Namesake Heirloom

by admin on March 7, 2013

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. “

{ 125 comments… read them below or add one }

Jane March 7, 2013 at 11:49 am

Sadly, I’ve seen families completely ripped apart over inheritances, even small ones. Keep the pendant and ignore the silly request.

I totally agree with Ames about drama with adults on Facebook. Most teens seem to just post silly pictures, etc., while I’ve seen adults have full blown fights. Eeek.

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Arrynne March 7, 2013 at 11:50 am

It’s your pendant, you should keep it. If you so choose to give it to your cousin’s child when -she- gets married or is of age, that is your choice. Or you may have a daughter of your own and give her the traditional middle name and keep the pendant within your direct family. Your cousin is being a very special snowflake.

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Kristin March 7, 2013 at 11:54 am

I don’t think it’s unusual that the cousin didn’t know her name. I have no idea what my cousins’ middle names are–except for the two who, like me, were middle-named after our grandmother.

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Serenity March 7, 2013 at 11:55 am

This somewhat reminds me of a situation I have with my uncle (on my mom’s side). My mother passed away when I was a teen, and a few years later my father sent me a package containing some of her jewelry, including jewelry she wore as a baby…teeny tiny bracelets and rings, etc., and her beaded bracelet from the hospital when she was born. I have never told my uncle about it, bc he had mentioned in the past how he wanted those things to give to HIS daughter, who never even knew my mom, and isn’t the person those things were to be passed down to. When my mother was alive, she was saving those things specifically for me. My father had also found some things that were my uncle’s when he was a child, and gave those things to him. I feel those things are the things he should be giving his daughter, not things belonging to my mom. Yet he still complains about not having her jewelry to give to his daughter…who has never expressed a desire to have it, or to even know about my mother. I love my uncle dearly, but I have never told him that I have those things bc he is an inherently selfish person, and I know it would cause a riff if I don’t hand them over. I just can’t figure out why he would think his daughter, who never knew my mom, and was born after she died, would have more of a right to the jewelry than her own daughter. It just boggles my mind.

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Jenny March 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Do not give it to her! It’s rightfully yours from your grandmother. I’m sure your grandmother gave it to you because she wanted YOU to have it. The accusations are ludicrous and very offensive. I’d defriend her and let it go. Your aunt is equally acting childish. Enjoy your heirloom :)

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aschmid3 March 7, 2013 at 12:10 pm

The whole thing should have ended when the OP’s cousin learned the pendant didn’t belong to the grandmother at the time of her passing, because the grandmother had voluntarily *given* it to the OP four years ago! Why Grandpa let it go any further, by bringing it up with the OP’s mom, is beyond me.

Everything after that point is just ridiculous. I hope the OP sticks to her resolve to not respond to her cousin’s accusations and temper tantrums.

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JD March 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Amazing, simply amazing. We’ve had a few minor spats in our family over passing down things over the years, but nothing on the order of this piece of insanity. OP, sorry for your loss, and sorry for the drama you are going through.
I hope this doesn’t in any way tarnish the wonderful memories you have, when you wear that pendant.

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Lily March 7, 2013 at 12:19 pm

She just wants it for its financial value. Slip her a coupla hundred bucks and tell her where to go.

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Ashley March 7, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Grandma gave you the pendant. From there, it’s yours to do with what you wish. That’s really all there is to it.

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Molly March 7, 2013 at 12:39 pm

The worst thing about inheritance squabbles like this is that they take objects received in love and meaningful intention and they infuse them with all sorts of unnecessary baggage. I hope that the pendant won’t always remind you of this cousin’s disturbing behavior from now on, but that you’ll be able to hold the memory of your grandmother foremost in mind whenever you see it.

Also, I agree with Laura. The name on the pendant is essentially irrelevant. A person should not demand a gift from someone for any reason (or it’s not a gift!), let alone a family heirloom that was passed to you years before. It was your grandmother’s decision to make, not your cousin’s, and she made it long ago.

I think it would be worthwhile to clarify things with your cousin, but only if you can do so firmly and straightforwardly, without defensiveness. You are in the right, and there’s no reason for you to have to quibble over anything. Clarifying things should look less like “here’s my reasoning for deserving the pendant,” and more like, “your behavior has been appalling; this is the most inconsiderate way to honor our grandmother’s memory and to honor the birth of your daughter.”

