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.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

my son

i don't write a lot about my son. he lives in Florida and teaches at the university where he went to school. he calls all the time but it is my daughter who has borne the brunt, as i have to be honest and call it, of my grief. but my son is always there for me. he has stood up and taken on the roll of man of the house when i have needed him.

at this moment my heart is recovering from a phone call from him, and the follow up phone call that left me happy and relieved but with adrenalin coursing through me that needs to be let out.

first a little background.

my daughter and i have a very close relationship. we both protected my son because if my ex ever wanted to be involved with one of my children, it was my son. my son is a sensitive soul who is deeply introspective and intuitive. if i have to use only one word to describe him, it would be cerebral. his humor is very sharp. he can be bitingly sarcastic yet never wound anyone with it. he thinks very hard about every decision he's ever made, and like his mom, researches before committing to anything or anyone. he is truly relaxed and comfortable only around his sister and i. he is presently dating a nice young woman who has, as he puts it, "potential but it's one day at a time."

he greatly respected and admired our Dragon. he was afraid he wasn't "man enough" for our Dragon since he had the whole Marine Corps toughness to him. his dad would use that "man enough" confrontational tactic too much and it affected him. i defended my son every time. his dad always had him second guessing himself and it took me every bit of my gentle reinforcement to get him to see what a great kid he is. but it was our Dragon who accomplished what only another man can do. he got my son to see himself as my Dragon saw him.

my children didn't have a great dad that they lost to death. they had a father they never really had. they had one they slowly lost to his ruthlessly cold evaluations of how they could make him look good. they had a father that wanted nothing to do with them until it was his choice on his schedule and under his conditions. my daughter was irreparably wounded by a father who did not think a daughter was worth his time. my son walked on egg shells around him. when his father wanted to "talk" to him, he would hurriedly look to find where i was in case he needed me, and i was there. i was always there. he never got to either of my children.

my children wanted me to leave their father. and when they met our Dragon, my daughter was the one who ran to him with open arms. finally she got to take on the role she had wanted since she outgrew Prince Charming and unicorns. she got to be a Daddy's Girl.

my son was slower to advance beyond polite. he was nervous he wasn't enough of a man for someone like our Dragon. "if dad doesn't like me, how can someone like (our Dragon) ever think of me as a man?"

i explained my son to our Dragon who grieved for my son and daughter. and he was so good with them. he welcomed my daughter and she became his daughter as well. just like that. he waited for my son and did not impose, only let my son know that he was there and ready to accept whatever relationship my son wanted to establish. my son quietly observed our Dragon and saw how easy and comfortable, but most of all, accepting he was with his sister. he saw how Dragon touched me and made me smile, something i had never done with any man. my son saw how relaxed and NOT on guard i was and he grew to relax himself. he asked Dragon about girls and smoking, sex, and the most important topic of all, cars. they worked on the cars together. there was laughter. there was bonding. that my son went to Dragon to ask him about all the things he would never broach with his own biological father made me so thankful to have found - and been found - by our Dragon. we all felt blessed to have our Dragon in our lives.

my son respected our Dragon and misses him greatly. he knows that my anchor is gone. he knows that my heart is gone. and he calls to make sure i am fine. he worries so much about me. he wants me to be the mom he would look over for to back him up. i always make sure to end our calls with a strength i sometimes don't feel. i do it because no matter how old they are, my children need to know that, if there is a need, i can be the lioness i once was.

he has accomplished so much in so short a time for someone his father thought wasn't man enough. my son went to college and graduated with an Associates and then stayed for his Bachelor's. before he graduated with his BA, he was offered a teaching position in the digital arts and design department. he will have been there for 3 years in June. he has bought a little house and moved into it last fall. he'll be 24 on June 2.

fast forward to today. my son called as he was leaving his contract job at the Golf Channel to go to teach his class at the university when the department head called and asked him to stop by his office. he was nervous because it was unexpected. just another Wednesday and out of left field, this phone call.

so he calls to talk to me. he was a bit nervous. he didn't say so but i could hear it in his voice. i rationalized with him that it might be a good thing. not every phone call leads to bad things. but, in this economy one always worries. he hung up as he was walking in the building. and all my rationalizations screeched to a halt as the mom i am instantly went into hyper-worry. i have to be honest and say that the 30 minutes between phone calls from him, i almost threw up. if our Dragon were here, i would have sat in his lap talking like a crazy person and he would have stroked my hair and held me tight as we waited to see what the meeting was about. but with my Dragon, i would have also had the "it's going to be alright" in my ear.

my son called and excitedly told me he was offered a new position, new title, increase in pay, etc. he was thrilled and had exactly two seconds to tell me everything as he was walking into his classroom to teach. we'll talk later tonight when he releases his class.

i don't write a lot about my son. he is a very private person and i was given permission to write this out. he reads and knows this blog is my way of reaching out, of venting.

he is the moonlight to my daughter's sunshine. my girl is so vibrant and "damn the torpedoes-full speed ahead." the world will know that my daughter has been by. my son is the quiet one. he is the one who is the steady rock that no one notices until they need someone so calm and serene. both my children are very intelligent. both are more street smart than i wish they knew about but in this world, i guess you can never really have enough of that. and both my children, though they are adults, still need me. and i am here.

so that is my son. that was our day today, because no matter how old they get, it is still both of your all's day - mother and son.


Anonymous said...

I love you, Mom.

Dan, in real time. said...

Thank you for sharing such a touching, and loving, of your relationship with your son. I think you presented him with such a profound respect. I always appreciate when a parent really gives such serious thought to who their child is, whether young, or young adult.

Your son is a lucky young man, in spite of the hardships that might have been placed in his way. He has a very special mother.


Suddenwidow said...

Congratulations to your son on his new job!! It is so great to have some positive news!!

Thank you for sharing what a wonderful man he is. There is no doubt that you have two amazing children, because you are amazing.

Is it August yet? :)

judemiller1 said...

Oh my gosh...that is wonderful news!! Isn't amazing how children, raised both at the same time, by the same parents, hearing the same words out of your they each turn out differently? Amazing and great. I am so happy for you.

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