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Namesake Heirloom

I was named after my grandmother (my middle name is her first name), who was named after her grandmother, who was named after her grandmother. We share a lovely, if uncommon, name. When I was a child, my grandmother showed me a lovely pendant inscribed with our shared name. She told me stories about the other women who shared our name, and I always looked forward to the day that it would be mine. Four years ago, on the eve of my wedding, my grandmother gave me the pendant. I wore it under my dress as my ‘something old’.

Sadly, my grandmother passed away two months ago. One of my cousins is pregnant and has just found out that she is expecting a daughter. She has announced that she is naming the child after our grandmother. The issue began when she approached my grandfather and asked for the pendant, claiming that it was her child’s birthright. Grandpa mentioned it to my mother, who helped go through grandma’s things after she passed. My mother was initially too surprised to respond. It came up a few days later when my mother and father were visiting with my cousin’s parents – my mother informed my aunt that the pendant had been given to me years ago. My aunt said something like, ‘Well, she will give it to the baby, it’s the right thing to do.’

My cousin then contacted me directly to ask for the pendant. I refused to give it to her, explaining its meaning to me. She accused me of conning our grandmother out of a priceless piece of jewelry. (The pendant is not particularly valuable – I had friend who works with a jeweler examine it, just for kicks; it’s worth a few hundred dollars at most.) My cousin then said that I had no right to the pendant; when I told her that I was named after our grandmother, she accused me of lying. After I texted her a picture of my driver’s license, she stopped responding. About an hour later, she posted a terrible diatribe against me on her Facebook page, claiming that I lied about my name to cheat her daughter. My mother called me later in tears; my aunt called her and screamed at my mother for raising such a selfish, cruel daughter who refused to return a stolen heirloom to its rightful owner.

I don’t see the point of responding to any more of my cousin’s insanity, but part of me has to shake my head at the absurdity. I cannot think of another way to prove what my middle name is, and I don’t think it would matter at this point. It has all gone too far. My mother tells me that my cousin is considering changing the baby’s name now, which makes me sad. I know that I don’t own the name, but I do own the pendant.   0226-13

When people yield themselves to unbridled greed, they become loony and there are no facts, no documentation, no substantive testimony that will convince them they are not owed what they selfishly want.  It’s like arguing with an insane person.

You have no obligation to give up a wedding gift from your grandmother to someone who hasn’t even given birth yet.   At the first request (um, demand) for the pendant, I would have responded, “The tradition is to pass the pendant to the next generation’s namesake at adulthood. I will do so when a child is of an age to appreciate it and when I am ready to do so. “

{ 126 comments… add one }
  • Yasuragi March 7, 2013, 3:14 am

    Grief can do strange things to people. My grandpa passed away ten years ago and there are still members of my family that aren’t on speaking terms because of squabbles over old VHS tapes. VHS tapes!

    As Admin said, there’s nothing you can say that will bring your cousin to her senses. Even now, she’s probably thinking “OP’s not even named after Grandma! It’s only her middle name! My daughter’s first name will be Namesake so she should be entitled to the pendant.”

    Remember, OP. Most often when someone calls you selfish it’s because you won’t give in to their selfish demands.

  • Leigh March 7, 2013, 3:19 am

    I wouldn’t give her the pendant, ever. Even after the baby grows up. It was a gift to you, from your grandmother. This cousin has absolutely no claim to the pendant and never will. Neither does her child, unless you decide to give it to her. It is yours to cherish along with your memories of your grandmother. It’s yours to pass on to your own child, regardless of whether you use the shared name. Enjoy it. Don’t bother responding to her facebook tirades. You don’t need to defend your choice to keep a gift that was given to you long before she got pregnant. She and her mother seem like a couple of gimme-pigs that care more about the supposed monetary value, and not the sentimental value.

  • Bint March 7, 2013, 4:13 am

    Your cousin is a total and utter idiot. So is her mother for going along with this. They’re both so incredibly stupid it just staggers me. And this for a baby that isn’t even *born yet?*! Ooh hoo. I would be kind and pass this off as that old chestnut ‘pregnancy hormones’ (in this case, an excuse to behave atrociously), but that can’t work for your aunt. This whole story is awful but at the same time so unbelievably silly that part of me wants to laugh. I’m sorry it’s so upset your mother, but diatribes on Facebook and claiming you’re lying about your name? This girl is a fool.

