I can remember a time when I would have never spoke to Melodee let alone do her a favor like writing about how I know her. Back in those early days, I didn’t like Melodee too much. Let me tell you why.
I was 33 when I met Melodee and she was almost 24. I met her at my father’s 67th birthday party, and she was my Dad’s date. My youngest sister was 26 at the time. I’m sure you see the problem here. Our mother had died about 5 years before that, and my sisters and I thought Melodee was after Dad’s money, what little he had. My sisters called her a gold-digger. I just called her a whore.
Put yourself in our position. Here comes this very pretty young girl dressed to the nines in an evening gown slinking into the party on an old man’s arm. Wouldn’t you think the same thing? I think we were very reasonable in our assumptions. When I found out Melodee is deaf, I thought that we had a disabled girl who was using her looks and sex to make a living. It all seemed reasonable. Our opinion, that is, not the fact that Dad was dating a bimbo.
At the party, Melodee was polite and refined, and she hung on Dad’s arm like a leech. She was attentive to him and while cordial to other men there who had a lot more money than my father, she ignored the other men regardless of their age and apparent financial status.
A few days after the party and after more than a few discussions between us, my sisters and me went to see Dad about his choice in women. He listened patiently while we spelled out our concerns and opinions. He didn’t argue or try to stop us. He just listened until we were done. He then told us 2 things. First, he said that his personal life was absolutely none of our business and to keep our noses out of it. Second, he said that he and Melodee cared about each other. He then tossed us all out of his office.
The fact that he was absolutely right that it was none of our business meant nothing to us. Looking back, I guess that’s typical for adult kids.
In my infinite wisdom, I decided to go talk to Melodee, so I got her number from my Dad’s secretary and called her. If you’ve never used one of the phones for deaf people, it takes practice, but we finally managed to get the message across and I headed off to the address Melodee gave me.
Melodee told me she was a writer and worked at home, and her apartment was in a nice part of town and a good building. When she answered the door, I saw that the apartment was nice and I wondered how much my Dad was paying for it all. I decided to just confront her, and I told Melodee that she needed to leave my Dad alone and stop taking his money. She smiled at me, and then walked to a big filing cabinet in the corner. She pulled out some folders and put them on the coffee table. They were contracts and statements from her publishers. To make a long story short, she was making more money than Dad was. She could have been supporting him!
She then told me that she cared about my father and invited me to leave before she called the cops.
Over the next 2 years, Melodee and Dad were together all of the time. They never moved in together or got married, but I know they slept together. My sisters and I never really accepted Melodee as Dad’s lover, but we saw that he was happy with her.
One day in June, Dad called my sisters and I to his office. Melodee was there, too, and they held hands over the corner of the desk. Dad told us that he had lung cancer and that it had spread to his liver and brain. The doctors were giving him less than 3 months to live. He had the papers all drawn up and signed his business and property over to my sisters and me. Melodee got nothing. They also told us that Melodee was going to stay at the house with him and that he wanted to die at home.
Dad died in the middle of August, and along with my sisters and I, Melodee was at his side.
I know now that Dad and Melodee were in love, though I can never recall either of them ever using the word “love”. I also know that Melodee made Dad’s last years, weeks, and days happy.
I don’t hate Melodee now. I don’t think I ever really did.
It’s really just the opposite now. I love her for all she did for my Dad.
St. Louis, MO