate at me the whole way home. It wasn’t theirs to give to her, but at the same time I didn’t want to take the ring from Golden Boy or Belle. But what if she lost it? Or what if it got damaged? What if they got married and kept it for their kids? I can understand if the piece was my Nana’s, because the meaning is different but this belongs to my Dad’s kids. Even if it wasn’t for me, then it should be saved for The Midget.
I called Aunt #1 and asked her to hear me out. She did, and she felt so bad. She thought she had it because I didn’t want it. No one asked me, and even if I didn’t want it, I should decide where it goes, not them. I gave her all of my reasoning and the trouble I was having because I didn’t want to put Golden Boy or Belle in an awkward position but the history behind the ring trumps it just being given away.
Anyway, I’m not sure what happened in the (heated) conversations between the entire Golden Boy family and Aunt #1, but the ring is going back to my Father. I feel bad because Golden Boy’s family seemed to rally around his side and place blame on Aunt #1 and maybe some greed in my direction, but as family I think they would understand where I was coming from. I don’t want it for greedy reasons, but it was intended for me from my Father.
I know Belle loved my Nana, and was a tremendous help during her passing, so I know she would cherish anything that was hers. I want to make amends with her, I want her to feel part of the family and I do believe she should have something of Nana’s. I went through the jewelry I have of hers and found a white gold and pearl bracelet that was hers and am going to send it to her.
My dilemma: Should I have said nothing? Should I have left it at the comments to Golden Boy? Should I have gone straight to my Father? Did I do the right thing? All of the drama leaves me with anxiety, and I want to make sure everyone wins in this situation.
2 thoughts on “To keep my mouth shut?”
Oh my gosh, I can relate to this. I'm the only grandchild living far far away, and my grandparents are all downsizing. Every one of my siblings/cousins is being offered things from their homes… including several things that I'd been told were "reserved" for me. It's not an issue of wanting the "stuff," but for me these things are laden with emotion and memories. I don't know how to communicate that to anyone in my family!I think you did the right thing, as much as there was a "right thing" to do. Hang in there.
I think I'd have made more of a stink than you did. I'd have gone straight to Aunt #1 and asked for her to retrieve the ring. Bottom line is that it belongs to you. There're no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Your dad bought it for you. It's yours. I may have even told Golden Boy that it wasn't Aunt #1's to give, and that you need it back. Because seriously, it was just a mistake, but it needed to get back to you. Anyway. I hope it gets returned ASAP, and I think Belle will appreciate the bracelet, since that really WAS your Nana's.