Dear Mrs. Bluth,
I am in a awful bind and, perhaps you can help me sort this out so that I don’t alienate those I depend upon or wrongly accuse anyone. I am eighty-two years old and have recently undergone hip replacement surgery. Knowing I would need extra care at home, besides my cleaning lady and the four hour care Medicare provides me, one daughter-in-law who lives nearby offered to come for a few hours after the others leave, to cook and keep me company.
A few weeks ago, just after my surgery, a granddaughter who is named after my mother, became a kallah. I asked my daughter-in-law, who was with me at the time, to bring me my jewelry box as I wanted to gift this grandchild with my mother’s (a”h) pearls. I had always had in mind to will her those pearls, with their white gold and diamond clasp, on the occasion of her engagement. To my horror, upon opening my jewelry case, I found only the empty box and satin sack in which they were kept. I asked my daughter-in-law to look through my closet, perhaps they had fallen out, although I knew with a sinking heart that this was impossible, but she returned saying that nothing was lying on the floor of my closet.
Needless to say, I was absolutely distraught, because not only were the pearls very expensive, they held great sentimental value since my mother gave them to me the day I got married, and they were earmarked for the first grandchild to bear her name. I was absolutely beside myself, and seeing this, my daughter-in-law thought that the cleaning lady or the other attendant may have made off with them. I was horrified to think that these two people who had been with me for years and whom I trusted, would do such a thing. But distrust began to take root and I kept the box of valuables close by my bed.
Over the course of the next few weeks a few other things went missing, leather gloves, an expensive purse, and my custom made cashmere shawl. When I told my son about the goings on, he said he knew about it from his wife, who is the daughter-in-law who stays with me for a few hours in the day. He also asked me if it could be that I am forgetting where I placed these things, that perhaps I was misplacing things because my memory may be affected. I think this hurt worse than anything because my memory is sharp as a tack. Suddenly, I went from being the victim to being the culprit.
Please help me sort this out before they place me in a home due to my waning mental state, which is absolutely untrue. Someone is pilfering my valuables right from under my nose and I don’t know how or who.
How awful to have to suspect those who are in your home to help you while you recuperate. It could be any one of the three women (your daughter-in-law is suspect as well) who, for whatever reason, found the need to take ownership of things that do not belong to them. In plain English, you have a thief in your home.
I hear stories like this on a regular basis, and now with so many people out of work because of the pandemic, hired help have been known to make off with valuables to supplement decreased income. But, there’s also your daughter-in-law, albeit being your son’s wife, who should not be overlooked, if you have not found anything missing before her visits to you.
I would advise you to have a nanny cam installed in several rooms of your home and wherever else you keep valuables, like your china closet/breakfront and where you keep your good clothing. They are tiny cameras that are implanted in inconspicuous objects, like clocks, radios, and even mirrors. These cameras record whoever enters their proximity and you will have your answer when you play back the tape. I have enclosed the name of the concern who will supply and set up these cameras during an hour when you will be alone in the house, or when someone you trust who is not with you on a regular basis can come and let this person in to show you how it works. This is an invaluable tool for people with situations like yours and to monitor babysitters and nannies who are entrusted with the care of ones children while parents are at work.
Please let me know how this works out for you and if you learn who the culprit is. I don’t, for one moment, think you are losing your mind, so please be at ease about that. Please feel free to contact me for any further assist.