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Leah S. March 7, 2013 at 12:48 pm

@Lou: If OP did decide to give up the pendant, then give her own daughter the name and demand it back, the cousin would probably have the exact same hissy fit. She might even claim that Grandmother gave it to _her_, or possibly even that she gave it directly to Cousin’s Baby, despite this being impossible. But woe to anyone who dares disagree with her!

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L March 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm

My grandmother legally left our family heirlooms to me when she passed away. I was 15, and she said to many members of the family that I would get them because I was the only one who expressed interest in learning their histories and taking care of them. This never seemed to bother anyone until my grandmother passed away. Before my parents could retrieve the heirlooms on my behalf, my aunt stole all of them. She claims that she was just “cleaning out” and threw them away because she thought they were old junk no one wanted. I don’t believe her a bit and am pretty confident that she has everything.

Fortunately I have a few pieces that my grandmother gave me before she passed. I’ve made sure that my aunt doesn’t even know where they are so she can’t steal those, too.

Lesson in this story: entitlement is a disgusting thing, and no amount of legality or logic can change the mind of someone who is both boorish and entitled.

Oh, and make sure you implement some anti-theft measures since your cousin and aunt seem to have the same character as my aunt.

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technobabble March 7, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Wouldn’t it be funny if there was a mistake on the ultrasound and the gender of OP’s cousin’s baby was declared wrong? Then Cousin has a boy (assuming the name in question is not a unisex one) and her whole temper tantrum over the pendant was for naught?

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Asharah March 7, 2013 at 1:15 pm

OP, I would strongly advice you not to let Aunt or Cousin in your house EVER, unless you have the pendant locked up in a safe place where they can’t get their greedy little paws on it. Otherwise, it just might “disappear,” like alot of possessions of other people on this board that somebody felt entitled to.

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Goldie March 7, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Cousin and aunt have a lot of gall to demand that the OP give them something that was a wedding gift to her from her late grandmother. So spectacularly rude, it makes my head spin. I’d make sure that the pendant never gets to that side of the family, ever.

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AE March 7, 2013 at 1:57 pm

I agree with the others, there’s no reason on earth or in the heavens for you to give the gift your grandmother gave you, *on your wedding day*, to a baby who never even knew your grandmother!

Evilme would probably want to add, “Uncle Scruffy gave me some china when I got married, you want that for the baby, too?” Evilme isn’t very diplomatic.

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Lisa March 7, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Wow, I thought this was going to be a “what should I do with the pendant?” question story until I got to the part about you having to send a picture of your drivers’ license!

I would not give the pendant to her even if she does name the baby after your grandmother. It was a gift on your wedding day and it’s yours. Period.

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Mahovolich March 7, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Yeesh! When I was a kid my grandmother passed on and left to me a very treasured pendant. It caused a ruckus in the family but it was clearly stated in her will that it was mine & everyone else had better suck it up (to paraphrase her words in the will). My other grandmother was concerned about the family fighting over her estate or things she treasured that some people would have thrown out. As she got older, she started giving family members things with a note of rememberance. For me I received a battered and old but treasured copy of her favourite book which was also my favourite. It would have been nothing to anyone else but to me it was special and made more special by the note whe wrote to me on the flyleaf.

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Elsie March 7, 2013 at 2:14 pm

What filthy behaviour that cousin is engaging in. I hope she doesn’t act like this all the time, nor raise her child to be like that.

OP, that pendant is yours, plain and simple. It was given to you YEARS before your grandmother passed away, and is therefore not something eligible for inheritance. No one has a birth-right to that Pendant and no one has any claim to it. It was a GIFT to YOU, plain and simple. Would the cousin enjoy you taking a gift from her given to someone else? She needs to stop being such a stuck up brat. She is an adult expecting a child. Not a two year old throwing a temper tantrum. OP, please please please do not let your family bully you.

As for the name-change, don’t sweat it. It’s not your problem. Personally, I find it really funny that she will change what the baby’s name will be just because she can’t get a necklace. Makes me think she doesn’t actually care about the familial meaning behind the name, and just thinks it’s a silly/cute tradition.

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manybellsdown March 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm

You know, I see a lot of “insane” and “crazy person” in the comments here. And I’m not trying to offer an internet diagnosis, because it’s really not relevant, but your cousin may actually be mentally ill.

