I've been reading Mom's letters to her from her first husband who died in WWII and their only daughter (my half sister) is having a fit? - AgingCare.com

I've been reading Mom's letters to her from her first husband who died in WWII and their only daughter (my half sister) is having a fit?

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I didn't see anything wrong with this and was flabbergasted when I was blistered, via email, for doing this, told it was "none of my business", that the letters were between mom, husband (#1) and her. Of course she copied the other siblings with this blast.
I have not been sharing anything IN the letters with other family members or anyone else.
So, after sister's last visit, I discovered ALL of the letters are missing (including those in the safety deposit box). I am feeling undone re all this. Mom and I have been depressed, upset (me-angry, hurt).
This has been a really nice thing for mom to have these letters read to her (her eyesight is very, very poor) as they are sooo very loving, adoring and it really lifts her.
I didn't even ask for the letters to be returned but asked if she would copy them so I could continue reading them. No go..........
I am feeling confused and don't see how this could be a bad, wrong thing.....I need another perspective, feedback. cadams

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It's all very sad, as these were your Mom's, to read and do with what she wanted. I too, find myself sitting on a pile of old letters that I recently found in an oldvtrunk that was my deceased MIL's. The letters are quite revealing, and from her ex (before she was married to my FIL, and over 60 years old), but the relationship resulted in my husband's 1/2 sister. I know that these letters rightfully belong to her, but I also believe that they would cause her untold distress (as they are very graphic and were from a time before she was born), and because she is a volatile alcoholic, I'm afraid to send them to her for fear of tipping her into a deep depression. My husband says we will give them to her, once his Dad passes away, but I'm really not sure what to do with them. I know she is unaware of them, so would it be wise to just let them go? I just don't know.
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I think it was childish what she did, but wonder if there is some other underlying reason - or trigger - that caused it? Maybe she thought that she should have been the one reading to your mother, or maybe there is some other issue she has with one or your mother? Only way to find out is to ask - is there something going on that I should know about and we need to talk about?
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That's bull****. That's your mom.

My advice, since she already has the letters, is to let this go. Oh, sure, you could go nuclear, but to what end? Mom has her husband in her heart...you've already read some or all of them and gotten the flavor of their love for each other. All the nuclear option will do is give your bitch of a half sister power over your lives. And, as you say, make you both sad.

Let it go. Life is much too short. Don't let Ms Bitchy Pants have the satisfaction of letting one more day go by thinking about this.

When you talk about it with your siblings, say something like, "Yeah, well, she stole them from mom, but she would have gotten them anyway." And then follow with 2015's most popular catch phrase, "It is what it is." ;)
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I am so sorry that you both have to go through this ordeal. Really I feel sorry for all involved because this is emotional for everyone. I understand all sides. I go through something similar to this with my own full-blooded sister. I come up with something that seems to be soothing and good for the elders and then sister finds fault and goes to the extreme to eliminate whatever it is that we are doing. I don’t know if she feels that we have eliminated her. Although I’ve requested she join us.

With that being said, I would not involve all siblings as the other sister did unless it is to avoid a court case. I would ask mom if she would like those letters back. If she says yes, insist that she be the one who ask for them back. She may also ask this other sister to be involved in the reading.

If all else fails and mom want to pursue the issue further, than I would consider a court case but only after involving the other siblings. This needs to come from mom as much as possible.

You all be blessed.
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If she stole them only to destroy them then she wanted to inflict emotional suffering. She's behaving like a child and needs an authority figure to set her straight about the laws of private property in your state.
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How with it is your mom? I think the best course of action would be for her to get on the phone and ask for them back, and to also talk to all the sibs about having her letters returned, so that they all know that she still values these letters. I expect that involving a lawyer would only increase the divisiveness within the family and not get the letters back anyway. I mean really, if sis says 'so go ahead and sue me' would you really go there? It is even possible she has destroyed the letters, since she feels they are inappropriate and for some reason feels threatened by them.
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Perhaps your stepsister felt those letters were from an aspect of your mother's life that didn't include you, but that's missing the entire point that they're your mother's letters, her life, and if she chose to allow you to read them to her to provide some comfort or to reminisce, that was her choice.

I agree with Fontes and DIL - take forceful action to get them back. They're your mother's property and the daughter had no right to steal them. To steal something so precious from your mother is cruel.

You might even get an attorney to write a letter for free by searching for pro bono attorneys in your area, if you mother qualifies for free legal advice. Even if they won't write the letter, it will be done in legal terminology that you could jot down and recreate in your own letter. Also include an outside deadline so the issue doesn't drag on.
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Get an attorney to write a letter to her requesting immediate return of your mother's property or you will file charges. Ask the attorney what charges besides theft you can file like I'd be curious to know about whether this is infliction of mental distress. If you have a friend who is an attorney s/he can write the letter on letterhead. Good luck!!!
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Shame on the thoughtless, controlling, cruel daughter to steal those letters!!! They are legally your Mom's letters - not your sister's. My granny had letters from her husband during WWI in her closet for YEARS. I don't know how often she read them (he passed away 20 years before she did) - but shortly before her own death, she sat down and read each & every one - then she built a fire in a metal bucket outside & burned them. Not one of their 5 kids felt bad about that at all - it was HER choice what to do with them.

If you can consult with a private attorney or Legal Services for the Elderly - ask the attorney to write dear old sister a letter to ask for the return of the ORIGINAL letters. Let sis keep a copy if Mom says she can - but the originals are MOMs. Mom decides if her "loving" daughter gets them after her passing or they get donated to the fireplace.

If the lawyer letter doesn't work,,,I don't know what the courts are like where you are, but here in Maine you can file suit against someone for personal property - it's a fairly fast and inexpensive process, like filing an eviction action. It's faster than Small Claims court (also an option). It would be a hard thing to do to drag mama into this, but she'd have to be the plaintiff unless you have POA or guardianship.

And get Mom's safety deposit box lock changed - Sis obviously has a problem with boundaries & I'd worry about the other items your Mom has there for safekeeping. Sis clearly has no business having access.

You have done NOTHING wrong by reading those letters to your Mom as she requested. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Good luck, sweetie.
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