Forteen months after my Mom passed away, my Father married a woman he had never met until a few days before the wedding that he had found on the internet a few months prior. That in itself was a little strange for my sixty-six year old father, but I never wanted him to live out the rest of the years he had here alone.
Since his marriage in March of 2003, the relationship between him and his three adult children has deteriorated. I can understand widows and widowers remarring and finding love in their golden years, none of us were jealous of this woman or her family. What surprised us was how Dad handled the situation with his children.
All of a sudden, dad was critical of our Mother. He placed blame on her that was not hers to bear. His conversations about Mom sounded like a man who had divorced not lost his wife. He no longer wanted his own children or grandchildren around him. Yet, he began to cater to his new step-children. He quickly rid his home of Mom's memory and even painted every room in the house. His new wife insisted that she would never live in the shadow of my Mother. Within months the family homestead was sold and my Dad with his new wife left the country for new adventures.
The two have now returned stateside and are ready to find their retirement home hundreds of miles away from us. It's as though he wants to erase his memories of the years before he met his new wife.
I am the oldest of three children. An adult myself with four grown children and five grandchildren. I am also only sixteen years younger than my Father. He had adopted me at the age of 12, which was eight years after he married my Mother. Mom couldn't have any more children after I was born and so, at the age of 16 myself, my parents adopted my brother at birth and a year later my sister at birth. I was more of a second mom to them than a big sister.
I have a fullfilled life with my husband, a very loving relationship with my children and grandchildren. I am satisfied and content. My brother is also married with four children of his own all under the age of 12. He and his wife have a great life together and are content. My sister has only recently been married.
Personally, I wish Dad and his wife happiness and a good life. I am not affected by his behavior. I am upset, however, with his disregard of my Mother's life which he now critisizes often. Does he blame her for dying? Perhaps. He is certainly acting like a young boy who has lost his Mother. My brother is also upset at the way Dad dishonors our Mother's life. Our sister, however, accepts his behavior and has forgiven him. She is angry with me for my resentment of Dad's behavior.
When Dad has moved to Florida with his wife, I am sure things will settle down here and we will go on with our lives. I hope the division that has been created between my sister and I will have some time to heal. I can't imagine continuing our lives torn apart by something we have no control over.