the first photo is because of something Split-Second Single Father wrote and my story of the photo I'll get to in a minute.
my sleeping habits have gone to H-E double L since my Dragon died. i am in physical pain from arthritis and from stress. i ache more now for reasons i will only tell you are this: he's gone and everything is magnified.
i have been working myself so very hard on the Memory Quilts and the sewing for my daughter's wedding. i told myself that on his birthday, back on August 5th, and on our wedding anniversary, back on August 11th, that i would take a break and work on my own Husband Quilt, try to get it finished for myself through both those days, but i didn't touch it. the top is done and i showed it to chillingwithlemonade when she stopped by for her pillow and grey sock dog but, well, i haven't finished it yet. it's become more wall art that a true wrap-around me quilt. i'll take all his t-shirts and make me one of those later on. but back to the reason for taking a break to write.
i was exhausted and took a short nap, a "snap" if you will, after eating lunch while working with Photoshop on my daughter's wedding program. (see, i can multi-task with the youngest of them.) now i've taken "snaps" before but this one is the first one where i woke myself up crying. i heard a sound and thought it was one of my Scotties but, it was me. crying. for the Dragon.
i was disoriented after i woke up but somehow through my dreams i'd figured out how to make my daughter's wedding gloves. on the aside, has anyone had to price lace wedding gloves yet? oh my stars above. they cost that much, all the stars above. (note to Split-Second Single Father - start saving.) i woke up with it all figured out - how to make them from my old wedding veil. "something old."
but in my disorientation i felt waves of panic. when i die, wait, what if i die very soon? before i get it all done? and then i thought, what if i can't find him? it was wave upon wave of panic and not the good waves of warm ocean water that can bring about bliss. these were frightening crashes over my fragile psyche and i cried so hard i gave myself a headache. stupid. so stupid to my rational mind and yet, when it comes to missing my Dragon, i'm emotional. all emotion. hence the second photo. i took it solely for this day's writing. as with the third photo.
my Dragon, had be been here, would have comforted me. he would have catered to my iced tea-aholicism and then finger-combed my hair. he would have sat with me and held my hand and talked to me. he always knew i suffered from an overly creative mind. a curse and a blessing. it helps me create things but it also takes me down very dark roads. "she's insane? she's an artist? ahhhh. therein lies the answer."
now for the first photo. this one is for all of us and the catalyst comes from Split-Sec. Single Father and also from criticism i've received for "not getting over it" as fast as some think i should. i should be "further along." well, since i cannot curse here, then i say "go away. i don't need you and here's the story of Widower Howe."
the Widower Howe lived in the town where i lived during the majority of my 20 years with my first husband. it is a rural little town in southern New Hampshire with lots of cows, horses, apple orchards, and a feed store. the center of town had the general store called the "Common Cracker," the library, the Feed Store, the church where 3 faiths alternated services every weekend, and then the fancy, rich people's houses. around the center of town no building is younger than 75 years old.
Widower Howe and his wife Esther were born in the same month in the same hospital in the neighboring larger city. they grew up 1/2 a mile apart and married when they were both 21, her father's request. she gave him 5 children, 3 boys and 2 girls and died in 1947 from a sudden and unknown heart condition. Widower Howe was understandably bereft. seventeen years of marriage and at the age of 38, he was alone to finish raising their children.
by that time, though he was a prosperous man having bought into the only feed store in town called, yes, you got it, The Feed Store. he owned it outright and was an expert on grasses, grains, and food for horses and cattle. you could get dog food and supplies there and on the side he had taught his sons carpentry and two of them went into business together starting with bird houses and eventually going into building homes for people. one of his sons was a United States Marine who was killed in Korea. his daughters married boys there in town and never lived far from him. basically he had all his children close and kept his Marine son's ashes on the mantle along with his flag and photograph all the time i knew of it. now his eldest daughter has carried on the tradition.
Widower Howe, for that's how he got to be called, never remarried. he never dated. he never tried. women tried, but his eyes were only on the horizon. that's what one of the old men who sat "cutting wood" on the porch of The Feed Store would say. ("i don't whittle, i cut wood with my pocket knife." though i did ask to buy a little bird he "cut." he gave it to me for simply noticing him in a kind way. sweet old man. - you can see why i loved this town.) "Widower Howe keeps his eyes on the horizon for that's where she is a'waitin'."
when he died in 2004, my Dragon and i went, along with the entire town, to Widower Howe's funeral. the pastor who spoke said, "Widower Howe is 95 years old and for each one of those years, he was a kind and gracious man who always took care of his family and friends. he extended credit when times were hard and he carried folks for longer than their own relatives would. Widower Howe never got over the untimely death of his beloved Esther, but we can all take comfort that he's joined her now. he was lonely for 57 years. Widower Howe is lonely no more."
i want to find my Dragon like i like to believe, along with everyone else, that Widower Howe found his Esther. i want to be back in his arms again. i want to rest and sleep safe with his great and strong wings surrounding me. i want his breath on my neck and his whispered words in my ear.
i want to quietly grieve for him and wait for him with the same courtesy that all of that tiny, rural town allowed Widower Howe to grieve and wait for his wife. we say very often that "no one gets it." they don't have to "get it." they just need to "leave it alone."