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.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Build-A-Bear ~ the complexities of survival

i got the job at Build-A-Bear. seasonal for now. i hope i can prove myself, that they see i would be valuable to stay on after February.

after they called yesterday afternoon late, i cried. my daughter was still with me {her day off} so i was not alone to weather the storm of emotions that followed. i sobbed. i smiled. i was terrified. again with the "what ifs." i need this job to last. i need it to be at the very least 20 hours a week just to keep my head under the surface of disaster. i know how to breath through a straw.

i am alone.
my son has said he can help me, but in truth, i need to bear {no pun intended} the brunt of this burden on my own. i need to earn enough to squeak by. i start this afternoon and only get 3 hours. Saturday i am at work for only a 2.5 hour day. it may still be training, or work while being overseen so that i am proficient and prepared for Black Friday. and then i need hours. hours and hours. and then i will come home and sew on the commissions.

i got up this morning shaking, trembling. crying and relieved and terrified. i am tired. i keep saying that and i do not know how to explain it. i could but i do not think anyone would understand. it is something i am saving for the Matriarch of Grief and Joy who has given me the gift of her time in trade for the gift of a quilt i am going to make for her.

i wish he were here.
i have this fantasy that i go off to Build-A-Bear and he goes off to Loew's or something macho but not "out of town" job and we have our little apartment and food and our few bills are not a problem. we are not rich., but we do get by. and that we have each other to hold onto and laugh with and love and touch.

i miss kissing him.

i am tired and i do not know if it will get better. i hope it will. i am willing to work long hours and come home and work long hours. i know i will be more tired but maybe it will be enough. maybe being tired is the best i should hope for. maybe it is all i should expect and i am being greedy.
i have this other fantasy. someone with a lot of money comes along and loves my artwork. all of it. photographs. writing. stained glass. embroidery work. quilting. sewing. oil paintings. and they want to be my Patron. they want to sponsor me. pay my bills so that i do not have to worry about anything other than creating. they believe that my artwork is powerful and they are arrogant enough to want to be the one to "find" me and then be my sponsor. big feather in their cap.

foolish dream. foolish old woman. i think it is the fantasy of a love-starved woman who was not approved of during her life. and then when her Dragon finally found her, he was taken from her and she is slipping back into her old sorrows and believing the flashbacks that hit her like a Mac Truck.

i cut off my hair. the man who did it loved the picture i picked out. he fluffed and trimmed. he cut off about 2 inches. he called me a pixie. yeah, because when i look in the mirror at the dark circles under my eyes, at the silent terror in my eyes, and at the hollowed out soul that i know exists inside, i think "pixie!"

i wish my Dragon could be here with me. i wish his voice and touch and smell and the taste of his skin were still available to me. i miss him. i want to talk to him. i am so very grateful for the Build-A-Bear job and i feel greedy praying for enough hours so i can live. i got the job and now i am asking for more. my hand always seems to be out to God, but then, i have no one else to turn to.

i wish my Dragon could be with me here. life is so complex. simple things and yet complex as well. job. enough hours. transportation. not having a car and no bus route to get there.

{the woman at the Charlotte Transit Authority ~ the Bus Lady ~ thought it was strange, too, that she could not get me a bus route that does not have me walking 3/4 of a mile to a bus stop to have me sit on the bus for 40 minutes to make a less than 10 minute drive by car to the Mall where Build-A-Bear is located.}

i am tired of life and i wish he were here with me. but i sit with my quilt of his clothes wrapped around me and i pretend it still smells like him. i dream he is with me. i dream he is coming home soon.
but i got the job at Build-A-Bear. however terrified i am about how many hours and how long will they keep me, i am sobbingly, humbly grateful i got the job.


Suddenwidow said...

I'm glad you got the job. You will be an awesome employee and will make the experience of building a bear so wonderful for all your customers. I pray this turns into a great experience for you and that you get as many hours as you need. Now you need a car. I wish I had one for you, or the money to send for you to get one. I'll pray for a patron to appear and keep my fingers crossed at the same time.

I sure can relate to missing the smell and taste of skin and the touch that only a love could give. I crave it, but only from him. Which is really driving me crazy!

Wishing you peace,

thelmaz said...

Congratulations on the new job!

I hope you and your fans will visit my blog at for a review of your resnnaissance artist and flick'r sites. (And they'll get to see my granddaughter Gabriella in the jeans you decorated for her. Your work is one-of-a-kind. With love, TZ

womanNshadows said...

Debbie and Thelma, thank you for the well wishes. i just got back from my first day and it was really nice. i love all the stuffed animals. i saw all of Bunny's brothers and sisters waiting to be adopted. the transportation thing? que sara sara. my daughter and i are working it out. the money? again, i am fighting and working. i am trying not to panic. so far, i have not hit the ground. that's all i want, to not hit the ground.

and yeah, after 21 months, he is the only one i want. i know that more and more each day. i will not be one of those who can find love again. i'm sure widows more veteran than i are laughing but, in my heart, my body, i know i can only be with him so i will just hibernate. but i have the bears and bunnies and tigers and wolves and reindeer, all the toys to play with and stuff for kids and grown up kids.

Thelma, thank you for helping me get my name out there. even though i will be working out of the apartment, i still very much can and want to make the quilts, embroider jeans, make things for others. thank you for writing about me on your blog and on Facebook. very much appreciated.

peace to all who read. peace and light to all who grieve.

Anonymous said...

congrats ! you should be very proud of yourself .. you put yourself out there .. and that's a big step .. try not to think so much .. things will work themselves out one way or another .. baby steps .. baby steps .. that's all anyone can do .. you're doing a great job ! C.

Dan, in real time. said...

I'm so happy for you. I hope it becomes a place where you enjoy working, and that others can get to know you, and learn of all your talents.

Congratulations, and lots of luck!


judemiller1 said...

I am so glad you got the job, It sounds like it would be fun to work there--won't it be fun to have money coming in? I hope this turns out to be a longer then seasonal job. Happy Thanksgiving Friend--a thankful heart is what you have. What you always have, no matter what.

3SF said...

Finally the words I have been hoping to read! CONGRATULATIONS!!! I am so happy for you Friend!

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