My father’s wife has schizophrenia and has similar issues with “giving away” items. It began when my own daughter was a baby and I tried to claim some items that were mine and my father had been holding onto for me. Today, my father is terminally ill. He’s been giving away many of his possessions to friends and family. The last time I visited, he expressed a desire to give me some board games that we’d played when I was a child (long before he married her), and some new ones that he’d been given but never unwrapped. Despite the fact that his wife *never* plays board games, we had to smuggle them out of the house when she wasn’t looking because she would have thrown a fit had she seen it.

Your grandmother gave you the necklace. It’s yours. I’m sure you will find the right person to hand it down to when the time comes. I think you’re absolutely right not to play into your cousin’s drama any further. There is no answer you can give that will satisfy her other than caving to her demands.

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Cheryl27 March 7, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Got to love family, which sometimes prove, that for the most part relatives can cause more issues than they are worth. When it comes to family items, especially those of in the grandparents decision then it is up to them. If the grandmother gave the pendant to the writer before she died then it is rightfully hers and not the cousins. There was no will or any other proof except that the cousin was naming her child after her grandmother, which is great and honors the grandmother but that does not mean that the pendant automatcially belongs to them. The writers mother should have stood up to her sister and tell her to f**k off. As for the cousin who ranted on Facebook, she already looks stupid and selfish in which case she would blame on hormones but after that the subject needs to be dropped.

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Stepmomster March 7, 2013 at 2:52 pm

you think that makes them mad, just wait until you give it to one of your own future children/grandchildren. I hope she didn’t name the child something just for that pendant, but it sure sounds like she did.

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SJP March 7, 2013 at 2:52 pm

OP you definitely want to keep that pendant safe and sound. From the looks of things your cousin might try to grab it off your neck should she see you wearing it.

Not long after my daughter Ruby passed away in the womb back in 2010 my husband gave me a silver pendant in the shape of an angel with a ruby heart in the middle as a tribute to her. I wore it to a family function and my mother had a fit, demanding that I give it to her because “I collect angels and ruby is MY birthstone!”

To say I was stunned is putting it mildly. She knew the whole story of what happened to her granddaughter but she still had the nerve to say “Give it to me!” with her hand outstretched as if to pull the chain off my neck.

She never apologized or explained herself. It took a while but we rebuilt that bridge and she has never mentioned it again.

And no, she was not acting out as a bereaved grandmother. It really was all about the jewelry. Had the stone been a peridot she wouldn’t have noticed or cared.

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Drawberry March 7, 2013 at 3:01 pm

It’s like she doesn’t even want the necklace for it’s emotional value within the family; just for the sake of having it.

Jeez.

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Jenn50 March 7, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Am I the only one who wants to know the name?

When my grandmother was nearing the end, she started passing on smaller items to her family. We lived several hundred miles away from her home on an island, but wrote and visited frequently, and on these visits, she would press items of jewelry or crystal into my hands. Because she had moved to a nursing home, her house had already been pillaged by family members (and in-laws!) of most of her things, including many items she had promised to my brother and I, but we let it go rather than cause a ruckus. She knew, and appreciated this, and made sure the things she had with her went where she wanted them to. One day, one of my aunts sat in Grandma’s room with me, talking about how SHE had bought Grandma that wedding band, since she had never had one, and so, it would go to HER when Grandma died. I said nothing. When she left, Grandma rolled her eyes, and told me, “That one pawned everything of value she ever had. Including the ring she gave me, which I returned to her once to sell when she was broke. I DID have a wedding band, I just never wore it in front of her, because she’d want it to pawn.” She took it off and handed it to me. “Take it. Wear it. Don’t tell her unless you want a fight over it. Pass it down to one of your kids and make sure they know that Grandad sold his winter coat to buy me that the year we were married.” My aunt has never recognized “her” ring, which she claimed the nursing home stole, until another aunt said “YOU pawned that ring 25 years ago!” As I have two other rings from my other grandmother, each of my three kids will get one, and Aunt Pawnsalot can live with the fact that she has already sold off her inheritance.

If this child is the last namesake standing WHEN YOU ARE READY to pass on the pendant, it would be kind to give it to her along with the tradition, but you are under no obligation to do so. I’ve never understood why people feel so entitled to other people’s stuff. Especially when that person has not given it to them. Grandma is entitled to dispose of her things as she sees fit, and no person has a further claim. To act otherwise feels like reducing a relationship to a financial transaction.

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David March 7, 2013 at 3:35 pm

OP, the pendant is yours.

Possibly the best thing you could do right now is to take the high road and hide your cousin and aunt’s feeds on facebook. If anyone else in the extended family asks and you feel it is their business you could explain that grandmother gave you a pendant 4 years ago and now your cousin has decided it is hers.

