Time …

July 27, 2008

My daughter bought a house the other day, my ex-mother-in-law’s house, in fact. It’s small, but functional, and very nearby indeed. I co-signed to get her about $50k in debt. What’s a father for?

My ex-mother-in-law is in the first stages of Alzheimer’s and the family needs to get rid of the house in a timely fashion, before things really start going downhill. I’ve not seen her for several months. I periodically checked on her when driving home from work since she lives, or lived, on the same road as I. In fact, I probably saw her more often than most of her children. She’s a good woman, and to have put up with and survived that insane family into her eighties is saying something, let me tell you.

She was genuinely happy to see me, and it made me happy in turn. She once confided that I was the only son-in-law that she truly liked. We joked, and when she was told the amount she was getting for the sale of the house, I asked her if she was going to use it on all the male strippers like she used to. This was a blatant untruth but it made for good story there in front of an attorney and bank rep. She laughed and said, “I have been known to do that, but not lately! But now maybe I will!”

As we left I told her to take care of herself, and she assured me that she was trying to do just that. As I started to give her a hug, I was surprised to find her arms already open to give me one. I don’t remember her ever giving me a hug before though I’m almost sure she has. It was melancholy to see her, white haired and hunched, and everyone including her knowing what her future will bring. She will soon begin to forget more and more.

My ex-wife brought her mother in to sell the house. It was sad to see my ex-wife, too. She’s totally changed from what I remember from even a few years ago, when I saw her at our son’s wedding. She looks even more haggard and tired. I know part of that is the stress with her mother, but her face is oft-kilter. Her nose is bulbous, either from drinking but more likely from being broken a few times by the idiot she continues to live with. Her eyes look different, as if a brow has been cracked, her face rearranged. I could barely look at her. It was awful. Except for being an octave lower from cigarettes, her voice continues to sound like her, and she still calls me “hon” when she’s not thinking, but it was as if the voice was coming from someone entirely different than who I knew before.

I was with her for over 15 years, but might not have recognized her if I’d have passed her in a store. How wrong out is that?

It was sad, just so very sad.

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2 Responses to “Time …”


  1. As I read parts of this post, I kept thinking, “When did I writer that?”
    –Mike

  2. Khozyain Says:

    I know not why there is such a melancholy feeling attached to the remembrance of past happiness, except that we fear that the future can have nothing so bright as the past. – Julia Ward Howe


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