DEAR ABBY: A few years ago, my brother, "Leonard," stayed with me while he was in the process of getting a divorce. His son, "Craig," visited him several times. On one of those visits, Craig received an invitation to dinner, and because he had not brought a tie, I loaned him one of my late husband's ties. I also loaned him one of my husband's rings.
For some reason, Craig had the ring appraised the next day, and asked to take it with him to show his girlfriend. He promised to return it on his next visit. When he came again, he claimed to have forgotten to bring it with him.
After my brother got his divorce, he found his own apartment and I never saw Craig again, although I frequently took meals to my brother and stayed with him for several days in a row when he became very ill. Craig never called or visited his sick father.
Leonard died last month. A few days later, when I went to his apartment, I found it empty -- Craig had cleaned it out and didn't leave me even one memento of my beloved brother.
I called Craig to insist that he return my husband's ring. He said, "Oh, I lost that ring years ago."
Abby, I can't afford a lawyer to help me get the ring back, and even if I could afford one, Craig, a pharmacist, would probably fight me for it. I'm not so concerned about the monetary value as I am the sentimental value, but if he sold it or lost it, he should pay me for it.
I want Craig to see my letter in your column and feel ashamed for taking a ring that means so much to me. -- NO RING, NO BROTHER, NO FAIR
DEAR NO FAIR: To make sure Craig sees his shameful behavior in print, send him this column. But don't count on getting your ring back unless you take legal action. A judgment in small claims court may force him to return the ring or be in trouble with the law. Good luck.