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, June 19, 2010

dad's day

he was not their biological father but he was there for all the big things and little things that their father was not. he was not their father but he was their dad. he got there in the middle of their teen years so he got there for some really important, wonderful times.

my daughter embraced our Dragon from the moment he walked into our lives. she was and still is completely in love with him in the role of her dad. and he was completely in love with her as his daughter.

it was, oddly enough, cheaper for us to get her a small apartment in a big old house than to pay for dorm rooms so he went out and bought her a canopy bed. he told her he had always wanted a daughter to treat like a princess. well, here was his chance. what he spent on that bed was ridiculous but she loved it, loves it still.
he and i were at her college graduation when we overheard her say to someone that she was a "daddy's girl." her exact words were, "he's not my father. i hate that word. you'd have to know him to understand. but that man is my dad so finally i can be a daddy's girl." he had tears in his eyes.

my son is much more reserved. he worried about how his father would perceive his relationship with this new man in his life. he had a right to worry. there were complications for him that were not there for our daughter. our Dragon paved the way for our son (that's how he referred to my children - "our children"). he told our son that his father should always come first, but that he was there if and when he needed him. it came to pass that our son needed our Dragon because his father was not around.

our Dragon felt humbled and blessed to step in when he was asked. and my son asked. over and over, he asked our Dragon things a boy needs to ask his dad. he came to me once to ask if our Dragon felt left out since he always called his father first. i told him, "no. he knows your father comes first. he's simply here because i love him and he loves me and he loves both you and your sister as if you were his own. he will do anything you ask. and he will step aside whenever you ask."

my son became "our" son when he said, "he's like a dad then. i've never had a real dad, you know what i mean, one who is there for me."
his "dad" was there to teach him how to work on his car, to take photos before his prom, to talk about girls and sex and respect, and to confirm that it was okay to still be a junior and then a senior in high school and to have never taken drugs, smoked anything, or imbibed in alcohol. he made our son aware that those things do not make you a man. i would watch my son's body language and see that around his father, his behavior was very correct, tense, and cordially respectful. around his "dad" he was relaxed and teasing; he was himself.

our Dragon was there for our children in the myriad of ways a man is there for his children. everything big and everything little, dramas and traumas, joys and celebrations, he was there in their lives. people who had just met us often believed he was their biological father.
he was blessed to be there for everything that their father missed out on. my children were blessed to finally have a dad. he adores them. he loves them. he felt blessed to have us in his life.
i know he misses them. he taught them so much. i see so much of him in them.

they miss him so much and talk about him all the time. they miss him with a type of longing that only comes from never having something, like a dad, finally getting one, and then losing him. they adore him and love him with every feeling a child has for their dad.

but then, with all he gave us, we know he is not really gone from us. he was at our daughter's wedding. he had the first chair front row.
he is out there watching over us. he is waiting for us. God willing, we will all be together again in due time. and in that joining, we will never have to worry about being separated.

happy dad's day, my Dragon. it was us who was blessed.


Kim said...

every time i learn something new about your dragon i am blown away. he is a beautiful soul. i am so sorry....ugh...:(


judemiller1 said...

What a man!!! I am so glad your children had them in their lives when they needed him--so much need of a strong Dad when they are teenagers. So beautiful. I can see by the way your children treat you now that you and Dragon were wonderful parents.

megan said...

In these photos, your son looks like he IS dragon's biological son.


Dan, in real time. said...

Once again, a beautiful tribute. What's wonderful, is that the lessons he taught your chlldren will be benefit them for years to come. This will give them plenty of opportunity to thank him for making a difference in their lives.

womanNshadows said...

Kim, he is a beautiful soul. my stomach hurts from the want of him.

Judy, my children and i know how blessed we are to have been allowed to be in his life. it was a joy watching him be amazed being part of our lives.

Megan, your comment made me smile and one i will share with my son when he calls me today.

Dan, there is no way i can publicly write about all he did for my children. suffice to say there is much more. so much more that he gave and instilled in them, but also his protection of them, of all of us. his death was akin to losing our very own St. Michael the Archangel-like sentry. his love for our children and for me was majestic.

Suddenwidow said...

Beautiful post. Losing a great love leaves such a great hole in the lives of those left behind.

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