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.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

be the turkey

i am a turkey, the one from the slang dictionary. my mother had relentlessy told me i would never amount to anything and despite my best attempts at life, i have become exactly what she always thought of me as. i am a turkey.

it haunts me more now that my Dragon has died. he is not here to stroke my feathers and tell me how pretty i am.

my mother always thought i was too bookish and artistic. she despised that about me and while i withstood heaps of lectures on how to be the woman she wanted me to be, i quoted Shakespeare in my head. "to thine own self be true."

and i have been. but persevering through her predictions of my future failures doesn't make me less a turkey. it just makes me a turkey with convictions who failed anyway.

because of my ex, i learned how to endure without love or much hope. but my convictions kept me from making stupid mistakes. i learned how to take it on the chin. is that a metaphor? only the turkey knows. but i did arrive at the breaking point. i couldn't take it anymore and i left him. he took everything.

in flies my Dragon. and because of him the turkey glowed with the inner light she always had.

okay, wait a minute. first, way back when, i was in a boat on the water in a fog. i was listening to the wrong bell and rowing away from safety. then just recently i was the "insignificant little boat." and now i'm a turkey? damn straight. i can lay claim to anything that fits who i am. today, i am the turkey so i will be the turkey. tomorrow, who knows. there are a lot of metaphors out there and, well, it's my mind. it's all in my mind.

and that's where the trouble always starts. just when everything is going along, someone starts to think.

and wish.

and become wistful for things they weren't meant to have.

i always wanted a little house to live in for 60 years. the ex moved us around within one little town as he tried to improve "his" property ownership. nothing during that marriage was mine. my Dragon and i supported my two children during college when the ex did not and we rented a house by the ocean. a perfectly old and shabby little house where i would have lived for 60 years. and now i am trying to accept this tiny apartment as my home.

"forever? but what about the lighthouse? what about our dream? what about even a small place by the ocean? are we just giving up on that?" that's the voice in my head.

not all dreams come true.

i always wanted friends and family. i gave up, unnoticed i woefully add, on the widow's group. i have my wonderful daughter and son. i am blessed. my brother refuses to speak to me. friends are hard to come by. why? maybe because i am a turkey and they see in me what my mother did so long ago. "you're kidding us, right?" (my mind always speaks in third person to include all my various personalities.) "our life sucks! it blows! we need people to talk to us, to come get us and take us to the mall or to a movie! sure the kids love us and that's wonderful but there has to be someone else out there. c'mon! dial it up! get mad!" what good would it do. "crap. we are such a turkey. but yeah, right now, there is nothing we can do. but if they can't see how cool we are then....." hush.

i always wanted to take little trips, to see places. i got to "see" them through my Dragon when he talked about all the countries he'd been in. i bought a map of the world and brought it to him once. i had a sharpie and asked him to tell me what countries he hadn't been in. if i remember correctly there were about eleven.

i always wanted to deny my turkey heritage. "now that's just sad. so what if we're a turkey? turkeys are smart and cool. hey, Ben Franklin wanted the turkey for the national bird. that should tell you something right there." Ben Franklin was also a womanizer and wrote an absurd little book called 'Fart Proudly.' "oh. well, so the man had a sense of humor and a zest for life. so does our Dragon, but without the cheating part. you know how much he loves turkey." stop it.

i'm losing my mind. "i'm right here." really losing my marbles. "they're in that little bag over there on the bookshelf we bought for $3 at Goodwill." see?

i've been putting in 12 - 15 hour days working on what i now call "quiltimus maximus." but i am on the last little bit of sewing on that 8'+ x 9'+ monstrosity. i have called and the woman is coming for it on Monday. "after she leaves we're getting drunk, even if it's morning."

and then it's full swing on Suddenwidow's quilts. but right now, i'm tired and the turkey in me is wistful for what can never be. i'll never have a little home. i'll never again live by the ocean. i'll most likely be pretty much alone. if i find a friend who likes turkeys, it will be a miracle. i am wistful to travel like i read about people getting to do. i wish there were friends and neighbors who called to check on me off and on during the week like i know other people have happen for them.