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Dear! March 7, 2013 at 3:38 pm

This is obviously not about your grandmother. The fact that she is changing the child’d name because she didnt get her way, proves this. She wants to sell it. Having a cousin like this, Im well versed in gimme pig/selfish/crrazy. Just ignore her.

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Ellie March 7, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Take Asharah’s advice for sure, keep that pendant safe and secure!

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Abby March 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm

You know, grief and inheritances just bring out the worst in people. My aunt is still furious with my father (her brother) because he was the executer of their stepmother’s estate and when she died two years ago, evidently he said he would not take an executer’s fee. He doesn’t remember saying that and no one else heard it, but my aunt insisted he said it. He did take a fee (he did a TON of work settling the estate) and the fee worked out to be $300 against each inheritance- so each sibling saw their check decreased by $300. $300 isn’t going to make or break my aunt. But it’s two years later and she’s still complaining.

The nicest interpretation I can make here is that there may have been some longstanding rivalry between OP and her cousin, which would explain why OP’s name connection with her grandmother was downplayed, and grandmother giving OP the pendant wasn’t known around the extended family. Grandmother didn’t want to hurt the feelings of OP’s cousin. Now OP’s cousin finds out that the pendant was given to OP years ago and feels slighted. This pendant has become the symbol of Grandma’s love and cousin feels like (rational or not) wow, I love my grandma so much I wanted to give my baby her name, and now I find out Grandma had this special bond with OP and I was excluded. Now I’m mad and hurt and don’t want to name my baby after someone who clearly loved OP more than me. It may sound petty and immature, but she wouldn’t be the first one to overreact this way.

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Ally March 7, 2013 at 4:37 pm

The name doesn’t matter at all. No one in my family has my grandmother’s name (“Frida”) but my mom has a bracelet with my grandmother’s name on it. If someone named their kid “Frida” that wouldn’t mean that kid would be entitled to anything with my grandmother’s name on it.

The cousin is completely an entitled brat.

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Sarah Jane March 7, 2013 at 5:45 pm

I have been thinking about this throughout the day and about your cousin’s motivation. I’m wondering if her relationship with your grandmother wasn’t what she thought it should have been. Perhaps she is jealous of the relationship you had with your grandmother, jealous that you shared a name, or jealous that she had something special to give you. Perhaps she is trying to “right” that relationship through her unborn daughter. Relive it, in a way.

That certainly wouldn’t excuse her behavior by any means…I’m just wondering if there’s something else prompting her besides pregnancy hormones or pure greed.

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NostalgicGal March 7, 2013 at 5:59 pm

Plain and simple, the OP’s grandmother gave her the pendant at her wedding. It’s hers.

Cousin can do all the hissy she wants, it belongs to the OP.

Write off the issue as there will be no pleasing… if I was in a snarky mood I’d get a sterling NEW locket, have the name engraved on it, and give THAT to the cousin’s daughter… add the birthdate.

If she needs a locket for her new bundle of joy so badly, so be it.

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nk March 7, 2013 at 6:31 pm

If your cousin no longer wants to name her baby after your grandmother now that she knows she won’t get the pendant, it seems that she chose the name in an attempt to get the heirloom rather than to honor your grandmother’s memory.

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Marozia March 7, 2013 at 6:32 pm

This is your pendant that was passed down from your great-GM to her daughter (who share a name) to you (named for them). By rights, it is yours, and if you wish (and I stress WISH) to give it to your cousin’s baby then you can. BUT, it is YOUR pendant, not your cousin’s for her baby, not your aunt’s to say what to do with, but YOURS. Greediness, selfishness, vulgarity and disgraceful behaviour on their part.
In my culture, we do not pass down these heirlooms. I have never known any Romani people who do.
Maybe this is the best thing. It prevents in-fighting in families.

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The Elf March 7, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Jenn50, I totally want to know the name! But since it is unusual, I suspect OP doesn’t want to share it. “Nothing dies on the internet” and all that. Can’t blame her. But, yeah, I’m very curious!

I’m going with “Cecilia”. What’s your guess?

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Marozia March 7, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Also, OP, to add. If you voluntarily gave this pendant to your cousin for her baby, the vulgar name- calling and arguments will never end. It will be bought up in every conversation, family get-togethers and other occasions, and even when baby has the pendant, the selfishness will be passed on to her that you ‘stole HER pendant’.
Sadly, this will never end.

