My father has been alone since my mother passed away two years ago. Her passing wasn’t easy on me or any of my siblings, but my good old dad was hit the hardest. It got progressively worse as one by one we left the home to begin careers and start families.
It started off with dad being a little bit moody all around and just not smiling as much. He tended to brood a lot as well, silently staring at nothing until someone noticed. He tried to put on a brave front, that everything was okay – but we could see right through him.
He Was Depressed
It showed how deeply dad had changed when he decided to retire. He owned and ran a successful company; it was his baby, his pride and joy. He had loved running it; in fact, when we were younger he often boasted energetically that he’d work until he was dead. Those days seemed long gone, for a time he hardly did anything vigorously and he was only in his mid sixties. It was obvious to anyone that my dad was depressed.
My siblings and I tried talking to him. We tried in vain to convince him to pick up a hobby or do something fun. It didn’t work, instead he chose to stay at home and drink with nothing but the television as his company. We took turns visiting him, but he didn’t seem to appreciate any of our effort – it was frustrating.
I Realized Dad Needed a Partner
Things finally changed when we forced dad to attend a company party in his honor. The party wasn’t anything unusual, but there seemed to be plenty of single women my father’s age. Surprisingly my father mingled with the ladies and for the first time in a long time he was smiling freely and enjoying himself. It was then I realized that dad needed to find love or at the very least a partner to share his life with. I knew there were going to be plenty of problems with that solution, but dad deserved to be happy too.
The realization was easy, but convincing him was an entirely different matter. I would bring it up occasionally and he seemed to be open to the idea, but didn’t do anything about it. Month after month passed with no change. It all changed when I visited one time and he had drunk a little too freely; it was a bad example for my kids. At that point, I decided enough was enough. The next day I gathered my siblings and told them it was time for an intervention; our dad needed a little shove in the right direction.
He Decided to Date Again
It was an emotional affair with plenty of us ending in tears and reminiscing about mom, but in the end it seemed to have worked. Our dad had finally given in and decided he wanted back into the dating game. That was easier said than done, but he attacked the idea with gusto. He was energetic again and signed up to numerous dating sites and mingled with friends his age. He went on numerous dates and we often heard about them in some shape or form. It seemed he wasn’t having any luck finding someone special. I say this because he didn’t introduce us, his children, to any of them. That was until he met Alicia.
She was different from the onset. After a single date my old man was jolly. It seemed they really connected. Was she right for him? He was my father; I wanted him happy but I didn’t want him to be taken advantage of. It was naturally for my siblings and I to have our reservations and be protective after all.
Weeks passed with the family hearing about Alicia and no one else. It looked like dad had finally found someone. My father was even thinking about moving closer to her in Palm Beach as well. He wanted to spend more time together. As it turned out Alicia lived in the luxurious retirement community Devonshire. Sure, dad may have been hiding behind the cover of how great the place and its facilities were, everything from a swimming pool to an arts center. But I think it was something more significant. You could tell from his tone of voice; heck you could’ve felt it. Dad was smiling more, laughing more and seemed to be so alive. It was a sign that things were getting serious. At that point the family figured it was time to meet Alicia.
Dad introduced us at a lunch party. I expected her to be overwhelmed by the gathering. What happened was the exact opposite. Imagine my surprise when the gaggle of children that included my kids, my nieces and nephews took to her like a fish in water. In fact it seemed she loved talking to the youthful energetic kids that were in attendance. If that wasn’t enough to win me over, her demeanor certainly was. She smiled a lot and tried to take time to get to know each of us; before I knew it she had won me over with nothing but witty lines. At the end of the day I was satisfied that she was genuine and more importantly good for my dear old dad, and that’s what mattered the most.