    On a sidenote about middle names, I got given one that’s been in our family for 200 years (say Fortescue). Nobody knew where it came from. Only then my uncle did some research. It turns out that Miss My-Surname had a baby by Lawyer Fortescue in about 1810 and he wouldn’t marry her, so she called her baby after him to publicise the paternity! And then Lawyer Fortescue committed a massive fraud and did a runner before they could hang him!

    Yes. I am named after a criminal baby-daddy.

  • counselorm March 7, 2013, 4:46 am

    Oh, deat. There is nothing to be done. I would add that if she’s never shown this behavior before then pregnancy may be partly to blame. I am ashamed to think of some of my insanities when I was pregnant…. and for which I have since apologized. It’s no excuse – just a possible explanation.

  • Kris March 7, 2013, 4:49 am

    Cut your losses and keep the pendant. I cannot stand people who feel they are entitled to things that have already been given to people. IF and when you decide to potentially pass the pendant on to your cousin’s child do so on your terms only. Frankly I wouldn’t even tell them you plan to give the pendant to the daughter in the future simply because they will continue to harp on you about why you can’t do it sooner.

    If anything I would tell both of them, that if they cannot respect your grandmother’s decision to give the pendant to you as a wedding gift, then you have nothing further to talk about. Harsh, but sometimes you have to play hard ball when people fly off the handle into the crazy zone.

    Also do not be saddened by the fact your cousin is considering changing the baby’s name. Why? Because that tells me at least that the ONLY reason she was considering the name was not for the heritage behind it, but to simply get “the priceless piece of jewelry.” The name was never important to her, the jewelry (that she may very well have later sold or pawned) was.

  • AnaLuisa March 7, 2013, 5:11 am

    Just incredible to what extent greed can drive people insane.

    OP, I admire your reaction and the fact you hold firmly your position (I liked the part “I do not own the name but I do own the pendant”) and do not doubt it and/or let yourself be manipulated.

    You are absolutely within your rights, I find the demand to be extremely rude and downright stupid.

    (Let alone that you might want to name your own child after the Grandma as well).

    Just incredible, incredible, incredible. My heartfelt condolences for having such …holes in the family.

  • Margo March 7, 2013, 5:50 am

    Wait, so within 2 months of losing your Grandmother, your cousin somehow thinks it is acceptable to demand that you give to her unborn child a gift which your grandmother gave to you? If she didn’t know that the pendent had been given to you, it would not have been out of line to **ask** whether your grandmother’s children and other grnadchildren would be willing for it to be given to her daughter to continue the tradition, but she had no right whatsoever to demand it, and once she knew that it had already been passed on to a namesake grand-daughter she should have dropped the matter (and who knows,you might have chosen to pass the pendant on to her daughter on *her* wedding day, or at some other significant point in her life.

    Quite aside from anything else, this was a gift which your grandmother chose to give to you, which had significant meaning both for you and for your grandmother, and the new baby could not have the same emotional attachment to the pendent – she never knew your grandmother.

    I hope that this has not caused too much hurt to your grandfather and that you won’t allow this to spoil the happy memories ties up in the pendent, for you.

    (FWIW, your cousin owes you an apology, and your aunt owes one to your mother. They have both behaved disgracefully)

  • Carol March 7, 2013, 5:55 am

    Good for you for standing your ground. I’m sorry your cousin is causing such drama in your family.

    Your cousin sounds a bit like my aunt, who I think tried to use things to make up for the fact she wasn’t that close with my grandmother. My mother was, and it caused quite a rift in our family.

    It’s funny too, my aunt, to whom I was actually close, had given me her ‘Honey Bunch’ books when I was a little girl, because we were both big readers. I loved and treasured those books, but years later, after the above drama happened, and we all didn’t see each other that often, I found out she wanted me to give her the books back so she could give them to my cousin’s daughter – I didn’t even know the girl. I didn’t. They were my books, and I loved them. I did give them to my neice, my sister’s daughter, because she is as much of a reader as my aunt and I were. That to me seemed like a nice way to carry on the tradition – aunt to neice.

  • Lychii March 7, 2013, 5:58 am

    Sounds like cousin was naming her baby just to get the pendant. I’m sure she loved grandma too, and wanted the sentimental heirloom, but disappointments happen and one has to deal. She and her mom didn’t deal well.

