Sense & Sensitivity

Aging Father Has New Girlfriend

DEAR HARRIETTE: My 80-year-old father lives in a retirement community. He likes it a lot and seems to be thriving since he moved there last year. My mother died two years ago, and my father needed to be around others.

He recently called to tell me he has a girlfriend. I’m not sure how I feel about this. Obviously my mother is gone, but it hasn’t been that long. Am I wrong for wishing that he would wait? He was married for more than 50 years. I don’t understand how he could look at another woman romantically after having devoted his whole life to my mother. It is hard for me to be happy for him. What can I do to fix my attitude? My father wants my blessing, and so far I have not given it. -- Not My Mom, Cincinnati

DEAR NOT MY MOM: You are being unreasonably harsh on your father. Two years have passed since your mother died, and your father has mourned. Now he wants some joy in the life he is living. He cannot bring back or replace your mother, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be allowed a chance at sharing moments with another woman. By all means, give him your blessing. So many older people have no one to love. That there is a woman who fancies him and whom he likes could be wonderful. It doesn’t mean he will forget your mother. What it does mean is that he is choosing to live in the moment. You should too.

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