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Tricky situation with my Mum and an family 'heirloom'.

(36 Posts)
joanofparks Tue 28-Jul-15 11:57:51

My Mum recently sent me a silver pen that belonged to her late brother- all wrapped up in tissue like a 'present'. I think she just found it in her house. He died years ago. She adored him and they were very close. However, my experience with him was not so good. He was a renowned womaniser and his behaviour towards me in my teens bordered on abuse. I posted about this here some time ago and most posters agreed that although it was not quite abuse, the touching and 'cuddles' (tickling under my jumper at 16!) went beyond acceptable between uncle and niece. I hated being alone with him. I have never told my mum about that and as she is now very old I don't think there is any point. I do not want his pen though. I wanted to throw it out the moment it arrived. I haven't and just told her it wasn't something I'd use. It's been lying in my study now for months. I wondered about sending it back to her and suggesting she gives it to his son who lives near to her? (My uncle's wife died not long ago too.)

PerspicaciaTick Tue 28-Jul-15 11:59:53

Why not send it to his son yourself, then tell your DM that you felt it was appropriate?

Queenbean Tue 28-Jul-15 12:00:31

Do you need to get your mum involved in this at all? Could you just send it on to his son with a note to say that you feel it's more appropriate that he has it? Would he ever mention it to your mum, if she's particularly old now

Sorry to hear about your uncles behaviour flowers

TeaStory Tue 28-Jul-15 12:00:49

Could you send it directly to your cousin?

TeaStory Tue 28-Jul-15 12:01:06


Anon4Now2015 Tue 28-Jul-15 12:01:30

I'd just send it on to your uncle's son with a note saying your mother had found it and you thought he might like it. And explain to your mum that you weren't going to use it and your cousin was so grateful to receive it.

tiktok Tue 28-Jul-15 12:01:57

Chuck it.

ButterfliesnWaterfalls Tue 28-Jul-15 12:02:48

I would do what PerspicaciaTick has suggested. Just send it to your cousin and tell your DM that you felt he 'deserved' it more.

tiktok Tue 28-Jul-15 12:02:58

Forget 'chuck it' - sending it to cousin direct is better!

joanofparks Tue 28-Jul-15 12:03:21

Well, I could except I'm not sure of his address- know the street but not the number- so I'd need to ask my mum. The thing is my mum said that my uncle 'would have loved you to have it'- not sure why. Maybe she was given it when he died- I'm not sure- or maybe he'd left it at her house or something. His son was only 12 when his father (my uncle) died and maybe it was given to my mum instead of him for safety- not sure. It's not valuable in any way, really. I don't feel I can pass it on without telling her.

justanaveragegirl Tue 28-Jul-15 12:03:35

Other posters got there, I was going to say send to his son with a note just saying you feel he should have it, and leave it there. Don't keep it as it will bring back those bad memories flowers

joanofparks Tue 28-Jul-15 12:06:02

Queen my cousin and my mum are the only remaining relatives on that side of the family. They live within 6 miles of each other and I live 300 miles away from both of them. I have no contact with my cousin at all- he's 11 years younger than me- and my mum would think it very odd to contact him and leave her out of the loop. He sees my mum usually at Xmas and birthdays when he pops over to see her.

PerspicaciaTick Tue 28-Jul-15 12:07:42

So ask her for the house number and use that as an excuse to tell her that you would prefer it if your cousin had the pen. You are making a mountain out of this, which I understand because of your uncle's behaviour, but you will feel better once the pen is gone.

fourflights Tue 28-Jul-15 12:09:03

I have a gold watch that belonged to my mother, however my brother bought it for her, and we don't get on. <understatement>

It has been in the shed for years, as I don't want it in the house.

I have considered selling it and donating the money to Women's Aid, as that would be a very appropriate way to use his money.

Perhaps that would work for you?

joanofparks Tue 28-Jul-15 12:12:46

I did suggest to her that I might Ebay it and she wasn't too happy.

Thanks for the advice. I can't send it my cousin without at least running it by my mum so I am going to wrap it up and send it to her and then she can pass it on when he does the Xmas visit. She has this idea that my uncle 'adored me' you see and in her mind would prefer me to have it to his son(who she doesn't think that much of for various reasons) so I think it's her call as to what she does with it once she's got it back from me.

fourflights Tue 28-Jul-15 12:16:35

Why tell her anything, just "lose" it.

justanaveragegirl Tue 28-Jul-15 12:16:51

But surely she will question if you send it back?? Then you are in the dilemma again. As an adult, why do you have to "run it past her" or indeed have to face questions as to why you want your cousin's address? Do you run everything past your mum? I am sure in this day and age you could find out his address. Google maps is pretty handy as is Google street view!

Take the bull by the horns, ask for his address, explain to her why, then send the pen.

joanofparks Tue 28-Jul-15 12:20:58

If I send the pen to my cousin - and I can't find his address on google as I've never been to the house, although I know the street- my mum will find out anyway because he will tell her.
I know my mum best and I know she will be very hurt if I send it to him by-passing her because she thought she was doing something nice by giving it to me.
I don't have to run everything by her , no, of course not. I am a 60 yr old woman! But I do have to consider her feelings.

CookieDoughKid Tue 28-Jul-15 12:27:44

Sell it and spend the proceeds on a worthwhile cause. At least something good can come out of it.

cozietoesie Tue 28-Jul-15 12:36:53

Why do you need to do anything at all, right now? (That's a genuine question.) If your Mum is very old then the situation will likely resolve itself soon anyway and as you've decided not to tell her about your uncle's behaviour for that reason then why not just leave it lying where it's been these many months?

justanaveragegirl Tue 28-Jul-15 12:44:26

She may be hurt but it is nothing compared to the hurt you went through. You should be thinking of your own feelings more than hers.

I'm not suggesting you don't tell her. I am saying tell her when you ask for address so thereby you will not be hurting feelings. If you just say you feel it is a more appropriate heirloom for cousin than you, say you appreciate thought though but would prefer he has it.

Or as other say, bin it, sell it and donate proceeds to charity (although I hazard a guess you'd feel guilty) or just leave it (which you don't want to do as it brings up bad memories).

Ohwhatfuckeryisthis Tue 28-Jul-15 12:47:07

Look up his address on the Royal Mail website if you know the road he lives on.

redfairy Tue 28-Jul-15 12:47:17

I'd lose the bin.

fourflights Tue 28-Jul-15 13:01:23

Couldn't you do what I did and stick it at the back of the shed, or just give it to a friend to look after for the time being.

Don't do anything that would upset your mum, there's no point.

Stop giving him headroom he doesn't deserve.

ImperialBlether Tue 28-Jul-15 13:04:27

I'd chuck it in the bin! Will she really expect to see it again anyway?

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