Friday, December 21, 2012

The State of the Union

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!

1 comment:

  1. I am so happy to read this. There are good people. My Dad is married to a woman 28 years his senior. He had just lived through my mother's traumatic death (She had ALS), and after 20 years of marriage, she had died at just 43.

    He met a woman he was doing some work for (He is an electrical contractor) and she was a widow, living alone with no family in the country (2 very elderly sisters in Japan). She was completely unable to look after herself at all and before long he had decided to marry her.

    I was horrified at the time, not because I didn't want him to remarry. I didn't. I had (as had my mother)dreamed of him living the kind of life you mentioned your Dad's wife dreaming of. Instead, he is now a full time carer to somebody with advanced dementia.

    I help as much as I can, and they often come and stay with us when he needs a bit of help. But when they first married, people were utterly horrendous to him. Saying openly that he could be with her for no other reason than for her money (not that she has a great deal, but she owns her home).

    My father could not be less like that. He is an old soul, a gentleman, an honourable man who could not bear to see the way she was living and the people who were taking advantage of her.

    His life is hard now,but he really loves her. But he's a good man, just like your Dad's wife seems to be an amazing woman.


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