Well its Rex here! Naomi’s a bit shell shocked just now and we’re recovering from a tough night. Her son returned from his trip with his family to Italy/Europe and landed in her dining room with a bang! Tom is her son. He’s about 52 or so. Lives in another city and visits occasionally. She loves him dearly and I know he really cares for his mum. Nikki is the daughter about 48ish. She lives in the country not far away from here with her second husband and the farm. She visits her mum at least once a week and rings every day more or less. She knew that Naomi was away with a friend skiing. So she arranged for some food in the fridge for her return! She’s a sweet lady.
So…. Naomi organizes a family get together for Sunday night! Easy! I was invited too…….. Nikki happened to go into mother’s bedroom and noticed the bed was messed up both sides! She took Naomi aside and quizzed her….apart from the elevated mood level and general happiness she saw….who’s been in Dad’s side of the bed mum?? Have you got a man friend? So the beans got spilled to Nikki. Poor Naomi trying to explain to her youngest that a man is sleeping with her mother! So she told her all about me and us…. Nikki was initially very upset. She has very fond memories of her father which was quite understandable, he was a devoted dad. So, she went very quiet towards her mum and cool towards me! Awkward? Yes. Enter Tom. “Mum’s sleeping with Rex” Tom looks at his mother..You’re joking?! Rex…your neghbour Rex?! No darling she’s not joking. I am sleeping with Rex, and I’m very happy about it too! Well! That’s told them! It’s not going away that easily though. “Mum! That’s disgusting…dad’s only been gone five minutes! Don’t you think that’s a bit soon to be launching (his words) into a new relationship?” No I don’t Thomas…but you obviously do! Then she bursts into tears and runs away into the bedroom. “What did I say?” Tom asked, arms spread out wide. Well, I struggled to keep my mouth shut I can tell you that much. “Well?” He looked at me bewildered. “Tom, let me try to explain a little of what has happened while you’ve been away living your life the way you want to….” Your precious mother has been lonely and hurt and lost after the death of her husband of many years. She is a beautiful woman who needed some care and companionship. I was here just at the right time. She was there for me just at the right time too. I’m not here to take away from your dad….ever! I’m a totally different person who loves your mum for who she is. She’s lovely. She’s funny. She’s beautiful.
Nikki: So you’re sleeping with her too?
Yes and the other thing too! And believe it or not we are both having fun doing it too!!!
Nikki: Shit! I can’t imagine mum having sex at her age. That’s too much information. Good for her though. I thought she was well past that! Dad was a silly old prude when it came to sex. I was aware of her being so much happier to be honest. I just didn’t put two and two together. I can’t quite see her having a boyfriend oops man friend! It’s just not mum somehow. Laughs. “Oh you have no idea what your mother is like” Nikki: Obviously I don’t! Chuckling away. Well well well then.
Tom: Well I think she should be ashamed of herself at her age! And you (looking at me and pointing a finger) You should have stopped this happening! Shit…she 80 for God’s sake. She’s an old lady. You’ve just taken advantage of her loneliness and being vulnerable. Next thing she’ll be changing her will!!! (Oh dear, here we go!)
“I think you need to calm down here Tom. Take a deep breath. Don’t say anything you may regret mate. Have you talked to her? Have you listened to her?” I tried to get him to sit down…his sister tried too. He was very upset. VERY!!! Breathing heavy…eyes looking a bit wild….I thought I’d get smacked. I sat down next to him and put my arm around his shoulder…tentatively. “What’s really going on here Tom?”
Nikki: I know exactly what’s going on here Rex! he’s feeling bloody guilty, that’s what’s going on! promises, promises, that’s our Tom! Looks good, sounds good and then does nothing! That’s what’s going on here! Poor old mum, struggles away. neighbours do everything to help her. I’m the only one within reach, so I cop all the responsibility of course! Tom’s up there in Akld and pulls all the financial strings and looks bloody good. Who came and sat with her when dad was dying? Who came and looked after her when she broke her leg a few months ago? ME! You’re the one who should be ashamed of yourself Thomas.