  • LadyLelan March 7, 2013, 5:58 am

    OP, I couldn’t agree more with what Admin so wisely said.

    Even if you showed an official document, let’s say a birth certificate, with your second name thus clearly written on it, your aunt and cousin would still find something nasty and foul to say about it. I would not be surprised if they said something on the line of “this is a fake document, you’re just providing it so that we won’t go on claiming what is rightfully ours”, or any other piece of total delirium of the same flavor.

    You were perfectly right in standing firmly on your ground and setting your foot down. Greed makes people do strange and shameful things, yielding to it would be a severe mistake.

  • Selphie Trabia March 7, 2013, 6:13 am

    Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but how is it possible that your cousin doesn’t even know your name? What does she call you that she doesn’t think your name is the same as your grandmothers? I’m just a little confused about this.

  • Miriam March 7, 2013, 6:15 am

    The tradition seems to be that the name skips a generation (OP says she was named for her grandmother, who was named after her grandmother, and so on), so until she (OP) hasn’t had a grand-daughter named after the family name, I don’t think the pendant is ‘available for dibs’…

    [Note: I don’t think pointing this out will help family relations with the other branch of the family!]

  • essie March 7, 2013, 6:35 am

    Let me see if I can boil this down. Cousin wants to name daughter (not yet present) after grandmother and inherit pendant. Now that pendant is out of reach, cousin wants to change daughter’s name.

    Dang! Why didn’t I think of that? I could have named my boys Warren Buffett and Donald Trump.

  • Sazerac March 7, 2013, 6:36 am

    There is no “like” in that statement – it *is* the equivalent of arguing with an insane person. Seriously – the woman is considering changing the name of her child over a bauble? And tearing the family up in the process?

    Stand your ground. You owe nothing to these loons. It is tragic, though, when a family is shredded by greed and entitlement. My sympathy to you over your grandmothers’ passing.

  • Angela March 7, 2013, 6:49 am

    My first thought was “Doesn’t the OP’s potential daughter have the next claim?” but that is logical and we see how well that works. Among all the obvious issues, I’m wondering how old the cousin is: posting a diatribe against a family member on Facebook is something my teenage daughter knows not to do.

  • Lou March 7, 2013, 7:01 am

    The nerve of some people! I’d categorise this sort of behaviour along with the people who think everyone should celebrate their wedding (and refrained from getting married themselves) for a whole year in advance – sort of, ‘I want, therefore I deserve’, if you’ll forgive the paraphrase. I’d suggest trying to make a firm case while the situation is still ‘live’ rather than waiting till the dust has settled, because people like this tend to think that silence equates to capitulation – in front of witnesses who know your name, if you can, produce your birth certificate and point out that the necklace is passed down from namesake to namesake at a significant life event (or presumably, the passing away of the previous owner), not at the point a new namesake is born. Otherwise if you had a child next year and called it the same name you’d have a perfect case to demand it back. Which is worth considering, actually…;-)
    So sorry for your loss x

  • josie March 7, 2013, 7:03 am

    The necklace is yours and your cousin is out of line. To ask is one thing, to demand and throw a hissy on Facebook, is quite another.

  • sv March 7, 2013, 7:09 am

    It’s your pendant. What if you have a child and decide to give her the name? At some point you might want to pass it along. Or perhaps a grandchild, neice, or no one at all…..your grandmother gave it to you. Forget about what your cousin wants and do not give her that pendant! Doing so will not fix this- it will only reinforce her outrageous beliefs. No amount of explaining, rationalizing, or insistence will make her believe you. Don’t even try.

  • Kimberly March 7, 2013, 7:11 am

    It does not matter what your middle name is or that your name is associated with your grandmother’s name.

    What matters is that your grandmother gave the necklace to you personally. She handed the pendant to you because she wanted you to have it.

    This was before your cousin was even pregnant and had a baby and named it after her grandmother. If grandmother had wanted to pendant to go to future named child after her, she would have stated so in a will or somewhere.

    Your mother did not raise a selfish child. Apparently, her sister did. Your grandmother gave you the pendant because she wanted you to have it. It was not stolen. What the aunt and her daughter are trying to do is manipulate(?) you into giving them the pendant. They do not deserve it.

