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.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

heart of stone

ive had a plastic snowman juice cup size of wine. the good kind. it was on sale for $4.95. why don't they just say $5? anyway, it's white zinfandel only it’s pink. why is white wine pink? idid pick it for the color though. it looked soft. in vino veritas. so here is some truth. i’m inebriated. i cannot hold my liquor. my Dragon thought it was hysterical, because i am a funny inebriated person. i hate the word drunk. Dragon said i never got drunk because i never drank enough to qualify. he said when i got inebriated i would finally liberally use contractions. he liked that i relaxed enough to use contractions. here’s another truth. when i was in college, i joined a math club. i used to have a shirt that said, “don’t drink and derive.” and i didn’t. i didn’t have my first drink of alcohol until i was 20. it was after my mother died and my father had kicked me out.

here’s another truth. when i was in high school, i was the astronomy nerd, as in the only one. i read every book i could get my hands on. i wanted to go to the moon. funny, isn’t it? i’ve been looking at the moon my whole life and wishing i could get away. get away from my childhood. get away from people who called me Fluke. get away from my first husband. and now get away from here so i can find him. i want to find my Dragon. the full moon was so cold and silvery the night he died. i hope he wasn’t cold.

but i digress.

my high school had a planetarium. i was such a good student that i was the only one who was trusted to run the planetarium and give the shows for the elementary school kids who came. my Dragon loved that. we’d lie out on the beach below the house we’d rented and i’d point out the constellations and the stars. we kept talking about getting a really good telescope when we had the money and i’d asked for a camera mount so i could take photos of, well, yes, the moon, but also Mars and Jupiter, and maybe out towards Saturn.

as it was though, our money went for the kids and food and that was enough for me. we had such a great time. the cove was my whole world and i never wanted to leave it. i could take photos of the moon rising up over our house without a telescope.

i love him. i miss him. he gave me so much that money can’t ever get you. he worried about not being able to give me the things i never had. i kept telling him i'd had some things but i’d never had love. he gave me love. he wanted to give me the house we both fell in love with though and that would have been nice. we would have had a great time saving it.

but all i wanted was him. he gave me confidence in myself. he thought i had talent. he loved my art. all of it. he understood me when i told him i had so many thoughts and ideas and that i had to use different mediums. stained glass, sculptures, woodcarvings, paintings, sewing, and photography. he bought me a really nice camera. my first digital actually. i’d always been a 35mm snob but film costs so he bought me the digital and turned me lose.

these guys are so hard to get. digital was perfect in that i could just delete rather than agonize over the negatives.

but my digital is failing. it’s grinding and i’m losing pixels. ld. so old and worn out. i went outside to take photos of the moon and i started crying tonight about it sounds so sad inside, and because the moon will be full Tuesday or Wednesday. so i had a plastic cup of wine. it has snowmen on it. i got a set of 8 at the dollar store for Christmas. they are so jolly and the red cup makes the pink white zinfandel seem so festive. but very little is lightening my mood tonight because my camera is slowly dying.

i know, i can get another one. but this is the one my Dragon got me. it has memories. it’s the one that took the last photos of him, on that day. hours before he died. smiling his “why do you need another photo of me” smile. because he is handsome. and wonderful. and strong. and he loves me and i love him and i want to touch him. i want to talk to him. i want to be near him again.

i’ve been without him for so long now and i guess, you know, depending upon fate, it’s only just getting started.

my tinnitus is bad tonight. i turned off the television a long time ago and just have music playing.

so the heart of stone. we had this friend who was a widower. a lobsterman. i think i’ve mentioned him before. he lent us the scuba gear to swim to the island. he told us about the house we lived in. he knew we rented but we had rented for 18 months. it was ironic that we were so quickly accepted in town. we found out from the lobsterman that it was because the locals saw us out in every kind of weather there was. and people liked my sculptures and paintings. i was accepted as an artist. my Dragon was accepted because, well, i mean look at him. he’s cute. he’s gregarious. people just gravitated to him. he is adorable.

anyway, heart of stone. i have to stay on task.

