Monday, May 30, 2011

I just don't know.

I've been thinking about this for a while, and even if I'm still not quite sure how to word it, I will give it a try.    Being an only child, my relationship with my parents was "mine".  I mean by that, I don't think it really compares to anything since I think we all have unique ways of dealing/talking with our folks.  I can say we've always been open and we could talk about anything.  How many family do you know who openly talked about suicide the way we did?  I don't know any.  I knew that I could say something to either of my parent and could expect a reaction (more than a response!).  It was most likely not really what I was hoping for, but nonetheless, I knew where I stood and where they stood as parents.

As I'm getting older I'm realising (sadly) I'm slowly becoming my mom's parent.  I don't really like this feeling.  I've been trying to remain the child, but it is hard.  My mother relies on me for certain things.  She's never been the assertive type (quite the opposite actually) and can't really make a decision easily.  My father made all the decisions.  I understand where my mom comes from.  That alright with me.  I don't think my mother and I ever had that "girlfriend" relationship either, and I never really wanted it.  She was/is my mother, and I want her to remain in that role. There are other aspects of her life which I don't really want to know about.  For example, her sex life, her love life... Good for her if she still gets it on, but that's all I really want to know.  I'm not pretending she's not sexual, I know her, she is (or at least should be or pretends to be) and that's all good.  I also know she didn't have it good with my father.  He never stoke me as the lover type, anyway.

When my father passed away, and because I know her, that same day I asked my mother to take her time before falling into another relationship.  Her words were: "There won't be anyone for a loooong while".  It didn't happen.  Within a month or two of my father's death a man had moved in with her.  He was a nice man, and he took good care of her.  He didn't have it easy.  Let's just say he paid for some of my father's sins.  That relationship lasted ten years.
He had been married before and had two children (which are older than me). They would visit their father at my mother's occasionally.  I've always managed to no be there at the same time as them.  I just didn't care.  When he passed away, they didn't care much.  My mother covered everything.  Since he didn't have a burial lot, she also decided to have him buried. Next to my father. On her parents' lot.  I was surprised and pissed.  WTF?  My grandparents are buried together with my father and an uncle.  I was upset. Now? I don't know.  Yes he did share her life for ten years, but he wasn't family.  It was a family lot.  I did tell her.  She didn't know where else she could bury him, so it was going to be on the family lot.  I haven't been back to the cemetery since the day of his funeral.  I don't even know if she had my father's headstone engraved with his name,etc.  In July my father would have celebrated his 70th birthday, and I'm most likely to go visit him/the cemetery.  I'm just typing this and my insides are shaking... am I wrong in feeling this way?  It might be pure selfishness on my part (I'm trying to figure it out), but somehow it doesn't seem right to me...

She started dating a man she met trough an add in a Seniors magazine, or online.  She's been seeing him for a few weeks and is off fishing at my uncle's cabin with him for a week.  A part of me feels like I don't care to meet this man.  Good for her if she met someone, and it works out, because after all when she's busy with him I don't have to "take care" of her during that time.  Her weekends are busy, I don't have to drag myself to her place (one hour drive each way, just far enough to be a real pain!) to entertain her,  so in the end it's all good. I don't want her to be taken for a ride either, I've heard of too many foolish women who got ripped off by smooth operators.  I'm indifferent in regards to this new man in her life, and even if I do know it's a fair way for me to feel I can't help and wonder why am really I feeling this way?


Daddy Papersurfer said...

Consequential relationships of a parent are bound to be very confusing. It's good to see that you're talking about it but please don't beat yourself up. Love the 'sins of the father' extension BTW - sooo true.

Robert the Skeptic said...

You don't need to be told this, but your mother needs to make her own decisions... even if they may be mistakes. Some women seem not to feel "complete" without a man in their life. My Aunt Betty had been widowed three times!

Your mother had to make some type of "connection" with the man she married after your father; I am not surprised at her decision. Don't be too upset with her.

Any man she chooses to be with is not, and will not, be your father. You had the one and, from what I recall of what you have written in the past, he still lives on within your heart.

Dads have a special relationship with daughters, perhaps even more so than with sons. When I was at death's door three months ago my daughters came to me; I know I have given them something far more than just my half of the DNA. I got a new heart valve and a temporary reprieve - but eventually all they will have of me is their memory. What more could I possibly wish for!

Your mom is just trying to find her way.

Stinkypaw said...

Daddy P: I'm trying to be a good daughter, so that being said, I'll just shut up and "play nice". Thanks.

RtS: My mother can NOT be happy unless she's with someone. I'm not upset. I was. You are totally right, I had one father whom I loved, and for whom I still carry lots of love and lots of precious memories, and this despite everything he's done, died, etc. He was my dad.

BTW, reading your comment brought tears to my eyes - doesn't happen often. Thank you for that.

Seeker said...

Interesting...... I can see both sides of this. Your mum is most probably lonely and is just trying to do the best she can to feel better. I understand that her behaviour must be frustrating - and sometimes upsetting - for you though. However, I think you should concentrate on what you said about the fact that her having a new man in her life makes it easier for you, because you don't have to dance attendance on her so often. At least she has tried to make a new life for herself since your father died: I know from experience how difficult it can be for the children when the surviving parent never really moves on.

As for the grave thing, I personally would not be bothered about that. To be honest, I don't understand at all why people get so hung up about graves and visiting them, etc. For me, it is not the person who has died who is in the grave - just an old pile of bones that used to belong to them! They have moved on elsewhere.....

I wish you - and your mum - well. :-)