Thursday, May 15, 2008

Accepting reality and coming to grips with it

My mom has a date in the near future. With a man who is obviously not my father.

I see a spring her step, a twinkle that has been on hiatus for the better part of 5 years, it's refreshing, but also selfishly it makes me uncomfortable. Why is it so hard for me? I know that she didn't chose to live out these years alone, I know she wants my father back as much as the rest of us, if not more. In some way I guess she has accepted the reality and has a "friend" (her words) who she is comfortable talking with and one who is not a woman. Apparently she's tired of spending all of her time with other women, which I can understand. I was single in NYC for 4 years and it seemed like an unending eternity.

I guess what kills me the most is that Will, Luke, and even John don't know the couple that was Mary Ann and Tom. They only know my mom as Grandma, the woman who lives alone, sleeps alone (Will asked her why she did one day), runs ragged to avoid the loneliness of her house of which she fills with things purchased from QVC. She excites in the thrill of buying something spur of the moment, receiving a package in the mail, filling her house with things none of which will replace what was lost. When men my father's age are around the three boys I get a little angry inside, thinking it's not fair that whoever it is (an uncle, friend, etc) gets to see them play Little League, run around and laugh, listen to their stories and just be. Why do these people get to experience their childhood and not their grandfather? And when will my irrational anger subside? So knowing that a man who is taking my mom out to dinner is going to one day, maybe be around my children and nephews is so hard for me to accept. I don't want to be this selfish, I can't have what I want and I need to accept that reality. Honestly I admit it, I get jealous of other girls who have fathers which is so totally weird as I used to be so jealous of friends who were in relationships and I wasn't, so badly wanting to be in one. Now I'm married and I would give my right arm to have lunch with my dad just one more time. Strange how life is eh.

John met my entire family and I mean, aunts, uncles, friends, cousins, etc all in one day. The day that my mom, brother and I came home from cleaning out my father's Naval base apartment and leaving his body in Connecticut to be driven home the following day with a military escort. We had only met 2 weeks prior and here he was shaking hands with shocked family members and friends. I wish we had met sooner, my parent's weren't this incredibly dynamic duo, I don't want to over romanticize them, but they are my parents, so special in a way and together they "worked". I miss laughing with my dad, ribbing on each other for silly things or strange personality traits.

So how do you let go, but remember and accept the future reality with grace?


Amanda said...

I have no idea, friend. I know you'll find a way to navigate this journey with grace and compassion. And when things start to feel too much, people like me will be down the hallway with very broad shoulders to lean on if you need.

Mrs. Chicken said...

Oh friend, not only do we share a name, but a sad story.

My dad died four years ago this August, the same month my second child will be born.

I was incredible close to my dad and I have written so often on this very subject.

My mom has been dating since just four months after my dad passed, which infuriated me. My parents were so close, closer than any married couple I've ever known.

It was so hard and so hurtful and so difficult to accept. If I am honest, I still haven't accepted it.

I wish I had better advice, but all I can say is that I've been there, and that I understand with all my heart. Writing about it like this helps me. I hope it helps you too.

Amanda sent me, and I am glad she did. Wishing you - and me, too - peace.