Seriously, Dad ruled the roost. His word was law. Mom did the cooking and cleaning, the laundry, watched her shows and said little. Dad did the shopping, handled all the finances.
When he died, I swear that aliens abducted my mother and put in a clone.
It turns out that for years my mom had a key to dad’s desk where he kept all the financial records, business papers and so on. Same with his filing cabinet. After he went to bed, mom would go into the office and ‘catch up’ on everything. She never said a word – she knew their financial position just as well as he did.
The entire family was scared that after Dad died, Mom would be unable to fend for herself, she’d be a wreck, she wouldn’t know how to do things, what bills needed to be paid, anything about the bank accounts.
Pfft… she had the funeral arranged within hours, all the family was contacted, the arrangements to get the ashes back to Calgary were made.
Within two weeks, she had everything cleared out and sent to the Salvation Army, she had all the bills paid, she’d dealt with the insurance company and government for her pension changes…
Six months after that, she had the farm sold, had bought a house in the city, arranged the movers, the whole 9 yards.
And here we were worried that she wouldn’t be able to cope.
When I asked her about it years later she admitted that she’d been ‘keeping up’ with everything for years and my father never twigged to it. I asked why she never said anything to him about it and she said that it was easier to sit back and say nothing and let dad think he was ‘in charge’ and ‘looking after things’ than it was to stir the pot and argue with him.
For 30 years, I believed that my mother was weak, ineffectual, and worried about how she’d manage if dad died first. She proved that appearances can be deceiving.
She should have gotten an Oscar for that performance.