i know it is an object, but it was a link to bDd (before Dragon died). it is as familiar in my hands as a needle and thread, and floss. as familiar as a paintbrush or a pencil, or a woodcutter's tool. i have lost my friend and i am devastated. i have put it on my mantle which has become a shrine of sorts. i even have empty pill bottles with his name on them. my daughter brought over her camera to me this morning on her way to work. bless her.
i have finished the last bag E. wanted. it has passed the Bunny Weight Test. i also put pretty ribbon on it and embroidered the "life is crap" stamp to make it visually appealing.
i hope she likes her bags.
i hope she likes her bags.
it is after September 1st. after 27 years in New England, i know that Summer is packing up fast to move south. Fall can come early up there and i miss it. this will be my second without seeing those changes. it was pretty here last year, but, i don't know. my heart longs for the coast and all the vines around the driftwood. i long to smell salt air and that snap of cold that makes your skin tingle. the talk of frost on the pumpkins will begin in a few weeks, maybe sooner depending on nature this year. i miss it so much that i feel hollowed out by what has happened and how it came to pass.
after i got the borders pinned, i did have to fall on it and smell it. it has been almost 19 months since my Dragon wore any of these clothes, yet i know i can smell him. tonight after i stop doing some embroidery i have been commissioned to do, i will walk over and hand sew some of the border down. i will have my quilt. i need it so badly; much like a small child needs to hide under the covers believing in their power to keep the bad things away.
memories assail me lately. at moments i feel overwhelmed with them. i feel like i could get sucked under if it do not fight it off and yet the call of these memories is a candle flame to my moth. not all the memories are good ones and i guess it is the residue of having been recently lectured and questioned as to why am i still here. please don't ask me to explain. i wrote it only to quantify the level of self-worthlessness i am made to feel and have to fight against.
one summer when my children were 11 and 9, my father-in-law asked where we were going on our family vacation. my ex told his dad that we did not take vacations as they were a waste of money. his dad scoffed and prodded me, thinking ours was a marriage where i had any say. he was the patriarch and it was only respectful that i answer him. i told him i had always wanted to go to "Cape Cod." i really had always wanted to find a little shack of a vacation beach house to rent north of Orleans so that the children and i could walk along the beach, the eastern arm of the Cape where Henry Beston had spent a year alone. i knew the storms from the Atlantic threw all kinds of wonderful treasures along it. my father-in-law had been and we started conversing about how austere and beautiful it was out there. talking to him was always easy. we were of like mind. but when i turned and saw his face, i knew there would be hell to pay.
we had to go now. instead of letting me make the plans, he did it angrily. he got us a room at a Holiday Inn in Hyannis and every morning he got us up for breakfast, took us to the beach, and then took us back to the room with take out. he stayed on the phone a lot, or brooded. he was pissed at spending the money.
there was this one day of terror where he took my son out too far in the water. there was a storm less than 50 miles offshore and waves were high. flags were flying for dangerous surf and you were allowed to wade up to just above your knees, wherever your knees fell, but no further. he said he hadn't spent money to just wade in the ocean, so he took my son out to make him body surf. the tide was coming in and the waves were building. i told my daughter to sit with our towels and went to pace the edge of the water. i couldn't let him see me be anxious because that meant i was making my son into a mama's boy. i could not defy him but i kept watch.
when i saw them go under i went in after my son. i got to him and treaded water with my knee bent so he could sit on it and catch his breath. i talked to him, told him how to swim back in letting the waves carry him, and then get to his feet at the last minute when the sand was almost scrapping his knees. don't fight it but try to keep his head above the surface. where we were, the water was deep enough that my toes could not touch bottom. my son was strong. i told him to go and that i was right behind and beside him where i could see him. if he faltered, he would be pulled in my direction and i could again give him a rest while i treaded water. i was a strong swimmer. his dad? already on the beach toweling off. he had seen me go in.
i kept my eyes on my son. i saw him catch a crest that i missed and get a pretty good ride actually to shallow water where he got to his feet and ran onto the beach. his sister had his towel waiting. i was still further out and i got sucked down into the draw. i was turned and rolled and slammed hitting my head on the bottom. i saw stars. i swallowed water and it felt so warm inside. i choked and coughed and more water got in since i was still rolling underwater. i fought it rolling to my side and then pushed myself up to try to stand. i was in water just under my armpits. i coughed up the water i had swallowed. my stomach recoiling from the salt and my fear. both my children were standing at the water's edge calling to me. i glanced behind me as another wave was coming in and i caught it. i was drained. i needed the ride. my arms and legs were cold and tired and felt like noodles. as i got closer to the beach i felt a strong hand catch me just above the elbow. the young man who was life guarding that stretch of beach helped me out. my daughter had gone to get him after her brother made it to the beach. the lifeguard saw that i was okay then promptly walked over and wrote a ticket to you know who. yeah, they can do that.
i'm telling this story to help with the metaphor for what i mean when i say i feel like i am being sucked down. i have memories like this day at the beach that suddenly appear like a flashback. but then i have the memories of when i got cut off taking pictures and my Dragon waded in frigid water to get me, laughing, making jokes about "calling in the Marines." there was (is) so much love between us. i have been having nightmares that started the day before the lecture and also dreams that my Dragon never died. i cannot control them. they just come. i try to control what i do after they arrive and cover me, and roll me over and over.
i am trying to get to my feet.
i wish whoever reads, peace.