So. there’s nothing like being told by your younger sister! This is sort of what he said back to her:
Rex, I promised to look after mum when dad died…and I haven’t done it. I was always going to get down and sort her out. I never did. I just got busy. Then you said about her being lonely and sad and you being there for her and I felt really angry at myself for not being there. So I guess you’ve all filled in for me. I feel really bad.
Well Tom I guess your mum needs a really big hug from you right now. No condemnation or judgement. Okay? Then maybe she can tell you about her life now…. off you go….and he went. I could hear a lot of tears and sorrys coming from up there.
Nikki and I sat and she held my hands and looked at me just like her mother does! “Rex, mum told me all about the two of you. I think it’s so lovely for both of you. Really! Truly! If mum’s happy…then I’m happy for her. Tom’s a hot head that’s all. He loves her to bits. He’s just feeling guilty for neglecting her. He needs a kick up the bum sometimes. He can be quite selfish. I just don’t want her getting hurt that’s all. She’s been hurt a lot over the years.
A little while later the two of them appear out of the bedroom. Tom’s got his arm around his mum, which is lovely, and she’s in her default state…. tears!
She comes over and puts her arms around my neck and gives me a huge hug! Nikki claps!!! Funny. So finally, we can all sit down in a civilised manner as adults and talk about what has been happening! Naomi is still weeping a bit, but I’m sort of used to this now and I just let her go. Her kids are good kids. It’s tough being the children in a single parent type situation. So I do some talking now.
“You guys have got to let your mum pick up her life now and live it the best way she knows how. She’s 80, and life is slipping away from us so fast. I can say without a doubt that we love each other dearly. I think she’s amazing. And I think he’s amazing back! You guys can see how happy I am. You know it was tough with dad over the years, poor old dad. he struggled so hard with his past. there are things I have never told you that I need to say to you which may explain some stuff. Hard things.
Oops! Dinner’s ready! The spuds will be boiled dry. Let’s eat!!
So we eat and laugh about the two oldies sitting at the table. We look at each other sometimes… life is good!
Sometime in the night we are both lying there in bed together…..Rex, Rex…. this feels awfully naughty- us lying here naked in bed together while my kids are sleeping in the other rooms! Would it be okay if we made love… quietly? I need to make love to you. And we do… well, quietly is not an easy thing for Naomi, and at one stage, just as she was about to come, I had to put my hand over her mouth which then made us both burst out laughing even louder than her noises!! “I wonder what the kids thought of that ….MUM!!!???” Shhhhh Rex….
THEN………SUDDENLY………”Mum… Mum… shhhh… don’t wake Rex….”. Whaat? Nikki? What do you want? What’s the time dear? “About 7.30….” Suddenly there’s a rush of sheets being pulled up to cover over us and Naomi’s siting upright in the bed with the sheet up to her neck! Nikki’s sitting on the edge of the bed looking at both of us pensioners trying to get some modesty around this situation. Don’t worry Rex! She always comes in and sits and chats in the mornings! Nikki, just give us a minute darling to make ourselves. decent…. “Oh.. sorry Rex, I forgot about you being here with mum!” Giggles from Nikki and Naomi! Nikki: “You’re alright there Rex! You’re covered enough! Mum! I can’t believe your sleeping in the nick! You NEVER did that before!” Well, Nikki dearest, there’s a few things have changed around here lately!
Nikki wants to know how all this happened, so Naomi goes over it all and THEN in comes TOM!!! Crickey! The whole bloody family! I need to have a pee!! So Nikki goes and makes us all a cuppa, which then gives me a chance to dash to the loo and get a robe on the way. This is a very intimate family conference. When the cup of tea is made and we’re drinking, Naomi proceeds to tell the kids the whole story about us, and how we met properly and about Les and his family issues. (Yes I did!, and it was very hard) (Naomi) There’s tears from all 3 of them at this point. Tom is very quiet, while Nikki asks lots of questions about her mum and dad’s relationship. It’s a very hard time for Naomi, and she’s very brave and honest without demeaning Les at all. She loved him very much, that’s one of the things about her that so impresses me. Her loyalty and devotion to her husband and her kids. I decide to sneak out and make some breakfast for us all and leave mum there with the two children. It’s been a tough 24 hours, but somehow, we have all come through this well.
I happy. We are all happy. Breakfast is a much lighter affair!