how did i get here?

my husband, my beautiful Dragon, died suddenly at 12:03 AM on 9 February 2009. there was a cold, lovely full moon and 3 feet of snow on the ground. i "slept" for the following 10 months and "woke" to the physical and emotional pain and torments of deep grief. i "woke" to find i had moved the day of his funeral and that i am lost. i am looking for me while i figure out the abstract, unanswerable questions that follow behind any death. my art has evolved. his death changed that as well because i am forever changed and will forever bear the mark of losing the only man i can ever love.
there is alive and there is dead and there is a place in between. i am here wholly in my heart for my children, but i feel empty inside at this time. i miss him. i have not gotten very far in my grief journey. i make no apologies for this.
this is my place, my blog, where i write to tell the universe that i am still here.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Floss and Beaded Gypsies
















it was my husband's birthday this past Wednesday. i didn't know what to expect. i didn't fall asleep until 3 AM and my little dogs have little bladders so i was up at 7:30 AM. first thing i did was get hit by a wave of pressure on my throat. my chest started heaving and the tears came flowing, exactly like they had done when the ER doctor and nurse took me in to see him after he was pronounced dead. i lay there for i don't know how long. eventually my little Scotties dancing and licking my face forced me to get up. they had to go out. they day had to start. both my children called me several times that day. my son who lives in Florida especially felt far away from me. his voice broke on the phone when he knew i'd been crying. "mom. i wish i could be there with you. i miss him so much. i sometimes don't know what to say. i love you, mom. i'll be up for a visit soon."

i bent my head and worked all day on quilting the current Memory Quilt that's in the frame. i went back and forth between it and the embroidery work for my daughter's wedding. but i ran out of floss. i switched back to the Memory Quilt and worked until after midnight.

then it was Thursday, my daughter's day off. we went to a discount fabric store that sells embroidery floss 3 skeins for $1. i bought 48 skeins - getting all the colors that i had in my head for the design i needed. if you click on the photo you too can delve into my tiny wonderful world of floss. i got back home and my daughter had to return to her home. i was alone again so i bent my head, as i do every day, and worked.

today my daughter stopped by before she went to work. she had been cleaning out a drawer that had her old jewelry box in it. she opened the box i had gotten her as a young girl and the little ballerina in the pink tulle tutu twirled on her little gold spring. and lying on the pink felt inside was the beaded gypsy earrings and bracelet that my Marine had made for her when she was still in high school. she gave me the earrings and wants me to keep the bracelet with her wedding things. she's going to wear the bracelet when she changes into her going away clothes.
i cried when i saw it. another punch to my stomach. so much love and thought went into his beading these little things for her. he knew her so much better than her own father. my Marine is Native American and Russian heritage and he had attended powwows where he danced. [he had always said he was just an Indian but i am trying to be correct as not to offend anyone who may stop by to read this.] he knew my daughter was a free spirit, artistic, emotional-heart on her sleeve kind of girl. he knew i had called her my wild gypsy baby when she was an infant and toddler. he found the pattern somewhere and beaded it for her 18th birthday. that photo also enlarges with a click.

and now we have it again. her finding it was a lovely surprise. we both cried as we looked at it and touched it. he's here in so many ways and yet he's gone from me and all these lovely memories come up and slam into me. but i wouldn't trade the tears and pain for not having had him in my life. he gave me everything. he gave me hope and gentleness. he gave me laughter and love. i could go to him at anytime and say, "i love you so much. i just need you to hold me for a minute," and he would smile. it always reached his eyes. he would open his arms and i would sit in his lap or he would come lay with me on the sofa or bed and we would just hold each other and talk quietly about the most important thing in our universe. not money. not our what the future will bring. we talked about how much we loved each other.

next Tuesday, August 11th, is our wedding anniversary. if his birthday hit me like a seizure i am not going to try to imagine what i will awaken to on Tuesday. i'm just going to bend my head down and quilt, and sew, and embroidery. i'm just going to dream of him whether asleep or awake and i'm going to keep going.

i told someone that i will be grieving for him for the rest of my life. i will get past this painful gut-wrenching part eventually. i will keep working. i will do things. i will laugh. but there will always be a part of me that is with him in a very profound way. i've been through too much with the first marriage to have to tell someone else what happened and why i have so little self esteem and too much happened that i could not not tell. there are too many very obvious scars. and my marriage to my Marine was too deep, too wonderful to be repeated. he was too much of everything that is good and decent and loving to ever replace. no one that moves into my field of vision could even slightly dim the vivid memory of his smile, his touch, and his voice in my head and heart. i adore him. i miss him.

so, the floss and the beaded gypsies came at a good time. i've come up for air between his birthday and our anniversary. i'm going to wear the beaded gypsies all day Tuesday. and if you're reading this and all set to worry about me, don't. Tuesday is my daughter's day off and after she goes home and i am alone, i have my Marine living in my heart. i'll never leave him.

4 comments:

Split-Second Single Father said...

You're right about grieving for the rest of our lives. People don't understand what that's like until they are faced with it. They think that at some magical point we should "move on". But when you haved loved as deeply as we have only to lose it too soon... there is a grief that accompanies the loss that will not ever truly end. Though your pain is still very raw, I think you are miles ahead of most of us in understanding how to cope with it.

I will honor your request not to worry about you on Tuesday. But please know that I will be praying for you a bit harder that day than I do on all the others, especially as I've been there so recently myself.

womanNshadows said...

thank you for leaving me a note, S-S Single Father. your veteran's insights are always appreciated as are your prayers, and because, to be honest, i'm worried about Tuesday for it will be so very, very hard. for example, just this morning, i've awoken in tears.

Widow in the Middle said...

The beaded jewelery your husband created for your daughter is incredible. They show yet another wonderful dimension of him. That they were rediscovered during this specific time is particularly comforting to you. I can imagine that in wearing the earrings you felt even more of your husband's spirit surrounding you. I would like to think that he "sent" them to you right now and that it is his magical gift.

Your son was very thoughtful to call you and it must have been a nice break to go to the craft store for the floss with your daughter. A couple weeks ago you inspired me to go to JoAnn Fabrics and Michael's. Just walking around and browsing gave me a little lift and gave me come creative ideas for the future.

I know that the past week has been difficult and Tuesday lies ahead. You work so hard and tirelessly... My wish is that on Tuesday, even a tiny portion of the day can be devoted to doing something just for yourself. Any small measure of comfort that can take you away from your labor (with the quilts and for the wedding, as well as all the emotional work). I will be praying that you'll be granted a small window of peace in the days ahead.

Love and strength to you.

womanNshadows said...

hello Widow in the Middle, i am going to try to work on my own Husband Quilt for a little while. thank you for your thoughts.

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