My Dad’s a Goldfish – the step-monster drops a bombshell

DSCF0427The scarily rapid approach of Christmas has made me think about last year when Wee-sis and I felt it might be the last Christmas in which the Goldfish would be able to participate and to enjoy. It would likely be the last Christmas to give us some happy memories to store away for the future.

All of this, however, looked to be in serious jeopardy as the step-monster’s daughter decided her mother and the Goldfish should come to her on Christmas Day. As they always go to the step-monster’s son on Boxing Day we were being blocked from Christmas with the Goldfish. Much discussion and gnashing of teeth and Wee-sis (because she is so much more diplomatic than I am) was sent to negotiate with step-monster’s daughter. It was agreed the Goldfish would come to my house on Christmas Day. The step-monster decided to go to her daughter’s house, which pleased us.

Two days before Christmas the step-monster announced she was leaving the Goldfish and going to live in her own house. She inherited it from her mother and had been letting out for many years. When the last tenants moved on she did not re-let, something which made Wee-sis suspicious that she was planning to move in.

She said she couldn’t cope with looking after the Goldfish.

‘I know it isn’t easy,’ I said, ‘but Social Services can provide a lot more help. You only have to tell them what support you need to help you cope.’ The CC, I knew, could put in a lot of extra support, including someone to sleep at night to give the Step-monster some respite.

‘No, I don’t want anyone coming in the house,’ she replied.

‘So, you are abandoning my father. What about the “in sickness and in health” promise you made?’

She shrugged. ‘Don’t you think at my age I am entitled to a peaceful life?’

‘What are you going to tell dad?’

‘Oh, he’ll soon forget. He doesn’t remember anything.’

‘When are you proposing to move out? Social Services are more or less closed for the holiday now so I can’t see us being able to arrange a meeting until after the New Year.’

‘Oh, I’m not going yet. I need to do some things in the house before I move in. It’ll be the end of January.’

As I was leaving, she said: ‘I’ll pop in to see him sometimes.’

I shook my head. ‘No, you can’t. It will take us a long time to help him get over your leaving him and you are not going to come back for a half hour visit and upset everything again.’

If the step-monster’s life was going to become peaceful and stress free, mine was going to become the very opposite. Family discussions went round and round but always came to the same conclusion – I  was going to have to move in with the Goldfish.

Somehow, Wee-sis, DH and I managed to put fears for the future to the back of our minds and organise a lovely Christmas Day for the Goldfish. We can look back on Christmas 2013 and remember the fun we had watching the Goldfish open his gifts, his pleasure at being surrounded by people who talked to him, plied him with good food (he had two puddings after tucking into a huge plate of dinner) and wine and best malt whisky.DSCF0431

Even so, every time we remember that lovely day,especially with another Christmas round the corner, the memory is tainted by the bombshell the step-monster dropped just two days before.

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17 thoughts on “My Dad’s a Goldfish – the step-monster drops a bombshell

  1. My god Mary, I always knew she was a selfish bitch, but I just didn’t know just to what extent she would go! Your poor dad, or should I now say good for your dad, as he will now be cared for properly and will have a better life, but at what cost to you, your husband and Ann? Get to the solicitors right away before she completely ruins your dad, I know she is very capable and wouldn’t think twice about doing so.
    Give my regards to your dad. He probably won’t remember me, but there again he might remember my mum and dad so it’s worth a try. I do things like that with my mum. She says even though she doesn’t remember them it’s nice to think that someone is thinking about them. x

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    • Thanks, Ruth. I’ll pass on your regards. He may well remember your parents – and like your mum, he likes being told people are asking for him.
      I did go to see the solcitor who was pretty shocked about what happened. They’d been married 40 years!

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  2. Oh, that dreadful woman! She’s quickly rising on my list of top ten terrible people. And how you and your family cope with her is admirable. The worst of it is living with constant anxiety, even if it’s often under the surface. Was she ever a nice person?

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    • She’s at the top of my top ten terrible people!
      I used to think she was quite a nice person though my sister never did. I was away from home working abroad for a long time and didn’t see them a lot until I settled back home. Even then, I thought she was okay, although terribly mean about money (I didn’t realise quite how mean until I became more involved in dad’s care). My sister saw through her ‘sweet little lady’ charm long before I did.

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    • This was last year at Christmas. And no, she didn’t change her mind. The next posts will be about how all our lives were turned upside down thanks to the step-monster. Watch this space.

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  3. Good Riddance I say! And no I am not surprised either – she sounds borderline sociopathic in her complete lack of empathy… Perhaps you could look at it from a different perspective and think that this was an early Christmas present in disguise – Step-Monster finally out of your lives!! Though I bet she hasn’t made any moves to divorce him just so she cashes in on the inheritance still…? Has she come back to visit since…?

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    • I could be charitable and say her lack of empathy may be down to an indication that she has a form of dementia – but I think she is simply incredibly selfish. Part of me wishes she’d left a year earlier because although it would have been tough on me, at least the Goldfish could have had a better life for a bit longer. I don’t want her to visit. It took months to get him out of a depression after she left – not risking him (or us) going through that again.

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  4. Oh so sad for all of you. She will get her just rewards one day. You will have a place in Heaven! When times get tough the weak leave. May you have a better Christmas this year without her. Take care. Blessings!

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    • It was very sad and difficult and we felt for dad who was upset and hurt without really knowing what was going on. Well, we think he understood she’d left him but he’d forget and ask where she was and we had to tell lies and say she was visiting her sister.
      As you have just found this blog you won’t have realised that dad died last year – we’re only a few days away from the first anniversary of his death. I wasn’t sure whether or not to continue the blog but people wanted to know his story so I have carried on. It is now in retrospect as I cover the months I lived with him. Thanks so much for commenting.

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      • Oh, I am so sorry, Mary. I guess I am way behind. Please accept my sincerest sympathy. It wasn’t easy for you seeing your dad like that. Now it must be almost as difficult reliving it in your blog. Take care. Blessings and prayers going your way!

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