One summer, when my sister and I felt like it might be time to visit Mother in California, we decided to call her with the good news. We placed the call and shared the plans with her. Much to our surprise, she said,
You could not have picked a worse time to visit. No, don’t bother with coming out this year. It just won’t be convenient.
Hearing this news, when we thought she would be delighted, was quite a shock. Don’t bother coming out this year? Is this what a parent said to their adult children when they had not seen them for several years? It did make us wonder exactly what was going on in her new life in California.
Was she so involved in her new “Sandra Dee” lifestyle that she had no time for us?
Had she been discovered by Hollywood to appear in the movies?
Or was she so entranced with her new boyfriend that she did not want us to wreck her chances with possible husband number three?
It turns out the new boyfriend she was involved with would later become her final partner. What was hurtful at the time later became a blessing. He had a good job. He was as disinterested in living in a clean abode as she was. He allowed her to pretty much do exactly as she pleased.
The fact he was also a very active alcoholic no doubt clouded his perceptions. On the other hand, in a strange way, the amount of alcohol in his system may have also saved his life more than once. We always speculated that it protected his system from the potential hazards of Mother’s cooking.
You know what they say about birds of a feather. Well these two birds had found each other and they were ready to share a nest, albeit, a messy one.