    I am not sure what relationship you have with your cousin or your aunt, but I would not give them this pendant and I hope your mother is able to stand behind you on this.

  • Marie March 7, 2013, 7:17 am

    Wow, what a story!

    First of all, let me say how wonderful I think it is your family keeps such a tradition. I was named after my grandmother as well, and I am very proud of being named after such a wonderful person.

    Now, about the pendant. Firstly, it is rightfully yours. Your grandmother gave it to you, which means she intended for you to have it. Your grandmother must have been a wonderful person, she chose such a perfect moment to pass the legacy down to you.
    Now, from this point on, the pendant is and always will be yours, until you chose to give it away. This in no way has to be the child of your cousin. First of all, like the admin mentioned, the child is just an infant and will not appreciate the pendant. Your cousin knows this, and the sole reason she is making a fuzz is because she wants to parade around with the pendant showing everyone her child was “chosen” to have it. It’s her own ego she wants to satisfy.
    Secondly, if your cousin really wants her child to be part of the legacy, she would know that the pendant would have more (emotional) value if her child received it after you had worn it when she grew up. Since the child doesn’t know your grandmother, there is no real bond with the pendant. If she were to receive it from you, it would be the pendant her aunt used to wear and was given to her as a rite of passage. She’ll appreciate it more than if it’s simply a pendant from a grandmother she doesn’t know.
    And last but not least: I wouldn’t give it to the child for the sole reason of not knowing what her personality will be – but knowing what your cousins personality is. If the child grows up being a good person and someone that appreciates your family tradition, you can always chose to pass it on to her.

    But as mentioned: in no way do you have to give the pendant to the child. Not now, not ever. You might want to save it for your own children or grandchildren, and it is your right to do so. I would suggest ignoring your cousin, and tell her again that a legacy has to be passed on when it is time, and not on demand.

  • Laura March 7, 2013, 7:52 am

    In my opinion, the name is almost irrelevant. Your grandmother gave YOU the pendant. It’s yours to do with as you see fit, which includes keeping it! (I’m assuming Grandma didn’t say anything to lead you to believe you would be expected to give it up to the next person in the family with her name. )Don’t cave; I believe you would always regret it if you did.

  • Barbara March 7, 2013, 7:56 am

    What I got from reading the post, was that the name and pendant went from grandmother to granddaughter. So, following that tradition, the pendant would next go to the posters granddaughter, when she exists. The cousin’s daughter is the wrong generation. Keep it and wear it (but not around the cousin or her family).

  • Lo March 7, 2013, 7:56 am

    I agree with admin’s advice of what to say to her if she asks.

    Though I would add that if I’m reading this correctly it sounds like the namesake ought to be one of your grandchildren, no?
    Obviously it’s your right to pass the tradition as you choose and you might want to give it to this new cousin someday in the future, but it’s entirely up to you.

    The entitlement here is breathtaking. If your cousin has no previous history of this could it be stress and pregnancy hormones making a strained situation volatile? I’m actually shocked that someone would declare something for their unborn child so posessively. What if it IS a boy after all? What if she suddenly decides she doesn’t want to use the name? So much is up in the air before a child is born.

    But because she IS family… if one of my cousins were to act up this way out of the blue I would be tempted to say ask straight out if there was some larger issue here. As in, “I’m concerned about the way you’re acting. This isn’t like you. Is there something you want to talk about? I don’t think our grandmother would approve of this fighting between family over a cherished possession.”

    Also, you really shouldn’t have dignified her with a photo of your drivers license. The accusation that you would lie to keep a piece of jewelry is offensive. Why would your grandmother have given it to you otherwise.

  • Ames March 7, 2013, 8:16 am

    Please do not ever let her have it! I didn’t read anything about the tradition of passing it on, maybe I missed it. She gave it to you, keep it.

    For the facebook rant and teenagers, I have seen far more middle age drama and fighting in facebook than I’ve seen teenage.

  • Huh March 7, 2013, 8:52 am

    I’d be tempted to take a photo of my birth certificate with my middle name (“the” name) clearly shown, post it on facebook for aunt/cousin to see, and then refuse to ever discuss the issue again. Your grandma gave you the pendant, it was “tradition” to give the pendant from grandmother to grandchild, so at this point, its yours to give to YOUR granddaughter.

    I think the aunt is mad your mother beat her to the name, frankly.

