Yeah…read that title and let it soak in.
So for those keeping score, it was June when I mentioned that dad was now dating somebody. At the time I thought that four months after mom’s passing was a bit too soon to be jumping in to the dating world (especially after 40+ years of marriage), but I was okay with things because dad’s happiness came first.
So here it is only four months later and dad told me at lunch on Sunday that he had proposed and that she had accepted.
I knew he was going to do it, though. He had told me a few weeks ago that he had planned to do it (hell…he told me two months ago that he was going to do it at Christmas), so the only surprise was that he did it last week instead of this week (it’s her birthday and that was his idea of a “great gift”).
So why the rush? I don’t know…I really don’t, but I have my theories.
They are both 65 so they feel like time is fleeting and thus don’t want to waste time that they may end up not having. They are both widowed and feel like since they get along really well and can relate on certain levels (i.e. talking about the other person’s spouse who has passed away) that this must be the “real thing”.
And dad, simply put, is trying to replace mom so he doesn’t have to feel pain anymore.
This is why I’m backing dad on the relationship. This is why I spent 30 minutes on Sunday trying to calm down my little brother, who was livid over the suggestion that they were getting married in the spring because, for him, getting married so soon was simply inappropriate. He was ready to punch out my dad at one point. I talked to him and then talked to my dad…and eventually they got together and hugged it out with tears. My dad is now going to wait to get married until either my little brother has moved out of the house after graduation (he’s 17) or feels comfortable with the situation (unlikely, but possible).
Dad then told me that he was taking her down to Florida this weekend for an entire week…completely last minute…to celebrate the engagement. She’s never been to Florida and dad wants to take her to all the places he loves to go…Disney, Sea World, that huge flea market down in Daytona. Pretty much all the places that he and mom used to go.
And that’s the kicker. That’s why I’ll support his decision making process regardless of how wildly inappropriate I may think the timing may be. He’s absolutely trying to replace mom in his life…in all areas…and I’m okay with that. I know what’s going on, even if he doesn’t. He doesn’t realize what he’s doing and he feels like he’s in love with her…so who am I to argue that point with him? If doing this makes him happy and makes it so that he can go through a few more years of happiness, then I’ll support him 100%.
Sure, it’s awkward knowing that my dad is engaged before me (my divorce papers are in the mail, people) but it’s not about me…which is something I tried to explain to my little brother. Dad is hurting…he’s grieving…he feels empty inside. Being with this new woman (I really need to come up with a name for her) helps that. And I believe that his thought process is that if they’re married, she can’t just up and leave him…so he won’t be lonely for the rest of his days.
This whole thing is surreal. I’m still processing things. But it’s happened whether I like it or not…so I need to either jump on the bandwagon or watch it go off without me.
I’ve decided that I’ve got my dad’s back, regardless of whether I agree with things or not.