It’s Final Four Sunday and two of those last standing were determined yesterday evening – Duke and Villanova. Today, Kansas plays Miami and North Carolina faces Cinderella St. Peter’s. We’ll be on the road this morning, headed for Bradenton and lunch with Indianapolis friends. We last saw them in Portland several years ago, where we renewed our acquaintance. They are in Florida on a vacation that is about to end while we continue the retirement dream. Although, that dream is becoming a nightmare, as my son announced separation from his wife, disrupting the lives of my grandchildren. His wife has aspirations of completing medical school, so she has decided to move on. This was not totally a surprise, but we thought she would wait at least until the oldest graduated from high school, since she goes to school full time and has very little income. At least, her work was a stepping stone in the path of becoming an optometrist. This decision will put some pressure on grandparents like us to help in the transition. 

It’s a big mystery as to how she will handle this all on her own. Her mother and father are both remarried and living in this area. They have taken on the bulk of the child care when necessary, while my wife and I fill in on occasion. Having lived so far away all these years, we are not the favored baby sitters. To complicate matters, my grandson lives part time with his mother in Sarasota where he is in his first year of high school. Her grandparents, who she just visited and perhaps conspired with, are in Chicago, one of her choices for schooling. The other option is Ohio State where she apparently has free housing. She has yet to be accepted for scholarships in either program. Originally, they were all going to move to Columbus together in a few years. With this in mind, my wife and I had the feeling that she was using him for both support and child care while she continued her classes. Once she had her own source of income as a doctor, then she would pull the plug on the marriage. 

I’m heartbroken for my son who is in a bit of shock. He certainly can’t afford a lawyer that could fight to restrict her from taking the kids out of state. It is our understanding that Florida tends to favor the father in these matters, although my son has been restricted in the past from taking his son to another location by his former girlfriend and mother of his child. Fortunately, they have a good relationship now, so she will probably be somewhat helpful in this dilemma. 

My son’s wife apparently does have access to an attorney. She threatened to leave him years ago while having an affair, but came to her senses financially. She is about 10-years younger, and wanted another baby, so my son took her back and gave her that wish. The youngest is currently going on four and her sister is about to be thirteen, while the son is fifteen. Their lives are now up in the air while she pursues her dream. I think it’s a bit selfish. A decision has to be made soon on their only asset, the house, that will need some repairs to be marketable. All of the bills are in his name, including two cars, one of which she’ll need to get to and from school and her part-time job at the eye clinic. It’s a Marital Mess!