  • Helen March 7, 2013, 9:13 am

    This isn’t just insane or rude, this is defamation. Document everything your cousin and aunt says/ posts on FB about you. They sound crazy enough to take their behaviors up a notch when they don’t get what they want. Also, you may want to comb through your wedding pictures to see if you have a picture of your something old that dates back to then.

  • Shoegal March 7, 2013, 9:14 am

    As it has been stated here before – you simply can not argue with crazy. Don’t try – there is literally nothing you can say that will change their minds – it is not even worth it. I agree with Kimberly – the name is completely irrelevant. Your grandmother gave the pendant to you – end of story. Did your cousin and aunt really think that if you demand someone else’s property – they just hand it over? It is ludicrous.

    I am very sorry that this happened. If this served to destory your relationship with your cousin and Aunt and possibly your neice – then it is sad indeed. It robbed you of the opportunity of giving the pendant to a cherished neice on her wedding day if you chose to – it would have been quite special.

  • Sarah Jane March 7, 2013, 9:18 am

    I don’t care if you were named after Harry S Truman…the necklace belongs to YOU. You do not owe it to anyone else.

    Your other family members should consider that you might want to pass it on to your own daughter or granddaughter…heck, you might even choose to be buried with it. Many people are buried wearing their favorite jewels, etc.

    Here’s an idea in consideration of the poor little girl who hasn’t been born yet and who is being used by her mother to create this drama. If the child is, in fact, given this same name, and if she grows up having a close relationship with you, and you feel so inclined, you could begin a new tradition. When she gets married, have a special piece of jewelry (maybe a bracelet next time!) designed with the name so that she can cherish it and later pass on to whomever she wishes. There’s nothing wrong with creating a new “family heirloom.”

  • mpk March 7, 2013, 9:25 am

    Agree with what everyone is saying. What your grandmother gave you was a wedding gift to you, regardless of the tradition behind it. How dare them ask you to give up a wedding gift.
    And since cousin came right out and said it was priceless, you know that’s why she wants it. not for any sentimental value. Hold on to it.
    someone mentioned not wearing it around them. If you always wear it, i wouldn’t take it off for anyone. It can be kept under your shirt. but i have a feeling you’re not going to be hanging around them anytime in the future.
    I think your grandfather probably knew that his wife gave it to you and smartly decided to not involve himself in the drama.

  • AMC March 7, 2013, 9:28 am

    I totally agree with Admin and other commentors. The pendant is yours. If and when you choose to hand it down, it will be on your terms and timeline. The nerve of your cousin! Accusing you of theft, telling you that your name isn’t your name, writing Facebook rants about you, and demanding you hand over something that doesn’t belong to her! She didn’t even for second consider that the pendant *might* have as much sentimental value to you as it does for her, or that you might want to pass it down to your daughter or granddaughter. I’d say it was pregnancy hormones but that would be an insult to pregnant women. Something tells me Cousin has always been a selfish, entitled person. And given her mother’s behavior, it’s no mystery where she learned it. Some people just think that the world revolves around them. And when things like weddings or babies happen, they think everyone else has to stop what they’re doing and bow to their every whim.

  • momofeveryone March 7, 2013, 9:29 am

    ugh, we are dealing w/ something similer right now too.
    background: my paternal grandmother is named Lilla (lee-la) and my late maternal grandmother was names Rose; i had a cousin who passed away at 17 who had her first named hyphinated with Rose. when i found out i was having a girl i decided to name her Leila-Rose. diffrent spelling to keep things ‘easier’, but it still honors all three women.
    a few years ago i started tracing the families histories (mine and my husbands). everyone was supportive and helped with names dates places ect i needed to get the search really going. while talking to a distant cousin, she said she had something of my great grandmothers, and she would like to give it to me. i have never taken her up on it because i know her daughter will have a horrid fit when she passes if it isnt in the estate. now that i have a daughter though i have been considering calling this cousin and asking if she is still willing to part with this item. i would love to give it to my daughter who is named after the daughter of this grandmother. i have other family items that will be passed down to my son and daughter, so its not like its the only item.
    i have no idea how to broach this topic.

