My Dad had been in decline, but he died rather suddenly of a heart attach right before Christmas last year at the age of 83. He and my mother had been married for over 50 years. They raised us on a chicken farm outside of Guelph, Ontario, and had retired 20 years ago. With the chickens gone and their 7 kids all independent and mostly out of the house (my youngest brother lingered on, living in the basement), Mom often told me that those years were the best of their marriage. They reveled in their freedom to travel (something you can’t do when farm animals need tending) and in their mobile home traveled all over the US.
A month after my Dad died, my mother met a semi-retired Dutch Canadian farmer at her sister’s 70th birthday party. They talked for all of 15 minutes, but something clicked.
Since retirement, my parents had spent a good portion of the cold Canadian winters with my oldest sister California, and Mom was leaving soon after the party to be there for 2 months. Mom and “Geert” exchanged email addresses.
When I visited Mom and my sister in California at the end of March, their relationship was blooming. Each morning, Mom would rush over to her computer and login before breakfast. She reminded me of a giggling school girl as she read Geert’s messages and relayed them to us.
“He says as soon as I get back to Canada, I should call him and he’ll rush right over!”
It was cute and a little disconcerting at the same time. At the very least, it gave me some perspective into my own teenages, who had to get used to me dating again.