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 31, 2010

hitting "the wall"

in any test of someone’s endurance, mostly applied to marathons, there is a saying. hitting “the wall.” it has been seven weeks since the one year anniversary of my Dragon’s death on February 9th and i think that is what has happened to me. i have hit “the wall.”

i feel miserable. there is a tiredness permeating my body that feels like it has settled in deeply and for the long haul. i cry, still, easily. i worry my worries and fret my fears. i am losing interest in a great many things. i cannot turn my back on him. i cannot put my Dragon or his death in any perspective other than right beside me. i fight against thinking about how he died and my role in being unable to save him. it was so quick. there were no conscious good-byes for us.

“good-night. i love you.” only a moment of drowsiness and then his choking death from a fatal heart attack.

i miss him. i am lonely for him. i would give all the world to be with him or have him come back. i have moments through these days when i lean back in my chair, put my arms across my face and sob for him. i am not here if he cannot see me. i am over-wrought and so very sad.

i see each day play out. get up. take the dogs out. eat breakfast. sew. eat lunch. take the dogs out. sew. eat supper. take the dogs out. sew. take the dogs out. go to bed.

my daughter calls first thing in the morning and last thing at night. my son calls 3 or 4 times a week. i don’t have a car but it seems my library branch has had a stay of execution. i will be able to still walk there to check out my peeks into a world that i’ll never visit.

i am tired. i hurt. i am lonely. i want him back. i miss being loved by him. i feel like an ancient crone for whom her arthritis has taken her energy and grief has taken her life. i am looking forward to Camp Widow but even in thinking about that, i am becoming timid. i have to go, but i am, oh, God, i am really going to say it. i am afraid. i know there will be tears there but as many as mine? some people are going to be joyous there, happy at being united, or reunited, with friends. these people will have lives to talk about, and jobs to complain about. they have taken trips and will have done things and achieved victories i had not. i look in the mirror and i do not know who that woman is. segue to what would my Dragon think?

i look careworn and sorrowful. i look like i am grieving. i look like i have hit a "wall."

i have to remember what my Dragon would say. i need to close my eyes and remember him, his actions, his voice. “Love, you are so beautiful to me.” there would be no hesitation. he would move to me and take me in his arms and kiss me, wipe away my tears with his lips. he would let me see in his eyes all the love he felt for me. and i would feel warm. i would feel the heat of his gaze and my aching joints would become loose. my tattered heart would beat stronger. he loves me. i would bloom under his care.if only. but no more. there is an echo here when i call out his name no matter how many quilts i hang on the walls of this apartment to keep the sound from reverberating.

i pray. every morning. every night. i find i talk to God as if He were sitting in the next room, unseen but listening all the same. He knows how bad this is for me. He has to be trying to let me know that i’ll see my Dragon again if only i would stop crying and listen to Him.

but i am the one who is making this hard. it is me sitting outside, unable to go in. i think i cry so hard for my Dragon that i cannot hear anything but my own pain. thus, i have hit "the wall."

several years ago i found out i was losing my hearing. i am hard of hearing but i am not of the deaf world by any stretch of the imagination. i have one of those phones that will amplify incoming calls so no one knows, but of course, now you know. depending upon the surroundings i can hear enough of the words and read lips to follow most every face-to-face conversation. but at first it was difficult to face.

i was sent to ASL classes and the administrator of the school learned i was an artist. he wanted to hire me to do a mural for the wall outside the school. since some of the students were also sight-impaired to fully blind i talked him into letting me build a wall on top of the wall instead. the results of my labor were fully appreciated by both deaf and blind alike and i was happy with what i had done. what i had wanted to say to them without words had been understood. the wall is a visual and tactile experience. it can be looked at and touched. i had wanted it to say, “i understand.” i took a risk with it but i received a lot of hugs from the children who attended the school, and from the grown-ups, like me, who were having to make some adjustments to their lives.

{it is ironic, isn’t it? i built a wall and now, years later, i’ve hit one.}

when i met my Dragon, i had to explain about my little hearing problem. he was very good about it. he told me he had a friend who had been in artillery. he had to yell at him every time they saw each other so learning to talk a bit with his hands for certain situations wouldn't be a problem. and if he forgot certain signs, he knew how to yell. it was a moment that could have been awkward for me, but he made me laugh and relax.

i told him i had built a wall and he wanted to see it. i did not tell him anything about the design as we drove up. i wanted to get his initial reaction, unprepared and therefore unbiased.

he was amazed at the intricacies. he really liked it. he said when we owned our own home, he wanted me to make one for us. the wall was really the first time he’d seen anything big that i had done. he told me he fell more in love with me because of the person i was that came up with it.

i feel like my wall now. i try on faces to see if i can look better, appear better, or make myself feel better, but i do not. i do not feel better and it has been 13 months now. i have hit “the wall.” i do not know how long i will feel this way. i do not like feeling this way but if this is part of my own personal journey then i can only accept it. i can only keep getting up, walking the dogs, sewing, etc. you know the routine. it does not vary in any way except on Mondays when my daughter comes to take me out. maybe it will be over soon.

and if this is the way i am going to feel from now on, i will accept that, too, for two reasons. one, because no one really knows about grief, do they? and two, because to feel this badly for this long, and longer, our love really was a fairy tale come true. the Dragon and the silent woman from the shadows. who would have thought it could happen?

