DEAR ABBY: About four years ago, my dad bought my mother a beautiful set of diamond rings to upgrade the set he had given her many years ago when they first married. My mother gave her smaller rings to my brother, who then proposed to his girlfriend and later married her. I thought it was very nice of my mother, and I was happy for my brother.
Last month, my father died. While my brother and I were staying at her house, my mother gave my brother her new set of diamond rings and told him to give them to his wife.
My brother and I have often joked about how he is her favorite child. (For instance, one year my folks gave him a camcorder and I got a dozen pairs of stockings.) There is nothing in our history that would warrant this favoritism. We both were always responsible, hard-working children and adults.
I am extremely hurt and do not know how to get past the pain. Have you any suggestions? –- DESPERATELY NEEDS ADVICE, NEW ORLEANS
DEAR NEEDS ADVICE: Yes. Tell your mother exactly how you feel and why. Allowing this to fester will only make it worse. It does appear that your brother is the favored child -– and it is not a joking matter. The answer you receive may not be to your liking, but it's better than not knowing. In fact, the truth may set you free.
P.S. Under the circumstances, I commend you for having such a good relationship with your brother.