The following is based upon true stories I have heard through the years.
To My Little Sister (the letter I wish I could send you):
Growing-up with you and Mom and Dad in our family home from the mid-1950’s to the 1970’s, I truly believe that I properly and responsibly carried out my role as the “Big Sister.” I stayed out of trouble, always did well in school and treated our parents with the utmost respect. You, on the other hand, were always in trouble. You got C’s and D’s on report cards from school, got caught using various recreational drugs, and had an endless amount of “bad” boyfriends. And while Mom was wise to your antics and was always banging heads with you, it was a completely different story with Daddy. As far as Daddy was concerned, you could do no wrong. To Daddy, you were the “spunky one”; or the girl with “street smarts” that “would succeed her own way”; or the “pretty one” that could “write her ticket” wherever and whenever she desired. I toed the line, did everything right, and was taken for granted. You did everything wrong and were always the apple of his eye.
When Mom took sick, I was the sister that helped Daddy take care of her needs from day to day. You on the other hand, other than a few phone calls, were out of touch and provided no help with her care. After she passed away, Daddy rewarded you for your lack of care and responsibility by handing you most of her jewelry. He explained it to me as follows, “Your sister has nothing and surely could use them…You have a career and your own jewelry, with no need for more.” In the 8 years between Mom’s passing and Dad’s recent death, he supported you by sending you thousands of dollars in checks to supplement the meager income you sporadically earned as an artist and itinerant musician. And when Daddy took sick and help was needed, were you there? Did your lack of assistance diminish your exulted status in Daddy’s eyes? You know the answer; of course not!
Anticipating all of this is precisely why I had Daddy redo his will when he was in a somewhat weakened state in his final days. He was actually intending to leave you 75% of his estate (because, “she needs the money”) and leave me a 25% inheritance share as my reward for being the more responsible and devoted one. This is also the reason why I changed the titles on many of his investment accounts to name Daddy and myself as “joint tenants” with 100% rights for the survivor of the two of us.
You see little sister, this was my last chance to make things right; to be justly compensated for all the indignities I suffered in spite of being the good child and the good sister. So, feel free to “lawyer-up” and contest the revisions to his Will and investment account titling in a court of law. I have plenty of money to pay for good lawyers and I don’t really care how long it takes for this matter to proceed through our slow bureaucratic system of justice. You, on the other hand, have little money to fight and need his money right way.
Daddy was right, I don’t need the money, and you certainly do. But Daddy was wrong in favoring you and loving you more than me. And Daddy was wrong in penalizing me for always doing the right thing and making the most of myself—-Justice is served.