Monday, March 29, 2010

you know what night this is....

my camera ~ the one my Dragon got me, it's still hanging on. i'm saving it. no more photos of anything else but the moon until i can get another. tonight i kept going outside looking, watching, waiting for him. and there he was, in all his battered glory, just like my Dragon, all scarred and beautiful, and eternal. a Blue Moon. the second full moon this month ~ March 2010.
i watched the skies. i went back in and punched up the radar. clouds. i knew it was going to be close. and though they would pass, i'm tired tonight. i can't stay out here all night. i stayed out and took as many photos as i felt my camera could do and not expire. i don't want it to leave me. i'll get another camera and put this one on the mantle, amongst the things that are my Dragon's; add it to the shrine.
i captured, for another month, my moon, my lonely orb that floats across a silent night and taunts me, or haunts me with dreams of my Dragon in flight. his one way trip to a place i cannot go yet. Heaven. beautiful places. places so wonderful that i cannot even imagine. everywhere but here with me.
and the clouds came right on time. i watched them glide across the sky and slowly shroud my moon. they were taking it away....
slowly taking away my dreamy view of Heaven. such beauty. it could only be more beautiful if it were reflected on the ocean's undulating surface. shimmering. pieces of silver light moving on the surface of the water like sparkling scales. looking for all the world as if a Dragon had come out of Heaven for a late night swim.

so many months. gazing from top left and down, then right to the next frame, over and over that way for five frames. the first is 8 February 2009, barely 3 hours before my life ended, the night he started dying. then March 2009 and so on until the fourth frame. November and two full moons in December 2009 ~ a Blue Moon on the 31st. then the last frame. January 2010, a new year ~ the start of a whole year where the moon and i face 12 months without my Dragon. the middle moon is the One Year Moon, and then March.
tonight's moon starts another frame of moons. i wonder how many moons i'll have before the last moon of my life?

my daughter said today, "I'll always keep your moons, and I'll take over, taking photos of the full moon. It won't end with you. It will be something the Dragon's girls will be known for."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

heart of stone

ive had a plastic snowman juice cup size of wine. the good kind. it was on sale for $4.95. why don't they just say $5? anyway, it's white zinfandel only it’s pink. why is white wine pink? idid pick it for the color though. it looked soft. in vino veritas. so here is some truth. i’m inebriated. i cannot hold my liquor. my Dragon thought it was hysterical, because i am a funny inebriated person. i hate the word drunk. Dragon said i never got drunk because i never drank enough to qualify. he said when i got inebriated i would finally liberally use contractions. he liked that i relaxed enough to use contractions. here’s another truth. when i was in college, i joined a math club. i used to have a shirt that said, “don’t drink and derive.” and i didn’t. i didn’t have my first drink of alcohol until i was 20. it was after my mother died and my father had kicked me out.

here’s another truth. when i was in high school, i was the astronomy nerd, as in the only one. i read every book i could get my hands on. i wanted to go to the moon. funny, isn’t it? i’ve been looking at the moon my whole life and wishing i could get away. get away from my childhood. get away from people who called me Fluke. get away from my first husband. and now get away from here so i can find him. i want to find my Dragon. the full moon was so cold and silvery the night he died. i hope he wasn’t cold.

but i digress.

my high school had a planetarium. i was such a good student that i was the only one who was trusted to run the planetarium and give the shows for the elementary school kids who came. my Dragon loved that. we’d lie out on the beach below the house we’d rented and i’d point out the constellations and the stars. we kept talking about getting a really good telescope when we had the money and i’d asked for a camera mount so i could take photos of, well, yes, the moon, but also Mars and Jupiter, and maybe out towards Saturn.

as it was though, our money went for the kids and food and that was enough for me. we had such a great time. the cove was my whole world and i never wanted to leave it. i could take photos of the moon rising up over our house without a telescope.

i love him. i miss him. he gave me so much that money can’t ever get you. he worried about not being able to give me the things i never had. i kept telling him i'd had some things but i’d never had love. he gave me love. he wanted to give me the house we both fell in love with though and that would have been nice. we would have had a great time saving it.