    and now for the other side of the family;
    my husbands side, we have the flip. my husbands aunt is giving away everything of her mothers to all the family members at every hoilday. grandma has been gone almost 2 years, and everyone has told this aunt to take her time with giving things away. she lived with the grandmother most of her life and has has a very hard time with her passing. well aunt will give you something and then 3 months later want it back. as in, you get a phone call in march about an item you were givin in december and aunt screams in the phone that she didnt mean for you to actually take it. the issue now is, my son was very close to grandma, we saw her every week for his first 3 years, and he was very sad when she passed. so when aunt gives us something it usually ends up in our sons room. it breaks his heart when aunt does this, but its not like we can hide that aunt gave us this item as she makes a big show of it in front of the whole family.
    ugh. this is why im going to have a super detailed will.
    op, keep your pendent. your cousin is crazy.

  • Redneck Gravy March 7, 2013, 9:40 am

    Wow! Just wow.

    I am frequently stunned and amazed at the greed of adults. You received a gift from your Grandma – how on earth does ANYONE think they have the right to demand it period?!

    This cousin and your aunt need the cut direct. Wow!

  • Abby March 7, 2013, 9:42 am

    The OP and her grandmother do not share a first name. The OP’s grandmother’s first name is the OP’s middle name. I know most of my cousin’s middle names, but there are a few I don’t know, so I suppose it’s possible OP’s cousin did not know that OP’s middle name was named after her grandmother.

    I can understand the cousin a little. I named my daughter after my beloved grandma and if such a pendant with their shared name existed, I would have liked to have it. What I would not do, however, is wage an all out war against my cousin and aunt demanding the pendant be given to me, call her a liar, and post a diatribe on facebook. Perhaps if I found out a cousin had it, I might nicely ask her if she was doing anything with it, and if not, would she consider letting my daughter have it down the road, but even that is kind of touchy and could cause bad feelings.

    OP, you have no obligation to give her the pendant. What you might offer, though, is a compromise. From what I understand, the pendant goes with the name- ie, every other generation gets the name and the pendant. She can go ahead and name her daughter after the grandma, but traditionally, it would be the next generation who gets the name and pendant (and if they are using this as a middle name, multiple people can be named this). You could offer the pendant to whoever has the first female grandchild. Or, if you don’t have a daughter of your own, you could break tradition and give it to her daughter. Or you can tell her she’s being a big selfish baby, and any inclination you would have had to be generous with her was squashed. It’s up to you. Family harmony is always good, but I always hate giving in to adults throwing tantrums.

    OP, what exactly did the facebook status say? I am so curious. Was it, my selfish cousin refuses to hand over a piece of jewelry that was given to her four years ago, that I have just now decided should be mine? I’d love to know.

  • SpottedPony March 7, 2013, 9:48 am

    My suggestion would to be make a one time post on your Facebook page about the pennant for the sake of those who support your cousin and don’t know the full story and leave it at that. Tell how the pennant was passed down from one namesake to another and how you loved the stories your grandmother, whom you were named after, told you about the pennant. Then mention how grandmother passed the pennant to you, her namesake, as a wedding present, noting the year. Mention you had it apparaised and the amount and note that to you it is priceless because of the relationship you had with your grandmother and the family history behind it. Then someday you’ll pass it on to someone who loves it just as much as you do, when you are good and ready, and not a moment before.

    I hope your cousin and aunt soon come to their senses.

  • Sarah March 7, 2013, 9:48 am

    They’re reacting so strangely, I’d almost be worried they’d take it if they had the chance. They seem so sure that the OP stole it and that they are entitled to it, I’d worry they’d try to “right the wrong” and steal the necklace.

  • Cat March 7, 2013, 9:49 am

    There are far too many stories of, “I see you have that. Give it to me now!” on Etiquette Hell. The pendent is not hers to bestow upon her daughter. It is yours to give to your own daughter, should you have one, or to be buried with it, if you so choose. That’s what “yours” means.
    “The dogs bark, but the caravan passes on.” Let the woman bark all she wants. She is lying about you and there is no need for you to dignify her ravings with your attention.
    Perhaps, when the child is six, you might consider giving her one of those name pendants as a gift. She can then begin her own tradition.

