When I was in my late twenties, my father went through what I would have to call “the middle-age crazies”. There was a young girl who was living with an older man in the neighborhood. My dad hired her to do some work for him in his remodeling business. She claimed her significant other was abusing her so my dad talked my mother into letting her stay with them. My dad started to stay up talking with this girl late into the night. The thing about my dad was, like me, he was very friendly and never met a stranger. We all thought he was so innocent that he didn’t realize how things looked to the rest of the world. I cannot tell you now how innocent he was or wasn’t, not after this incident. But let me give you an example: My mom came home from an out-of-town convention. She rode with some members and co-workers so when they brought her home, they came in to say hello to my dad. There was this early twenties girl having a drink and my dad was in the shower. As the story goes, my dad picked up this girl hitch-hiking and agreed to take her to the next town that was about 20 minutes away. He told her that his wife was on her way home so he needed to wait until she got there and they would both take her. He brought her to the house and fixed her a drink and went to take a shower. My mother believed this story because Dad always appeared to be so naïve and goodhearted.
My dad continued to commiserate with this young woman night after night regardless of my mother’s anger, she told him that the girl had to go. She went and my dad went with her saying that they were in love and eventually even saying they were going to have more children. OMG! My brother and I tried to talk sense into him but he was insulted that we didn’t think a young girl could be in love with him. He was offended that we were siding with my mother and wanted nothing to do with this girl, after what my mother had done to him. I was very emotional over their impending divorce. My mother was actually distraught and her drinking escalated. I received many drunken crying calls until I started ending the call as soon as I discovered she was drunk. You can’t reason with a drunk. During this time, my mother showed more emotion than I had ever known her to have.
Mom found out that the girl had a hysterectomy and couldn’t even have children. Mom tried to talk to my dad about it but he wouldn’t believe her. She talked to the girl and she told my mom that “they” didn’t want my parents’ home that “they” only wanted his business. My mom told her that she had better not hurt my dad. That was when I discovered that my mother was all about unconditional love. She insisted that my aunt, my mom and I go visit my dad at his apartment one night. The girl had split by then after finding out that my dad didn’t have any money. Somehow my dad ended up coming back to my parent’s house for the night. Now I know that this part is crazy but as I told you, I was emotionally stunted. I actually cried because my mother wouldn’t let my dad sleep in their bed. I felt really sorry for him. My mom had to talk me down, it was ridiculous but I can still remember how it felt.
My dad and mom reconciled and were very close. They finally realized that neither of them wanted anyone else to be parent to their children or grandparent to their grandchildren. Dad had a major heart attack and mom spent every moment she could with him, even staying with him at the hospital and driving to work an hour and a half away. She took care of him and they were happy until he died.
Continued Part Three