Little Guy and I drove up to Mom's house a couple of weeks ago to get away from it all here. Also to help her go through more crap from her basement, now that she has an incentive to make more space (her new hubby also has a house full of crap so they're commuting between the two homes instead of living in one).
We spent a day going through a couple of trunks that were filled with items and memorabilia from my first step-dad's family (they were married for 24 years and he passed away about 5 years ago). She had originally gone through it and parceled out things that may have historical or emotional value to what's left of his family (they had no children together), such as photos, yearbooks, family heirlooms, etc. The rest was vague not family items that remained unclaimed.
She had a hard time going through it again and letting things go. I think she needed me to be there to share in the memory of Pops while we decided what to keep, what to throw away and what to sell. And believe me, there were a TON of things that needed to go into the burn pile. He saved receipts for EVERYTHING! as a full-time Presbyterian minister and part-time John Deere mechanic. 50-some odd years worth. He not only kept every notebook full of his repair schedule, but every receipt ever paid to his little church for weddings, funerals, etc.
We also found the bewildered and awkward letter his dad wrote to him while he was away at Aero-Cal learning to be an airplane mechanic--wondering why he hadn't been writing regularly (and telling what prices were going for eggs from the farm). They were worried that he was living the wild life out there in the big bad hedonistic California. And we found the corresponding letter Pops wrote to him explaining that he felt he had been called by God to become a minister and would like to go to seminary. Mom and I had a good cry over them.
Later my older brother and his girlfriend came to dinner. I had brought a cooler filled with an Asian feast I had cooked in advance---just had to steam, boil and broil a few things.
Afterwards, we were away from the old folks having a smoke on the porch. My brother and his girlfriend said an unkind and snotty thing about Poppa G (what I call Mom's new hubby). It really ticked me off.
Okay, I get that my brothers are unhappy that Mom got remarried, especially since she had proclaimed that she wasn't going to do it again, and dumped several early beaus who kept wanting to get hitched. She and Poppa G had been seeing each other for a couple of years and he isn't a guy preying on a widow to financially take care of him or medically take care of him. He's comfortable financially and very active. When I was there he took me aside and showed me the plans for a cruise he's booked through Scotland's rivers to take my mom through the birthplaces of her ancestors. Very sweet.
Before their marriage they both drew up a very comprehensive pre-nup that spells out in detail that they pay their own bills, medical and otherwise. They both have assets and children. There is nothing that my brothers have to worry about, although I don't see any problem with my mom spending her money as she wants, considering that she's spent a hell of a lot bailing both of them out during the years.
They both complain that Poppa G is cold and curt to them. Maybe so. He's been nothing but kind and warm and courteous to me and my family. It may be because he's very protective of my mom, and sees that everything I do is to help make her life more comfortable, not add a burden to it, whereas my brothers pop into her life when they need something, mostly money.
Really, I don't know what they expect. I live 2 hours away and talk to her at least 3 times a week. They live 5-10 minutes away and are too busy to see her other than every month or so. Did they expect her to live out the rest of her life alone in that big house without companionship? I don't get it.
So the second night we were there, I took them to a Mexican restaurant as the designated driver in my shiny new red Cadillac. They were having a hard time getting strapped in, mostly because Poppa G was trying to fit his seat belt into the middle seat holder which is inexplicably a different shape.
"I can't get it in!" he bellowed.
My mom unstrapped herself. "Let me help you find it!"
"You say that all the time!" he snarked back.
She turned red and said, "oh shit".
I laughed so hard I nearly plotzed myself. Then I threatened to make them get out if they couldn't behave themselves. They both had a couple of beers at dinner and the hilarity continued.
Over those few days, I heard my mom, the retired Methodist minister say "shit" more than I've ever heard in my life. Poppa G confessed to me that the day he fell in love with my prim, correct Momsy was the day she inadvertently farted and blurted out, "oh shit!".
Like mother like daughter. Wow, we finally have something in common! LOL
Today we had a funny little chat where she told me a story about how they heard a joke the other day that sent them into gales of laughter.
They were standing and hanging on to each other in support when Poppa G said, "Oh no. I think I peed a little."
Mom said, "Oh shit. So did I!"
I'm so very grateful that she has found someone to love and laugh (and pee pants) with in the twilight years of her life.
Everyone should be so blessed.