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InNM March 7, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Oh irony! This story comes out on the day my father’s will FINALLY goes to probate (20 months later).

My half sister has always felt slighted by my dad, saying that I have been treated better and I was the golden child. When my dad was preparing his will, we were all present and gave our input as to how his assets should be distributed. Every decision was agreed to by my mother and father, her, be myself.
After my father’s passing, we found out my mother was made executor (we were not expecting that, so much so that is caused another set of drama at his funeral). In the course of doing the executor’s duties my mother had to deal with my sister trying to reorganize the contents of the will in her favour and trying to cut a cousin out of the will, citing that he was my father’s nephew, not his son, and he shouldn’t get anything; never mind my dad was a surrogate father to my cousin, and anything one wanted the other would provide. Unfortunately for my half sister, the will was iron clad.
OP, the necklace is yours, given to you for your absolute use and benefit from it’s owner. Like my father could have done, your grandmother could have left everything that she owned to the church for their absolute use and benefit, and your cousin and aunt would still not have the necklace.

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Cat March 7, 2013 at 7:05 pm

If it makes anyone feel better, my grandmother moved in with us when she was fifty-seven years old. She had divorced her husband, didn’t want to work, and figured her son-in-law could support her.
My parents were married for thirty-nine years. Mother died and Grandma decided she’d go live with her son. When she moved out, she took all of my parent’s wedding gifts, including the dining room set she had “given” to them as a wedding present. She even took Mother’s wedding gown although I was 22 when Mother died and Mother wanted me to have it for my own wedding.
Some grannies give and some take.

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Otter March 7, 2013 at 8:18 pm

OP, it doesn’t matter what your name is. The pendant was a gift from your grandmother at your wedding, end of story. Would they be entitled to a vase, or a blender simply because the baby being named after her? Do not try to prove anything to the gimme pigs. Wear the pendant with pride and never entertain their complaining again.

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Oswin March 7, 2013 at 8:58 pm

When my beloved stepfather passed away, his brothers and sisters and their children broke into our home DURING THE FUNERAL (ostensibly the only time they knew we’d be out of the home) and took everything that belonged to him. They took a few of my mothers’ belongings as well – hopefully by accident. Coming home to a ransacked home after burying this wonderful man was like a punch in the gut. These people hadn’t visited during his illness, or even seen him in the years leading up to his passing. (They didn’t like my mother, I don’t know why. I was only 5 when they married, but they were against it.)

I’ll never forget what my mother said. She sat me and my brother down and told us that they might have taken the things that belonged to him, but we got to keep the memories of being with him and those were worth so much more.

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waitress wonderwoman March 7, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Am I the only one that is curious to know what the lovely name is? In a world where every one is naming their children the same names over and over again (nothing against the name “Madison”, but I’ve had three different friends name their child that), unusual names are so refreshing. My name is very, very uncommon and I like how it sets me apart. I’ve only ever heard of one other person having it and she was a guest on a television talk show. It is rare that I introduce myself and someone doesn’t remark on how beautiful it is. Thanks Mom!!! (I don’t want to give away my identity but it starts with the letter of the alphabet that comes after “M” and rhymes with a continent ;-)
Anyway, as far as the OP and her situation, your cousin left a crazy, nasty rant on Facebook? That sentence pretty much says all we need to know! No way in Ehell should she get that pendant!

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Tsunoba March 7, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Cat…I don’t know if there’s a way to say this tactfully, but I don’t think that makes anyone feel better. Even if I better appreciate how my grandmother gave me things instead of taking them, I now feel bad for you.

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Kate March 7, 2013 at 9:12 pm

First of all, Hannahbobama, I think your comments about Bint were out of place, and it is not up to you to decide whether or not Bint belongs on this site. Our Admin, who actually runs this site, obviously thought they were alright.

Second, what really makes this hilarious for me, is that the OP’s cousin and aunt want the necklace for a baby who isn’t even born yet! What is she going to do with the necklace, lock it up in a drawer for years, or let the baby teeth on it? Probably she is going to sell it. OP, I would never give the necklace to your cousin, possibly her daughter, if she turns out to be totally unlike her crazy, selfish mother. And if she realizes her mother is crazy and keeps the necklace locked up, I have the feeling that your cousin, even years later, might have sticky fingers for this necklace.

