My father arrives tonight for a visit. He's not coming alone. My mother died in February 2006. One of the more scarring memories of my mother is her telling me "what a passionate man" my father was and that he would surely miss the companionship. Within a year or so of my mother's death, he started looking again. He found a few matches on some "senior singles" websites and went out on a few dates. As Mrs. BA says, say it with me, "Women Grieve, Men Replace."
From the outset I had adopted a strict "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy with my father. If he wanted to date, that was fine, but I didn't need to hear about it. My father does not have a very good filter shall we say - so my sisters got an earful of my father's exploits - yes, all of them.
My sisters complained to me, but I wasn't having it. I wasn't interested. Now there's a new one. Her name is Rose and he has been seeing her for a few months. There was talk of marriage but that has been taken off the table. My siblings and I (as well as her children) all persuaded them they didn't need to get married. They are however planning to move in together.
Rose bears a striking resemblance to my mother. It is a bit jarring. But I will have to see for myself. Let me state for the record that I have no problem with my father seeing someone. She seems to make him happy, my sister reports that he has lost some weight because she is making him eat better, and he has found someone to go out with. He had been in a funk and was not doing anything and now he is at least doing something. The family grapevine has informed me that my father is a little nervous about Rose meeting me and my other sister, who lives in Wilmington. He is taking her there after they come to see me. I am sure that it is going to be fine.
Given my mother's position on my father's "passion," I do wonder what she thinks about this. It is for her that I will make the best of this and see how the visit goes. I will note that as I wrote this I was reminded of the family story about the worst fight (and one of the only) my parents ever had. It was over a plant that my father accidentally killed. It was one of my mother's favorites. She cried and he went out and bought a new one. The plant? A rose bush.