Redemption, Love and Other Challenges

After many failed marriages I begin again, not with a marriage, but with a relationship that transcended all the marriages and relationships. A relationship based upon 20 years of unvarnished truth. A relationship, that although lovely, is stripped of the pretty illusions of happily ever after.

But first a story.

My little mother is living with dementia. She lived with me for almost two years until seizures, a serious fall and cdiff stressed her already frail body. She resides now in a residential facility that offers what few, if any, nursing homes offer – true community.

More on that later.

I sit with my mom many evenings and answer questions about her life. Long stretches of family memory have vanished. Most of her memory of my life is gone. To everyone she beams and says “this is my daughter.” I can do no wrong. I am her protector and her joy. This is a blessing for me, a chance to make up for the heartache and worry my life choices caused her tender heart.

One evening she asked me “are you married?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Mommy I have been married before and it never worked out.”

“Really?”

“Yes really. Mommy do you know how many times I have been married?”

“No, how many?”

“Five.”

Silence for a moment.

“No, you’re kidding.”

“No, really five times.”

She then turns to her best friend Evelyn and says “can you believe she has been married five times?”

Evelyn, who has been married over 70 years says to me …

“What’s wrong with you?”

Food for thought.

Why did I always leave instead of stay and work through situations that developed, in part, from my issues.

Abandon or be abandoned.

Now, I am committed to staying the course, which at this late stage of the more likely includes illness, infirmity, wrinkles and death.

I’m the one you want*

Suddenly sexy Ohio voting block seeks candidate for long walks on the beach, cuddling and universal health care.

I’ve sensed something in the air the past few weeks.  Men, powerful men, who haven’t given me the time of day since my first hot flash, suddenly can’t get enough of me.  Those beltway elites who only last year looked down on my mid-western got it at Wal-Mart style with a milkshake on the side find me irresistible.

Being from Ohio is suddenly sexy.  I feel somewhat shy when he, you know him, the one who left me after I put on a few pounds, gave me the hot once over from the top of my frosted bob, down past my “Big Dog Mom” sweatshirt, way past my elastic waist jeans all the way down to my easy spirit walking shoes (so comfortable!). Honestly “guys and gals” it’s enough to make a older woman blush.

I don’t want to give in but somehow when he looks at me with those watery eyes and crooked smile I get all misty – I think I see a hero or something, but maybe I just forgot to put on my glasses. Just when I think he has forgotten me or written me off he is back again with more sweet talk and promises. I have to tell you I am so worn out what with dealing with my mom, while looking for work and being a single mom, I find it hard to resist.

Before, I was kind of blaming him for my problems finding work, and you know, his friends said some pretty mean things like my problems were all in my head!  I felt kind of bad. Later he told me he wasn’t hangin’ with those guys anymore.  He said he was always fighting for me even when I couldn’t tell.  He just had to keep on the down low.

I told him I just picked up some temp work that probably would last a couple weeks. I asked him to call me after November 5th.  He kinda got quiet.

I told him I would move to Arizona with him – or even to some other place.  I think he is pretty well off.  He wouldn’t give me a commitment, just told me to stay faithful no matter what.

He mentioned one other guy who “I think” is kind of interested in me too, but I have to tell you, even though John (opps I shouldn’t have spilled that) is dreamy in a wrinkly white kind of way, the other one, you know “that one” is looking kind of attractive.

Trouble is, there is no flirting with him.  He makes it clear he respects me, he might even help me out, but I get the feeling he doesn’t think of me as a simple minded damsel in distress looking for a savior.  He wants me to think and act, and even take action, to move on and rebuild my life.

Sigh.

Five Husbands Madonna Homage

Five Husbands Madonna Homage

*I haven’t been this desirable since 1985