Dad has been dead for nearly 12 years. In those 12 years mum has gone on one “date”, if you can even call it that. We have tried to convince her numerous times that it is fine for her to move on with her life and meet someone but she refuses. Mum’s response is that she doesn’t want her kids to think that she is a “whore”, who constantly has men in and out of her bed nor does she want us to think that she has chosen a man over us.
Now try convincing mum that just because she may meet another man does not make her a whore. We know Mum and would never think her a whore. She has always put us first. And what if she does put another man over us- we are all grown up and have our own lives. Why should she not be allowed to move on and enjoy her life? Trying to convince mum that it is okay to be happy is one astronomical task. Her response is always “As long as I have my kids I am happy.”
Imagine my surprise when I received the following message from Mum:
“Love, I need to tell you something. I have been chatting to a guy in the UK. He seems very interested in me. He wants to come month end to meet me. But, he also wants to marry me. He went thru my profile on FB and app (apparently) likes what he sees. I don’t have a problem meeting him as long as he does not expect too much….. So what so you think”
” … Mum April Fools was last month. And you are not good with jokes. Love you”
My immediate thought was that mum was playing a joke and said to the boys (my brothers) “I am going to tell C that there is a guy that wants to meet me. Let’s see what she would say.”
A few minutes past, with no response from mum, and I start wandering that maybe I was a bit harsh; maybe mum is serious and is taken aback by my response. So I send her another message:
“Mum are you serious????”
She finally responds and says she is very serious but will not meet him if we do not want her to, she will never do anything to hurt us.
How can I say: ” No Mum, you certainly cannot meet him.”
For the first time since Dad died, she actually sounds excited about meeting someone else. I know the dangers of meeting strangers from social media- no matter how much you think you know them, they are actually strangers. Mum is also not very techno savvy and can’t even really use the email probably. She has a Facebook account to keep in touch with long lost friends and our family in Port Elizabeth. Her privacy settings clearly need to be changed.
I am not quite happy with the way that they have met. I find it quite strange. So I give her a lecture on him. I tell her that if she wants to meet him, it’s up to her but it will be during the day, in a public place, she will drive herself and I would prefer if she meets him somewhere we can also be present and watching form a distance. I also ask her whether he has her phone number and address and not to give it to him. It would seem she hasn’t given him any of these details and has also decided that she will not meet him unless we can also be there.
I also tell Mum that there is no way that she will be marrying him. I am quite taken aback by the fact that he wants to marry her- he hardly knows her and her, him.
I know this may sound like I am trying to baby -sit mum but I am not taking chances with her. She is my mom and if anything had to happen to her, I will never forgive myself.
On the other hand, Mum has never shown an interest to meet anyone so how can I truly say no? So then baby-sitting ( I mean closely watching from a distance) it will be.
What upset me about this whole conversation was the fact that she responded to say that she is sorry if she has disappointed me. Lecture to Mum this time: “why would you say that? You are allowed to move on with your life and be happy. You are allowed to meet someone. That could never disappoint me.”
So yes, I am not entirely happy with this but this is the first time in nearly 12 years that Mum has shown any interest in meeting someone and moving on. For that I am happy. I truly do want her to meet someone who will give her the life she deserves (she has not had an easy life), someone that will make her laugh and truly happy, someone who will truly love her.
And yes, I have tried to stalk this guy but clearly he has his privacy settings correct! And when I do meet him, I can promise you that I will make Gerrie Nel’s cross- examination of Oscar Pistorius look like childs- play.