This weekend, I will be accompanying my 82 year old dad and my fiance "Ff" on the 8-hour trip to my parents' old country house, which we put on the market after my mom died 2 years ago. This will be the third time in two years. My mom and I loved that house. I have a sinking feeling of dread, regret, and horror about selling it. But it is too far away for any of us to enjoy it...so I hope to sell it to a nice person who will love it as we did.
I dread going back there in the company of my dad. He is as cheap, rigid, and full of self-denial and denial of everyone else as my mom was generous, flexible, and fun-loving. Dad is also more and more delusional, forgetful, and full of bizarre ideas. Of course, he is also still devastated at my mom's loss. So I try not to blame him.
But being with him makes me feel rotten and hated. Ff is no help because he cannot talk back or say no to seniors, so he complains about my dad to me and tells me I have to be more firm with him.
An old friend of the family, "Tio," would like to come with us to support me and I think that would help me get through this. Tio is 87 himself and may not get another chance to see the place (where he also spent many happy summers with us). But dad hates him now, mostly I think because he is jealous that my sister and I spend time with him.
Dad thinks that the old furniture, tools, and stuff in the house are going to be important to a buyer--so he doesn't want us to take anything. He'd rather give sentimental items to a stranger than to his daughter. Ff wants to get stuff from the house too, but won't say so to my dad's face...so I have to and I am therefore acquisitive. Never mind that I am the one who found the realtor, who will be working all weekend to clean the place, who is taking time off work to do this trip.
Dad thinks there is a prospective buyer and wants to go show him all the tools and stuff. This guy seems like anything but reliable from the emails I have exchanged with him.
When I am around my dad, his attitude of denial permeates everything and I start thinking I don't have enough money and I shouldn't eat and I should just dissolve. Tio makes me laugh and makes me feel supported. It would also make me feel a bit better about this awful trip if I could take a few nice things my mom would have wanted me to have.
I am thinking--and my sister, who has POA and is the Executor of my parents estate, agrees--we should just bring Tio and take a few things that we want, while gently explaining to Dad that Mom would want it this way. But I don't want to disempower Dad and deepen his misery. But I also don't want to put up with him treating me like dirt! This is making me crazy and I am also thinking of just refusing to go.
I know--its one weekend. Just do it. But the last time, and the time before that, were supposed to be the last time too. Then dad wants to go and pick up a bathroom scale he left, or a grill, or speak to some mythical buyer. And Ff keeps saying yes, and then I have no choice.