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Stacey Frith-Smith March 7, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Emotion can make us all crazy, but this story really takes the cake. So, OP, don’t engage with crazy. Why even acknowledge it? Unfortunately it will take time for this to die down, but that only becomes your problem if you continue to allow it to.

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Lexie March 7, 2013 at 9:43 pm

I feel that the cousin announcing she’s changing the name of the baby is a last-ditch attempt to claim the pendant, failing to realise A. she’s made it clear that the selection of the name was not a way to honour a beloved grandparent but to get her grubby paws on a material possession and B. the second the pendant was gifted to you, it became yours.

At the news of the baby’s name, I would have privately decided to pass it on at the baby’s 21st birthday or wedding, assuming the child grows to have respect for family heirlooms such as the pendant. The minute she started to inquire after it, she made it something she felt she was owed rather than a lovely piece of family history that was gifted to each generation, and I would have clearly observed that it was given to me on my wedding day without justification of my name. The cousin and aunt have shown their true colours, and expect attempts and snide comments about the offending jewellery for many, many years to come.

Sadly, we are in a similar position – an aging grandmother, a house full of memories, a daughter-in-law who believes she’s entitled to every single thing she can possible keep/sell/regift and the sad fact that when the day comes that my grandmother is no longer with us, it’s going to be a fight to get so much as a single photograph out of the greedy, grasping claws of auntie-dearest.

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cathy March 7, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Don’t give up the pendant. My great aunt is still hassling my mom for a bracelet/ring set my grandmother gave ME in 1975…claiming that all her sister’s jewelry belongs to her. People can be really stupid about this kind of thing and you can’t give in to them.

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anon March 7, 2013 at 9:57 pm

I really hope the OP’s cousin isn’t unhinged enough to break into OP’s house to look for the pendant herself. Holy crap, this story.

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MaRiley March 7, 2013 at 11:04 pm

This story is terribly sad but so common. Every family seems to have conflicts after a death, and many times the ugly comes out. The pendant was a personal gift to OP, given especially in the love and sentimentality that accompanies the wedding of a much loved granddaughter. There’s nothing more deliberate than the personal handing over of an item within a family. This gift made Grandma as happy as Granddaughter in what I consider is a dear blessing. The petty nasty and public (Facebook) airing of this would probably appall your Grandmother and is hurtful to her memory and would be painful to your Grandfather if he were dragged into this. Please, tune the noise of these people out and remember the dear face of your namesake.

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Amy March 8, 2013 at 3:17 am

You cannot argue with crazy and death makes people nuts. When my Grandmother died, she had been living with us. Grandma had been pretty sick and couldn’t live on her own. She chose to rennovate my parents’ house in order to live there (basically buildt a bedroom out of what had been the garage). It was her choice, her money, her business. It happened while she was living and was not an inheritence issue. But, omg, when she died, it just opened up a can of worms!

Keep the pendent. Enjoy it. Your grandmother gave it to you freely before she died and it’s all yours. And remember how much this situation sucks because, lord knows, someone else is gonna die eventually and you don’t want to let yourself act the same way!

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AnnaMontana March 8, 2013 at 3:51 am

This reminds me of my great grandmothers’ passing. At the age of 11, I lost her, but throughout my life I had heard the stories of my Nan’s favourite ring (Amethyst and Gold, not particularly valuable, but a nice piece of jewellery). She had always told me that when she ‘passed on’, my grandad (her son) or my dad (her grandson) was to find the ring and give it to me. She always followed this with ‘The others (my grandfather’s brother has 3 daughters, all of whom were about 20 at the time of her death, and hadn’t seen her in over 10 years) can have the rest of it, I just want YOU to have my amethyst ring.” Come her passing, my grandad’s brother’s wife starts going through her stuff, AT HER WAKE! Promptly finds ANYTHING of value and removes it from the house. Because we live a few hours away, and because they live about 20 mins, over the next few weeks, the jewellery, shells, ornaments and knick-knacks (some of which were specifically mentioned in the will) managed to dissapear, only to show up at their place. No, to this day, I still don’t have my ring, but luckily, my grandad did manage to find her fake replica (she wore it when she went on hols, it was a ‘travel’ ring) and gave that to me. At my wedding I plan to wear it with pride. But I’m still upset that the people my Nan had thought about recieved NOTHING whilst the selfish woman whom I am apparently related to, has everything…..
OP, Wear your pendant. DON’T give in to your selfish cousin. It should be passed to your children if they have the same name, not your cousins child at all!

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