Wedding Woes

My cousin stole my childhood momento and gave it to her kid. I want it back.

Dear Prudence,
I am the son of a mother who suffered from a neurological illness for almost 10 years before her recent death. My work required I go overseas for several months at a time. So during the last years of her life, my uncle and I shared power of attorney over her so that we could jointly arrange medical care and deal with her finances. I am deeply grateful for his help. After my mother’s death, I noticed some property from our family home was missing. In particular, an antique Paddington Bear that my mother had given me as a child. I had cherished that bear when I was young and was sad to see it lost. A few weeks ago, at a family reunion, I noticed my cousin’s 7-year-old daughter playing on the floor with the bear. My relationship with my cousin is tense as she was very judgmental about my being away for periods during my mother’s long illness. I mentioned to her that I remembered the bear from childhood and my cousin said that she had given the bear to her daughter. The bear was not my mother’s property; it’s mine and it’s important to me. I don’t have it in me to demand the bear from a child, although I do want it back. But I feel like my cousin took advantage of the situation. How can I let my cousin know how I feel without causing a scene at the next family reunion?

—Missing the Bear

Re: My cousin stole my childhood momento and gave it to her kid. I want it back.

  • I guess i have to wonder why the bear was still at the mother's house if it was so important to the son - unless he was living with her when he wasn't travelling, why wouldn't he have taken the bear to his house/apartment?
  • I know my mom has some of my baby items tucked away (favorite blanket, one or two outfits), but stuffies that mattered to me, I have. 

    I don't know as this bear has fond "playing" memories attached to it, whereas the "antique" part was worth mentioning.  Leading me to wonder if MtB has dollar signs in his eyes.

    It's a toy.  Toys are meant to be played with and enjoyed.  If it was THAT important, MtB would have put it away where it wouldn't have been found.

    Someone tell MtB to go watch all of the Toy Story movies.
    Teddy917
  • dharmabunnydharmabunny member
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    edited April 2014
    *Barbie* said:

    I guess i have to wonder why the bear was still at the mother's house if it was so important to the son - unless he was living with her when he wasn't travelling, why wouldn't he have taken the bear to his house/apartment?

    The son might simply not have the space for it, mom doesn't mind having a memento chest, so why not.

    That being said, I think the mantra of "it's just impermanent things, the memories are the important part" might be a good one to exercise.

    It's still just stuff

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    emmyg65ReturnOfKuusmrsconn23
  • edited April 2014

    You know, I still have some lingering feelings about something like this too. My uncle claimed my dad's watch after he passed away. He got the watch for working 20 years at his company and he always wore it. He never even asked us if he could have it. I was in shock after my dad died and didn't really notice until later. I decided to let him have it because of what Dharma said, but I admit to giving the "yuck" face at times when I see it on his arm.

     

    Plusalso, he hasn't taken care of it and it's all scratched and broke down looking.

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  • I suspect MtB wouldn't mind so much if the cousin weren't such an asshole.  I'd take the damn bear back.
    image
  • I'd take the bear back. I'll have none of this "I don't want to take it from a kid!" nonsense. Someone has to show that kid that you can't take other people's stuff, yo. Obviously the parent isn't doing it. 

    (And it's "memento", BTW. I'm sorry. It was driving me crazy.) 
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    ReturnOfKuus
  • I would take back the sentimental one and buy the child a new one to replace it, since it's not the kids fault that the parent stole from the other person. Just explain to the kid what happened and give them the new one.

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