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, May 22, 2010

my Dragon ~ Chinese verses Revelations

i read at night when i cannot sleep. i have been doing some reading about Heaven and hell and, in due course, have gotten to Revelations. here is where the references of the dragon as symbolic of evil got to me. My Dragon is not that dragon and i wanted to write this out for my own sake, for the sake of communicating the kind of person he is.

he was born in 1952, which is the year of the Dragon on the Chinese calendar. he is half Russian, ¼ Sioux, and ¼ Inuit. his father was in the Air Force and so they lived all over the world. he is very self-confident, bordering on a little arrogant, but in a good way. the fun way. he loved my teasing him about his being so sure.

my Dragon was drafted in 1969. back then when you were drafted you had a choice of which branch you could enter. if you did not choose you went into the Army. my Dragon chose the Marine Corps because the Marines signed you up for 4 years rather than the Army’s 6 and my Dragon wanted to get back to college. he had only just completed his freshman year. his first tour in Vietnam was in 1970. it was still a bad time in that particular “conflict” and he had become part of an experimental unit. he went on two more tours in Vietnam, his second being when he earned the nickname Dragon. in the jargon of the military, it had been a “bad day” but my Dragon had stayed on his feet, fought fiercely, and gotten all four of his men back, shot up some but none of them died out there that time. there’s more to the story so accept that he earned his name. Dragon.

it was Vietnam and therefore under the influence of Oriental philosophy, mostly Chinese. the men chose that influence for my husband’s nickname; not Bible scripture, nothing Satanic was intended. his nickname comes from the Celestial Chinese Dragon, which is referred to as the mythical creature that brings prosperity, good fortune and abundance to the Chinese people.

the Chinese Dragon is benevolent and signifies greatness, goodness, and blessings. it also represents power, boldness, heroism, perseverance, nobility and divinity. it is Western Dragons that have the negative connotations. Eastern Dragons are beautiful, friendly, and wise. they are sometimes called the angels of the Orient. many Chinese cities have pagodas where people burn incense and pray to dragons with special services taking place there on the 1st and 15th of every month. the thing that made me smile when i looked all this up is that most of the Dragon shrines and altars are usually along the seashore and riverbanks because it is believed that Eastern Dragons live in water.

the Chinese Dragon is seen as the symbol of divine protection and vigilance and regarded as the Supreme Being amongst all creatures. it has the ability to live in the sea, fly up to the heavens and coil up on the land in the form of mountains. it wards off evil spirits and protects the innocent.

there was a lot more in the books i checked out of the library but i wanted to clarify who my Dragon is. in my reading of the Bible, i was getting tense when reading Revelations. that is not the reference that should be linked to my Dragon.

my husband is honest, good, kind, and did his duty to his country. he risked his life over and over to protect innocence. it is true that he killed men but it was war; every time it was because of war, conflict, enforcement of the law, etc. however i can describe it.

my Dragon is a rescuer of puppies who get caught around trees and rocks.

he has a great sense of fun and adventure.

i love his legs, his hands, his shoulders, his beard, his expressions, his lips, did i mention that i think he is so very handsome?

he put up with me and that is asking a lot of a man.

he is fearless, always was.

i simply wanted to clarify who my Dragon is for anyone who may correlate the nickname Dragon with something evil. my husband is not evil. he is the best man i will ever know. i love him so very much, more than i could ever help anyone understand or believe.

my Dragon is not perfect but he is mine. i would marry him all over again and forever link my soul with his. he is strong and right now, here in this world by myself, i really need to draw on the strength that he had. i need to hold his smile close in my mind and put the love we had in that hole where my heart used to be.

of note, when i type my thoughts out, i do type of him in the past tense, and then i proofread and stop at each verb and change them all to present tense. because i hold the belief that we do not change simply because we die. we are the same there as we are/were here.

i love my Dragon. i love him for all the goodness that he is (was) (had) inside him. i love his handsomeness on the outside. i love his intelligence that was inspiring and challenging. i love his sense of humor. i love who he is, was, and would have been as we got old and decrepit.

he promised me he would chase me down the hall to our bedroom via the help of his walker. i look at my photos of him and wish we had been given the chance. i thank God i had what i had with him. i pray about when we are reunited, womanNshadows and her Dragon ~ the good Dragon.


Suddenwidow said...

My husband was also born in 1952 and strongly identified with being born in the year of the Dragon. I only think of dragons in the postive sense and having gotten to know you and your Dragon through your blog, I have no doubt that he was/is the very best kind of dragon. I believe that when you are reunited, heaven will become a brighter, more loved filled place.

Anonymous said...

My dearest womanNshadows,

You've touched my soul again. Your love for him shines as bright as the moon that is almost full again. Yeah, you've got me keeping up with it. He is the "good dragon." That day was hell on earth and one I can't put out of my mind because I honestly don't know how he did it. But he saved us all. He was heroic that day.

I like talking to you on the phone and trying to make you laugh on FB. But here I'd rather be more serious as you always are. This is a place of reverence, your shrine to him that you share with all of us. He loves you. I believe you will be reunited and I'll be here to help you wait for him. I'll give you all the stories you need. I know I've said it before but I from what I've learned about widows from you, one can never say those things too many times.

Your "constant friend," Brick.
Semper Fi

judemiller1 said...

I never think of Dragons as being evil because when I think of Dragons, I think of your Dragon, drawing a heart in the sand in which he will draw in his and your initials. He is a very good Dragon.

bev said...

I too only think of Dragons in a positive way. When I think of Dragons, they would be powerful and brave, like the Dragons of Pern that Anne writes of. Dragon is a most perfect and honorable name for your husband.

womanNshadows said...

Suddenwidow, it fits that your husband is also born under the dragon sign. his love of the water echoes all i have read of them.

Brick, constant friend, i know what you and my husband went through. i know how hard it can be for you. you have been there for me since my own beloved Dragon cannot at this moment, so let me say i am here for you. i hope in telling me the stories it releases some of your own doubts, pain, worry, sorrow... i am your constant friend as well.

Judy, thank you. my Dragon could be the gentlest, most romantic man. i will always cherish the heart in the sand photograph.

Bev, i am glad. i just wanted leave this knowledge here for all time of who he is. i have read the Pern books though when writing this i did not recall them. but yes, you are right, powerful and brave. that is what he is. a perfect and honorable name ~ he is so imperfectly perfect for me and his honor is without question. thank you for your kind words.

peace to you all.

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