Wednesday, September 3, 2008

So Many Thoughts

Last night I read a news article of a woman diagnosed with an incurable cancer. She has lived with it for the last ten years. Her blog was entitled "Diary of a Dying Woman." I am jealous. She has had ten years. I will be lucky if I get a few more.
Enough of the morose. There are so many thoughts swirling in my head. The last two weeks has one word that describes it very well -- surreal. Grab a cup of coffee and prepare yourself. Yes, Virginia, this really did happen.
We had a great vacation. Maine is so very beautiful and Acadia National Park a jewel. On our way back home I received three voice mails from my father. He asked if we could come home early because he was traveling north and wanted to visit for a day. Unfortunately it was impossible at that point. We were too far away to make it back in time. I told him we would miss him this trip and catch him the next time around. (There was no warning by the way -- he called on a Friday wanting to visit Saturday and we were 1000 miles away. Yes, he did know we were on vacation.)
We arrived home on Sunday night exhausted but content. I confess I will never drive through Massachusetts again. Nightmare. My prayers for all of you Bostonians. Guess who was waiting for us. My father. He had checked into a hotel to wait for us.
Now this may sound to many of you like a beautifully blessed event. I get to see my dad and have a great vacation. Let me explain further.
My mother passed away two and half years ago quite unexpectedly. Since then my father has had some difficulties adjusting. Now he is suddenly engaged. Dad also had several health issues that are quite severe. He really shouldn't be taking trips anywhere because if compromises his lungs and he inevitably ends up with pneumonia. (Which is exactly what happened.) Layer that on top of going in for my next chemo treatment the next day. You can see where this is going.
We met my stepmother to be. She is very nice and devoted to my father. I know that he thinks he is in love with her. So what's my worry?
My biggest concern is if they get married. They both loose their benefits. Health insurance, pension payments, etc. Neither has enough to live on without those benefits. My solution - live together. Yes, you read it right. I am encouraging my father to live in sin.
Oh, did I tell my father is a deacon in the Roman Catholic Church? And his fiance is a former nun?
Underneath it all there is another scenario. My niece has become engaged. She has moved in with her fiance. Her parents are quite upset. I can't throw stones - and not because of my father. I live in a glass house in this regard. Yet I can see my sister in law's point and waiting is a viable and good option for my niece.
So one side I am encouraging my father -- a man of the cloth -- to live in sin. And the other side I am encouraging my niece to wait. While I go through chemo round three.
No wonder I want to buy a RV and drive away.


Anonymous said...

OMG!!!!! I din't realize you had just found out when I returned the keys.. Gives you something else to worry about instead of chemo.. Yes, when older things are taken away when you marry. This is why so many elderly just live together.. Nothing wrong with that and I'm Catholic...PS Call me and we will go get a stiff drink okay can't have that so a stiff chocolate dessert

Anonymous said...

I made it through my 4 rounds of chemo--just barely. Hope this goes okay for you. Your life is so interesting...maybe it will keep your mind off the chemo. I wish you the best. Karin

Nicole said...

Oh, I love to step right in and problem-solve and dispense impossible advice! Maybe your father's gal can be his caretaker (official title). I mean really, how much hanky-panky can they be engaging in with so many health problems? It sounds like they are together more just for companionship but have combined residences for economic reasons.
Another idea, although I could see why the idealistic would be against it, is to have a reception/party and a MAYBE ceremony and for all intents and purposes be husband and wife, but just not be LEGALLY married as in tax returns and all that. As for your niece, they could just go to the courthouse on a day of the year that they can fancy celebrating their anniversary on year after year, and have a wedding reception when they can afford it. The real story could very well be that they may not actually be engaged and they don't have a problem with living together. Is there an engagement ring or a proposal story? Or has everyone just started calling the boyfriend a "fiance" to put the pressure on? My true and free advice on that one is, don't you waste one teeny tiny particle of your precious life worrying over your niece but just leave her in God's hands. A year or three from now this will all be ancient history and your niece will be happily settled