the lobsterman said that down on the rocks by our house was a heart that was naturally cut into the granite. he said few of the locals knew of it either. it was one of those magic things that you find and keep to yourself. you pass it along only to those you feel would appreciate it. he said he liked that we held hands where ever we walked, and the fact that we’d walk from the house on the cove all the way into town and out onto the Neck. he liked that about us. he could tell we were close.

so he thought we’d appreciate the heart of stone. he said he doubted the owners of the house knew it was there. they lived in New York and bought the house sight unseen and only ever rented it. it was an investment for them. how they could not live there, even as summer people, was beyond us but it was our good fortune to get to live there.

so we went out looking for the heart of stone. there’s a lot of rock out there. Rockport isn’t just a metaphor. it took us 3 weeks to find it. but we did. and every day we went to look at it. it’s on the side of a huge boulder that is turned toward the ocean. and it is true. the heart is naturally cut. looking at it, it is a definite heart. touching it, it is rough and uneven. like life. life has always been rough and uneven for me. until my Dragon. he saved me. he loves me. i cannot think of it in the past tense.

tonight, with my snowman cup of pink white zinfandel helping me accept the upcoming demise of the camera my Dragon bought me, i am going to make believe the heart of stone was there for my Dragon and me.

i guess the pink white zinfandel is wearing off. i have stopped relaxing my sentence patterns. i have stopped thinking in contractions. i am sitting here with an empty red, plastic cup with snowmen on it and i have typed away the mind fuzzies.

at this point, at this time of night, my Dragon would have smiled his worldly, devilish smile, winked at me and said, “here love, have just half a cup more. i’ll make sure you get to bed alright.”

i sorely miss his laugh.


Anonymous said...

Dear Lady,

We have spoken through email after my search for your husband who was my brother through war. You told me you had some of your pictures of him here and your stories. I have read them all finally catching up to this one tonight. It touches my heart as all your writing has.

I read your defense of putting your husband on a pedestal and I loved it while I was enraged that anyone would try to make a wife speak less of her husband. I'm calmer now and want to leave word here lest anyone think Dragon has been built up by your sorrow to the legend you have made of him here. I've known your husband for the innumerable years of our Marine days, mercenary days, and through our exploits in later years when we should have known better but still served our country anyway. I was involved in the mission in Vietnam that earned him the nickname Dragon. It's not a misnomer. He was, is, and always will be Dragon. He saved our lives during that long hellish week on the other side of the world. A finer man I will never know. In the dark corners of an ugly world, you could turn your back on him and knew he had it covered. He was the kind of man other men believe they are after slamming back two shots of tequila.

His last mission was mine as well. Two areas covered. Two men needed. What a ride. He talked about you with the reverence a man has when he knows he's found the other half of himself. Dragon was a hero. I feel like old man now. Same age as Dragon and we were both beaten all to hell. Your husband and I always said we'd never find women who could put up with us. Then he met you and I envied him having someone to trust and take away the bad dreams. Your words of love for him here echo his great love for you. I don't want you to forget that. Having seen so much of hell there’s got to be a heaven and if anyone will be there waiting for you it’s your husband. Never doubt that. Him trusting and loving you, and you loving and taking away his pain, that doesn’t come along for all of us old warriors. If anyone deserves an eternity together it is the two of you.

I am not the kind of man to throw away compliments. I knew your husband and want put in rest any doubts as to his being the man you claim he was. I know we've been emailing but here, tonight, I want to say he was all that and more. I can see you're hurting tonight and he would want me to try to ease your pain. The love he felt for you will never die. He's out there and he's waiting for you as much as you're waiting for your time to go to him. He'll always be with you.

Semper Fi

judemiller1 said...

After reading your post and your friend's comment--there are no words from me. I just whispered, "Wow".

womanNshadows said...

thank you, Anonymous, both for your comments here and for your stories about my husband. and no, even when i met him for the first time, i knew he had never a choir boy.

Judy, what can i say. i was sad and tipsy. all in all it was a rough night. thank you for the photo you emailed me. nature can heal. nature can give hope. maybe i need to start stacking rocks on my balcony.

Suddenwidow said...

I look forward to drinking wine with you in hotel cups in San Diego! I'm sure the heart of stone was carved by God for you and your Dragon.

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