  • James March 7, 2013, 9:50 am

    Pride also plays a part in situations like this. For some people, admitting a mistake is more painful than losing a limb so they have to wilfully disregard facts, evidence and common sense in order to continue to justify their actions. If they’d accepted that the OP had been named after their grandmother then it would not only destroy their pretext for claiming the pendant but also mean their anger and rage was misplaced and wrong; much better to pretend the OP is lying & then they can continue to believe they’re in the right, and enjoy the sweet rush of righteous anger that comes from the OP denying them their birthright…

    But at the end of the day, regardless of what the OP’s name is, I believe a gift is a gift. Her grandmother gave her the pendant and now it’s hers to do with as she wishes. Perhaps her coison’s child will grow up to be a wonderful person, beloved by all the family, and the OP will freely give it to her on the eve of her own wedding. Or perhaps not.

  • badkitty March 7, 2013, 9:54 am

    If she’s going to change the baby’s name unless she gets the pendant, then she’s not really naming the baby after her grandmother: she’s naming her after a piece of jewelry. She’s not honoring her grandmother with her actions, nor does it seem that her intention is to do so.

    What’s most shocking to me is that her mother (who must surely remember your middle name!) is going along with these antics, and even participating in them. Unless you were a perfect child, she would have heard your parents three-name you on several occasions, so now she’s just feeding her daughter’s delusions for no reason I can see. It’s not as if your aunt stands to gain anything if her daughter ‘wins’ the pendant. So very odd.

  • AnaLuisa March 7, 2013, 9:58 am

    Marie – you are right, what value could possibly have a pendant so horribly extorted from Auntie?

    OP – keep it, don’t give it to your cousin. I think entitlement and rudeness should NOT be rewarded, and that we should not give in to extortion and blackmail.

  • Hannahbobama March 7, 2013, 10:02 am

    Wow your harshness staggers Bint. Are you sure you belong on this site? As for the story, that’s really sad, but it is obvious OP’s cousin didn’t know OP was named after grandma, so I understand her asking. Even after finding out why OP had the pendant , I even understand why she asked for it for her own daughter. If I had been OP I would gladly accept responsibility to continue the tradition by one day giving this new baby the pendant ( grandma’s tradition is not for the pendant to go no further than OP) some may say OP might name her own child that, therefore she could pass it down to her own, and that would be ok too,

  • Shoebox March 7, 2013, 10:04 am

    I suspect the OP would be much more convincing if she showed her cousin the jeweller’s assessment, rather thsn her license.

    Seriously, you already know that you have no moral, ethical or legal obligation to give in to these ridiculous people, so the best thing you can do right now is sit back as far as you’re able (bith emotionally and physically) until they get tired of making fools of themselves. (I guarantee the Facebook rant attracted disbelief from more than just you.)

    With kuck, your cousin will come to herself once the hormones subside and be ashamed. But as Bint says, if she’s sucked Mom into the delusion as well, it’s likely genetic, and you’ll be glad you established some distance before the shower, birthday etc. demands start rolling in.

  • L.J. March 7, 2013, 10:13 am

    Good for you for standing up for yourself. Your grandma gave the pendant to you. Wear it proudly for many years and then pass it down to your granddaughter someday.

  • LonelyHound March 7, 2013, 10:13 am

    The line that struck me the most is that it was the OP’s middle name that was shared with Grandma and since it was a middle name it was not as important as if she had been given Grandma’s name as a first name. To me this is hogwash! We chose my child’s middle name to be the first name of my littlest brother in law. we chose it firstly because we liked the name and secondly because my littlest BIL (he was 10 when my LO was born) viewed himself as my son’s uncle. Now, he has another nephew but they are 2 years apart and BOTH consider eachother brothers rather than uncle/nephew. So, to him, it is his first nephew. He was thrilled that we chose that name.

    OP, the pendant is yours, if for no other reason than your Grandmother gifted it to YOU. I would go as far as, when next asked, to say what the Admin suggested but add the condition of you not having any daughters or granddaughters. To me, your Grandmother did not just pass along a pendant but the tradition and legacy that goes with it. If the name and tradition meant so much to your cousin she would name her child that special name WITHOUT need of the pendant. Sorry this has happened but stick to your guns.

  • CJ March 7, 2013, 10:17 am

    OP – If your cousin or aunt ever visit your home, make sure that this pendant is not “available”. While hard to imagine that your relatives might resort to theft, people this entitled will think that it is their right to take it, and won’t consider it theft. Sad to think of, but I have seen it happen in my own family, following the deaths of a beloved aunt and uncle. Sorry for your loss.

