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The End of a Legend

Updated on September 26, 2017

After my mother died my father became very distraught and more and more depressed with each passing day. He didn’t know how he would go on without her. They had been together for 57 long hard years. I visited him almost everyday to make sure he didn’t do something bad to himself. After a few months things hadn’t gotten any better. I was hoping for some improvement but his mood seemed to get worse. I tried to convince him to go out more even if it’s just for a walk. Maybe you’ll meet someone I said. You mean a woman he said? There’s only one woman for me. Bring her back and I’ll be happy.

My father wasn’t a very friendly person so making new acquaintances wasn’t his strong point. On one particular visit we sat in his small living room staring at each other as usual when he suddenly passed a casual remark. I met someone at the super market last week he said without even blinking. She‘s not as nice as your mother he added quickly. She’s very old but she said she was a ballet dancer when she was young. I didn’t believe her so she took me to her apartment and showed me photos of her in a ballet skirt. She’s pretty agile he added. I didn’t interrupt because this was the first time in months that he spoke in sentences. In the many months that followed he never spoke of this woman again and I left the topic alone.

My father died a day before his eighty first birthday. I put off cleaning out his apartment for almost two weeks mainly because my father couldn’t bear to get rid of my mother’s things after she died, so I would be getting a double dose of grief. Actually I didn’t go to clean it out until after the reading of his will. I was surprised to receive a notice that there even was a will. I was his only heir and the only one left in his family.

When I arrived at the lawyer’s office I expected to be the only one there. The secretary said to go right in there waiting for you. I went in and sitting to the left of the man behind the desk was a little old lady with blue hair. She was all in black and wearing a tiny flowered hat with a wrinkled veil over her face. We exchanged glances and she nodded politely and I did the same. I sat down and the attorney began to read. It was short and sweet. He left all his worldly possessions to the little old lady with the blue hair and wrinkled veil. Typical. When the attorney finished reading he handed me an envelope, shook my hand and bid me adieu. I was a little hurt and I guess it showed.

The old woman caught up with me in the vestibule of the building and took my hand and introduced herself. She said I guess you’re wondering who I am. I said I think I know. You’re my father’s friend from the super market. She nodded and I said I appreciate you being there for him at this time in his life. We shook hands and she was gone along with my father’s worldly possessions. When I reached my car I opened the envelope. There were just two lines on a piece of paper. “When you clean out my apartment don’t throw my white suit away, keep it for yourself. You’ll look good in it”. Typical.

The Last Will and Vestament

The following day I got up the nerve to enter his apartment. I tried to throw my parents possessions away without looking at anything. It took me all day. I saved the white suit for last. There was no way I would ever wear it. John Travolta I’m not. Well I thought, maybe I’ll just try it on and see how funny I look in it. I had a good laugh. As I put my fingers into the suits vest pockets the laughing stopped. I pulled out a wad of hundred dollar bills wrapped with a rubber band and a note that read “Thanks, love dad”. Very un-typical.

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      Rich M. 3 weeks ago

      Yes, back in the day husbands and fathers didn't show their true emotions. Those in very long relationships would tend to take things for granted. Usually it would take a major event to wake them up and find themselves. It's easy to sit back and view the past and look at what went wrong but it's difficult to look back and acknowledge the love that was always there that wasn't obvious at the time.

    • Leesleez profile image
      Author

      Leesleez 9 months ago from New York

      Thanks Elizabeth and thanks for reading.

    • profile image

      Elizabeth 9 months ago

      Hi Lee, Catchy title, bizarre picture, great story told and wonderful memories shared--very interesting read.

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      ralph 3 years ago from wantagh, ny

      Being in my 56th year of marriage, this story struck rather close to home. However, I don't see myself as the father descibed.....but none the less did enjoy your very well written story, whether it is truth or fiction.

    • profile image

      Patti 3 years ago

      Very touching story. Your dad obviously loved you very much but had a hard time showing it, like so many men of that generation.

    • Leesleez profile image
      Author

      Leesleez 3 years ago from New York

      Thanks Teri for reading. My father was a bit ornery so I'm sure he argued with his lady friend too just as he did with my mother throughout their marriage.

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      Teri 3 years ago

      oops I just read where you said it was fact.

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      Teri 3 years ago

      This is a great story. I enjoyed it very much.

      Although it's a story it is now reality for me, except that my Dad is so distraught that he fought with the lady and she ran away.

    • Leesleez profile image
      Author

      Leesleez 3 years ago from New York

      Thanks Glenn for reading and commenting.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Knowing your style of writing humor and fiction, I had to think twice about this one. The way your Dad described that woman he met in Pathmark showed that he was feeling better having met her. It gave him the desire to express his feelings about her.

      I can see why he desired to leave his worldly possessions to her. Now I was realizing this was fact and not fiction. And your way of describing this story kept me closely in-tuned, wondering about the value of the possessions compared to the hundred dollar bills. Since you didn't say how many were in that wad of bills, I might imagine it was worth more than the possessions left to the lady from Pathmark.

      Nevertheless, it was a sweet story -- knowing that your Dad had a happy last few years since having met an agile ballet dancer, no matter how old she was in your Dad's view.

    • Leesleez profile image
      Author

      Leesleez 3 years ago from New York

      Well 866, you definitely read the story. Thanks for your interest.

    • loren866 profile image

      loren866 3 years ago

      That was such a great story and your dad did have his interesting ways of showing you his gratitude towards you. I could tell he really loved you very much but maybe it didn't show much. It was so nice that he gave you that white suite so you can find his treasure to give you. I did like the part, whether it was fact or fiction of your father meeting someone nice at Pathmark and forming a good relationship. I definitely could understand how he felt losing his wife for 57 years of marriage and showing you that there is no one out there that was as nice as your mother.

    • Leesleez profile image
      Author

      Leesleez 3 years ago from New York

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read. The story is fact but shortened for this venue.

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      Ghaelach 3 years ago

      Sometimes thing aren't all that you think and that goes for people as well.

      At times some people have the weirdest ways of saying thank you and when you least expect it.

      Enjoyed your story, fact or fiction it was well written.

      Ghaelach