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Two Years Later...


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Life has changed completely for me...all the turn of events because of my dad's passing. It just isn't fair...

My dad died suddenly of a heart attack on May 10, 2006. I am an only child with wonderful parents. Life was so perfect! I have a husband and three little girls. My parents loved hanging with us...the phone calls during the week updating them on what was going on in the girls' lives. Sunday brunch every week at a different restaurant. Life was good.

Then my dad died. The grief was awful, of course, awful for me and my mom. My mother told me about a month after dad died that she did want to find another man someday. Amazingly enough, I was really ok with that. I didn't want my mom to be alone, and I knew in my heart that dad would have wanted that for my mom.

Then it happened...my mother reconnected with her prom date from 40 years ago...3 months after my dad died. A month later, he moved in. He was with us for the first Halloween without my dad, first Christmas without my dad, etc.

Sounds like a love story, finding each other after 40 years, right? Yea, love story...this guy came into our lives and "claimed" granfatherhood....my girls called him grandpa which is all fine and good, but he started calling my girls his grandchildren. My mom removed all of my dads pictures from the house. (She did put one back on a high shelf in the piano room when I brought it up). They are "in love"...and, suddenly my mother is not grief-ridden. And, she seems to, from what I can tell, need to give this guy the impression that things are better with him than they were with my dad. The new guy made the statment in front of my cousin and I, "We've been in love for 40 years." Ummm..no, my mom was in love with my dad...

 I know it is perfecty natural for me to feel some aprehension about my mother being with someone else, but in my heart that is not what bothers me. It is who she is with, he is just not the kind of person who my mom should be ok with. This guy is absolutely the opposite in values from how I was raised. He says things that make people feel uncomfortable, and my mom is not like that at all, and it has bothered her in the past when people have done things like what he does. Like at my cousin's bridal shower, (he being the only guy there), he announded to all of my aunts, "You need to recognize *my mom* because she worked so hard to put this all together. You need to thank her for this." Meant well, but insiuated that the family wasn't capable of doing that themselves and would not naturally thank her. He hasn't saved for retirement, something that was of utmost importance in my parents' lives. He sold his trailer home to move into my mom's nice house. He has tatoos, my mother would never dream of that. And, the worst of it...he did drugs for a good part of his life. He is clean now, but he jokes about, "Must have smoked that away." and other remarks. That is NOT acceptable in our family. I guess we are a bit upity. Social drinking is ok, but not a long substance abusing life. He just goes against so many of the values that we lived by. And, he rips on people...where we are just accepting of people and their idiosyncracies. And, he gets up at 3AM to be to work by 5AM, my mom get up with him and they are in bed by 7PM. So, during the hours that we are up and about, they arent. We can't invite them to the girl's evening activities because they won't come anyway because they need to be in bed. I'm not the only one who is uncomfortable with the new guy. My mom's friends are very uncomfortable with him and her sisters think it is not a good match too.

So, my husband and I really do not like spending time with him, but we do want to spend time with my mom. So, we have to keep quiet and pretend that we are ok with him. And, we want our girls to have the grandmother relationship. I would never dream of talking to my mom about it. She has experienced enough grief and pain, and I love her too much to hurt her.

My mom is engaged now, will not marry him though...for financial reasons. I believe her. She also will keep all of the inheritance in my name, not his.

So, it's not just the grief over my dad that I have to deal with, but the grief of losing who my mother was. My family has completely fallen apart.

Am I alone in this experience? Where I didn't just lose my dad, but lost my mom in a sense as well...it hurts, I almost feel closer to my dad than I do my mom and she is still living.

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