  • abf March 7, 2013, 10:22 am

    I agree that you should NOT give up YOUR pendant. What baffles me is that you clearly state that this heirloom is passed down from Grandmother to namesake granddaughter. Why does your cousin think she or her child is entitled to it. If its that precious and meaningful to her, she should know and understand the tradition and further know she nor her child are not in-line to inherit it. And, how is it that your own aunt and cousin don’t know your full name? Please keep your beautiful heirloom in a very secure location. I’m thinking I wouldn’t trust these individuals.

  • Saucygirl March 7, 2013, 10:32 am

    Sorry for your loss, op, and that you now have to deal with this. Keep strong, and hopefully your cousin and aunt will realize how ridiculous they are being. And when you do decide to pass it on to whoever you decide to pass it on to, make sure everyone in family knows that you did it, to avoid this drama in another generation. Years ago my mom gave me the ring she had inherited from her mom. My sisters both wanted the ring, and one thought she deserved it more because she had been closer to my grandmother. But it been my moms ring for numerous years, and it was hers to give. And while my sisters grumbled (ALOT), my mom was very straightforward in saying it was mine. And she purposefully gave it to me “earlier” then she needed to, to ensure that there was no confusion that it was meant to be mine. My guess is that is partly why your grandmother gave it to you at your wedding. She wanted to make sure you and others knew it was meant to be yours.

  • Allie March 7, 2013, 10:45 am

    “When people yield themselves to unbridled greed, they become loony and there are no facts, no documentation, no substantive testimony that will convince them they are not owed what they selfishly want.”

    Oh, Admin, this made my morning. I love the way you said this and I wholeheartedly agree : )

    Sadly, I have faced the spectre of the loony cousin in my own life. My cousin felt he was owed a portion of my grandmother’s estaste although I doubt he would have recognized her had he tripped over her in the street. She very generously included me in her will, presumably because she had raised me from the age of 2 and I had taken care of her as she got older. Don’t get me wrong, that did not entitle me to her generosity and had she chosen to include my cousin in her will that would have been her business and I would have accepted it. Each of us has a right to distribute our belongings as we see fit. Said cousin tried to kick up a fuss both before and after she passed. Thankfully, he faded into the background when he realized he didn’t have a legal leg to stand on. Sadly, I do not maintain any association with him, his siblings or their mother as a result of their craziness (there were other incidents besides the kerfuffle over grandma’s will).

  • The Elf March 7, 2013, 10:53 am

    Wow, the gimmie attitude is breathtaking! The pendant is OP’s, she may do with it what she likes and that’s the end of it. And accusing you of lying about your own name? WTF? What does she want, a long form birth certificate?

    OP, if you do not have children of your own (or you do not name one of your children that unique name), then you might want to float the idea of leaving the baby the pendant in your will if she is indeed named that, or follow Admin’s idea of saying the baby will get it in due time in adulthood. In this way you acknowledge the tradition and maybe make some family peace. But you aren’t required to, by any means.

  • Wendy B. March 7, 2013, 11:18 am

    Selphie Trabia: it’s her middle name.

    I’d just give her and her mother the cut direct and be done with it.

    My family started to raise a similar stink a few years ago. My grandfather had a pocket watch he got from his father and passed to my father. I understood that someday the watch would be mine. My cousin had the audacity to say some years ago that her son should get it, since my father only had one child…a girl. I didn’t say anything to her, just told my parents that it’s up to them, but it seems selfish to pass it on to someone else just because I wasn’t born a boy. My dad still has the watch and as far as I know, I’ll inherit it when he dies. As things stand now, I probably won’t have any children, and since it is a family watch, I will probably pass it onto one of my cousins instead of my husband’s children, in order to keep it in the family…but that’s MY decision, not theirs.

  • Justine March 7, 2013, 11:45 am

    I too was named after my grandmother. She too showed me a beautiful gold pendant with her name on it and said it would be mine. I thought she had that written in her will since she said it to me so often. My oldest cousin, “Don” was with her when she passed. Since he was in the home, he saw the necklace lying on her counter and gave it to his wife who also happens to have our shared name. I asked for it and he said “no” since his wife was with her when she passed she deserved it. His parents stood by him and my parents didn’t fight dad’s brother or his nephew. You are lucky your grandmother gave it to you on your wedding day.

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