So, here we are about 2-1/2 years after the unexpected death of my mother and my dad has remarried. No sarcasm or negativity. Really. I’m actually quite thrilled because the woman he has married is age-appropriate, a professional, a mother to three great children and a grandmother to four darling grandchildren. Like ours, her family is a close-knit group of seemingly normal peple to love each other and actually enjoy spending time together.

They did not move in together prior to getting married because she is a practicing Catholic whose grandchildren attend Catholic schools and she did not want to set a bad example for them. Commendable. So, here we just two weeks after the wedding and they are frantically trying to co-habitate.

They’ve elected to move in to her home rather than in to my dad’s home for several reasons, all of which make sense. She is not comfortable moving in to the home that my dad and mom built together. Completely understand. Her home is on a golf course. Same golf course of which my dad has been a member for over twenty years. Her home is literally three doors down from the clubhouse. Completely understand.

The problem is that her home is filled with her stuff and there is currently no room for my dad’s stuff. She’s slowly rummaging through said stuff to eliminate where ever she can so as to make space for dad’s stuff. So little by little my dad is moving in to his new home. My guess is that he’ll be completely moved in by April and not a day sooner.

My brother and I are picking up a Uhaul next weekend to go and take some of the furniture that my dad is unable to take with him to the new house for lack of space. Brand new $4000 leather sofa – SCORE! Large screen TV – SCORE! King sized bed – SCORE! But I’m much more concerned about the little things that belonged to my mother that, selfishly, I don’t really want him taking with him to the new house. My fear is that they’ll be forgotten … put away somewhere and then one day – hopefully many, many, many years from now when my father has passed, I’ll be forced to go through things left behind and I’m dreadfully afraid of arguments about what was his versus hers prior to their union.

I know it’s just “stuff”. But take it from me, when you no longer have your mother in your life, you find comfort in being surrounded by her stuff. Memories are ignited. Stories are shared. Small little trinkets worth nothing can offer up pretty large hugs, believe it or not.

Months ago, when the engagement was announced and we started talking about the big move, I mustered up the courage to share my honest feelings about my dad taking my mom’s things with him to his new home. It was agreed that I would be able to photograph the things he takes with him so that on that day in the very far future when I am forced to recall what came from our family, I won’t have to rely on my already failed memory.

I’m dreading this move. I smell trouble. I taste trouble. I hate this feeling. I’m sure it’s me, not them. Maybe some part of me is not supressing my true feelings about my dad getting remarried. Believe it or not, no one in my family has ever had to deal with blended families because all of my aunts and uncles and great aunts and what-not are still married. A few are now widows/widowers, but those folks have never remarried. This is the first time this has ever happened in my family.

Back to my true feelings about this … maybe I’m getting my panties in a wad with no good reason because I’m pissed off. I’m pissed off that my mom didn’t take better care of her health. I’m pissed off that she didn’t listen to her doctor nearly 30 years ago when she had her first open heart surgery and was told that unless she got herself in to better physical shape, she would not live another 30 years. Perhaps I’m pissed off that V will never know his grandmother. Pissed off that I can never call her for motherly advice. Pissed off that it wasn’t until after I became a mother that I was able to truly appreciate how wonderful of a mother she was to me. Even more pissed off that I never had the chance to tell her that for I was only four months in to my own experience as a mother when she died.

Wow. Certainly wasn’t expecting that kind of stuff to surface from this post. But I do feel a bit better now that I’ve said  typed it. Sigh.

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