"we're mad. admit it. well, we're upset anyway. that widow from the group stopped by last night and we thought she was coming to see us but she just needed to use our restroom before she kept driving home. i mean, how rude is that? out with the other widows and we weren't invited. she passes our apartment and needs to pee? really? why didn't we say something crude?" because the first thing out of her mouth was that she was having a bad day missing her husband. "well, we were having a bad day, too. we miss our Dragon so much that we spontaneously burst into tears and scream into our pillow. why isn't our grief as important to them as theirs is to us? and we didn't get to go out and hang with everyone. and her saying we hadn't been invited because it would have been inconvenient to come get us? seriously? but our toilet is close enough to pee in?" water under the bridge. "obviously not because we're talking to ourselves again. turkey."

well, if you are the turkey, might as well be the turkey.

i miss my Dragon more than i have the words or ability to express. i'll never stop loving him or mourning him.

"bye for now. we got our feelings hurt last night. sort of an 'unnailed, uncoffined, unknown' view of our future. so it's crying time again for turkeys."


Boo said...

oh sweetie, that woman is bloody awful. Manners? Where are they? She is a peasant actually. (Did that make you smile ... just a little bit???)

I am feeling so angry that they had to take your dragon away. I know that there is no rhyme or reason to death but still ... I am so pissed off about it.

Have a long hard cry, you know the type I mean, snuggle with dogs, and most of all know that we here love you ... and your dragon loves you still. xxx

womanNshadows said...

hi, Boo. thank you for talking to me. i did cry. a lot. i'm tired from working such long hours. i miss him so much. scared about being alone so much and looking toward a future where that won't be changing at all. just no actual presence of support in my life. my children have been great but just a friend, one friend to stop by every once in a while to help me keep the dam from breaking apart. just someone to look me in the eye and tell me somehow i'll make it and that they will be there for me. *sigh*

Widow in the Middle said...

I am so sorry you had to experience the rudeness and insensitivity of the woman from your former grief group. One of those "it blows your mind" kind of situations. I wasn't aware of all the unkind people out there until my husband died. Maybe it was easier to deal with them or not notice them when I was married and times were easier. I just know that they became more visible. I give you great credit for not slamming the door in this woman's face. But in the end, I believe as I think you do too, that kindness is what needs to win even in the face of other people's ignorance.

Your turkey theme analogy was creative and I enjoy all the ways you use such symbols in your posts.

I want to mention that I too am finding the reality of being alone/lack of personal support as to being key in my experience of widowhood. I just keep coming back to that aspect. Some of us have fared better than others in this regard. But for me, having such little support has made it much more trying and difficult to continue onward. Maybe our postings about this will result in some ultimate good in bringing this out in the open?

I wish there was more I could say or do. It isn't ideal or the same as meeting in person. But I am grateful for even the limited connections I have through these postings. And you have been a part of that network so I deeply thank you.

judemiller1 said...

I am sorry you had to grow up with a mother who did not appreciate your unique personality. I had a father like that. They write on our childhood slates and make us what we are today--even though we are old enough now to realize they didn't know what the hell they were talking about--still...their words of condemnation still come through at times...when our scared, little kid minds let them.

The woman who needed to pee is an idiot--know that and don't worry about her. There are no words for people like that--pish posh--out of your mind.

I wish I lived near you--I would probably drive you nuts with my phone calls and visits because I would love to sit and talk to you...hear your voice and the way you put words together. Hey--people think I'm weird the way I think, the things I say, the way I express my feelings. So what?

I'd rather be weird and "different" than like all the other sorry assed people I've met...who go along never giving any thought to their deepest feelings. Pish posh--they are gone from my mind.

Carry on--we the turkey's of the world unite!!!!!

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