Thursday, January 30, 2020

Reading the Obituaries

I used to laugh at my mom, who read the obits first - every day. She always said she had to see if she was in them.

But now, I read the obits everyday, too, online. I read the ones from my home-town paper, since there may be someone with whom I went to school. Luckily, that doesn't happen too often. Many of the deceased ones died a long while ago....the rest of us seem to have good health and long lives.

But I have been watching the obits for a particular person for 25 years, and finally, last week she appeared.

Six years after my adoptive mom died in 1985, my adoptive dad married a woman with whom I didn't get along well.  As many children of widows and widowers do, I had doubts about her motives. She claimed to have been married for 10 years (40 years ago) and I asked her why, after 40 years of taking care of herself, she wanted to take a mate. She never answered my question, nor this one....Why do you want to marry my dad? Her answer to that was to snap back at me, saying "Why did you marry your husband?"  I answered....because I love him, I wanted to spend my life with him, he made my life worth living.....that is what I wanted to hear from her.....but she never said anything about loving my dad. He was 88 and she was 74 when they married. I was not invited to the wedding, and he said it was because she didn't want me there, along with her few relatives. 

To tell the truth, I didn't really want to be there, but it hurt not to be asked. He moved into her home, and at the time I thought they were foolish not moving her into his  home, which was much larger and nicer than hers. But I soon realized it was good for him to have a place to escape to - if that became necessary. My thinking on it was that if he decided he had made a mistake in marrying her, he would be able to move back to his home. 

Not too long after they married, he got sick and was diagnosed with COPD. He was short of breath all the time and hot, humid weather made it worse. We had gone to their town to visit; staying in Dad's old home. We drove to her house to see him. It was a very hot day, 95 in the shade. She was washing windows and a short time after we arrived, she told him to walk to the pharmacy and pick up a script.  I said he shouldn't be walking in that heat, when he was obviously already in distress, and that I would drive to the pharmacy with him. She refused to let him go with me, and he was too meek to tell her to take a hike, as I thought he should do.  My poor dad got back to the house looking so worn out I could have screamed. I thought he was going to pass out. He went quickly down hill after that, health-wise.

The rest of the story is too sad to tell has taken me over a week to write this.....I get too sad.  But I guess I don't have to search the obits any longer. I once had a magnet that said "The meaner you are, the longer God lets you live." I don't know anyone who fits that saying more.

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