If you know me in person, and some of you do, then you know that my dad passed away almost two years ago. (Two years?!? Time heals not. It is simply the blessing of the fading memory of pain.) He and my mom were together for 20 years. Needless to say, she was more than devastated, as we all were, when he passed away at age 48. Too, too young.
I don't know if this is a saying, but I'm convinced that it is easier to let go of someone you loved tremendously, someone that you had a wonderful relationship with, than it is to get past a complicated and tumultuous relationship when the other person has died. My mom and dad had a really lovely relationship. It was filled with the small, romantic things that everyone says they want: hidden candies behind the coffee maker, just so she knows he's thinking about her; a bouquet of fresh flowers every Friday ("Friday Flowers"); washing and waxing her car on Sundays--all the good stuff. While the sudden way in which he died was traumatic and completely heartbreaking, we still have all of these small, sweet memories to invoke his presence anytime we choose. A tearful smile, remembering those thoughtful things that showed us every day how he loved us.
After my dad passed, my husband and I moved in with my mom for two months. She was less than a shell of a person, and we constantly worried for her well-being. But my mother comes from a line of women that are both strong, crazy, and crazystrong. And I really mean that. If you ever meet me, you will know what I'm talking about.
My mother is the strongest woman I have ever known. My father passing is one of the lesser traumas in her lifetime. She is my she-ro (thanks for the slang, Verm).
So my mom, now a sexy 50 year old, is single (she refuses to don "widow." She says, "I'm not some dried up old woman that is going to whither away until I die, dammit!") for the first time in a while, and is living alone for the first time in her entire LIFE. She is retired from being an incredibly successful business woman, she is building a new home, and is finally starting to ask herself this question: What do I really want?
I don't know what other people's experiences are, but from my observation, it is hard for single, middle-aged women to find decent dates. My mom, who had been dodging dates left and right, has complained for the past year that all the guys her age are bald, fat, and generally unattractive. And for the most part, I have to agree with her. Where do all the cute older guys go? Friends have been trying to set her up on dates, but with, like, 76 year old retired doctors.
Now, for reference, my mom is a very young 50 year old. She has gray hair, but her face doesn't look a day over 30 (good news for me! woo!). She has an amazing rack, she loves to play, she is learning how to drink (lightweight doesn't begin to describe her tolerance), and she is still in her sexual prime. She doesn't want to date someone that can't control their urine stream. Shit, she doesn't want to date someone with slightly thinning hair! (My dad had a full head of REALLY thick hair. What can I say, she's spoiled! In that regard.) I told her she was just gonna have to find a younger guy. She laughed that off, as she does most of my compliments because she doesn't think she deserves it. Wait, let me rephrase that: she used to laugh that off.
Lately, my mom has blossomed. And not just come out of mourning. She used this horrible experience (losing the love of your life, when your life was really just beginning) to grow herself, to become a better her, and to take life by the horns and really experience it. I guess the long and short of it is: my mom has a boyfriend.
Yes! She does! For the first time in 20 years! And he is HOT. He is 6'3", dark hair, a political writer and commentator (for which I will forgive him, and probably draw him into a lively debate at some point down the road), a singer, and best of all, he is totally infatuated with her.
And she is the happiest I have ever seen her. GO MOM! I love you.