Dad is living with his lady friend, a gal more than 15 years his junior. When they were considering their current living arrangements I talked with his lady friend to try to determine her motivation for moving in with Dad. As he was still dealing with details of his disastrous divorce, I was hesitant for him to begin another messy situation. She seemed genuine enough and seemed to be involved in the relationship because she cared for my Dad, not for his money. She said he was like an Oreo cookie. The part on the outside was OK, but inside there was some really sweet stuff.
Recently my dad's lady friend was asked what she envisioned as her future when my dad passed on. She surprised me by saying she wanted to get a small apartment, downtown, where she could be near restaurants, museums and other cultural activities. I had figured she would want to stay in the continuing care retirement community. I began thinking that Dad may be a ball and chain, holding her back from her own dreams. So, today I took her out for lunch so we could have a frank conversation without 'you-know-who'!
What a wonderful woman! She felt that Dad was requiring more of her attention at this point in time than he had last year, but, she said she was still fine with the arrangement. She agreed to let me know when she needed more help, whether it was my taking on more responsibility, or arranging for some additional care, or whether it was that Dad needed to consider moving to an assisted living situation. She didn't feel that her life and happiness were compromised by her involvement with my dad.
After the disaster of his brief marriage, to a whiny, self-centered woman, this lady is remarkable! But, you know, I don't think Dad would have appreciated her as much had it not been for living with someone who was so totally opposite!