but all i wanted was him. he gave me confidence in myself. he thought i had talent. he loved my art. all of it. he understood me when i told him i had so many thoughts and ideas and that i had to use different mediums. stained glass, sculptures, woodcarvings, paintings, sewing, and photography. he bought me a really nice camera. my first digital actually. i’d always been a 35mm snob but film costs so he bought me the digital and turned me lose.

these guys are so hard to get. digital was perfect in that i could just delete rather than agonize over the negatives.

but my digital is failing. it’s grinding and i’m losing pixels. ld. so old and worn out. i went outside to take photos of the moon and i started crying tonight about it sounds so sad inside, and because the moon will be full Tuesday or Wednesday. so i had a plastic cup of wine. it has snowmen on it. i got a set of 8 at the dollar store for Christmas. they are so jolly and the red cup makes the pink white zinfandel seem so festive. but very little is lightening my mood tonight because my camera is slowly dying.

i know, i can get another one. but this is the one my Dragon got me. it has memories. it’s the one that took the last photos of him, on that day. hours before he died. smiling his “why do you need another photo of me” smile. because he is handsome. and wonderful. and strong. and he loves me and i love him and i want to touch him. i want to talk to him. i want to be near him again.

i’ve been without him for so long now and i guess, you know, depending upon fate, it’s only just getting started.

my tinnitus is bad tonight. i turned off the television a long time ago and just have music playing.

so the heart of stone. we had this friend who was a widower. a lobsterman. i think i’ve mentioned him before. he lent us the scuba gear to swim to the island. he told us about the house we lived in. he knew we rented but we had rented for 18 months. it was ironic that we were so quickly accepted in town. we found out from the lobsterman that it was because the locals saw us out in every kind of weather there was. and people liked my sculptures and paintings. i was accepted as an artist. my Dragon was accepted because, well, i mean look at him. he’s cute. he’s gregarious. people just gravitated to him. he is adorable.

anyway, heart of stone. i have to stay on task.

the lobsterman said that down on the rocks by our house was a heart that was naturally cut into the granite. he said few of the locals knew of it either. it was one of those magic things that you find and keep to yourself. you pass it along only to those you feel would appreciate it. he said he liked that we held hands where ever we walked, and the fact that we’d walk from the house on the cove all the way into town and out onto the Neck. he liked that about us. he could tell we were close.

so he thought we’d appreciate the heart of stone. he said he doubted the owners of the house knew it was there. they lived in New York and bought the house sight unseen and only ever rented it. it was an investment for them. how they could not live there, even as summer people, was beyond us but it was our good fortune to get to live there.

so we went out looking for the heart of stone. there’s a lot of rock out there. Rockport isn’t just a metaphor. it took us 3 weeks to find it. but we did. and every day we went to look at it. it’s on the side of a huge boulder that is turned toward the ocean. and it is true. the heart is naturally cut. looking at it, it is a definite heart. touching it, it is rough and uneven. like life. life has always been rough and uneven for me. until my Dragon. he saved me. he loves me. i cannot think of it in the past tense.

tonight, with my snowman cup of pink white zinfandel helping me accept the upcoming demise of the camera my Dragon bought me, i am going to make believe the heart of stone was there for my Dragon and me.

i guess the pink white zinfandel is wearing off. i have stopped relaxing my sentence patterns. i have stopped thinking in contractions. i am sitting here with an empty red, plastic cup with snowmen on it and i have typed away the mind fuzzies.

at this point, at this time of night, my Dragon would have smiled his worldly, devilish smile, winked at me and said, “here love, have just half a cup more. i’ll make sure you get to bed alright.”

i sorely miss his laugh.

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.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

human nature

i had a good day with my daughter yesterday. we only had a couple of errands to run and then we came back to my apartment. i showed her all that i am working on. i showed her sketches of plans for future projects. she gave me jeans to repair. she gets embroidery and patches done for free because she's my BabyLove.

and we talked.

my background on my computer is ever-changing photos of my Dragon. our Dragon. she was watching them change and she'd ask where we were when i took this one, and that one. she knows the stories but she knows i need to talk about him. i love to talk about him. and that's human nature.

it is human nature to miss someone so deeply that your life is forever changed if they go.

i ventured to tell her some truths about me. she told me she could handle it. she's an adult now, 26. God, i remember 26. i gave birth to her on my 26th birthday. but growing up as she did watching me divert, dissuade, and deflect her father's --- attitude --- gave her a maturity some more sheltered and nurtured children do not have. so she wanted to hear.
i told her his dying was terrible. terrible to see and terrible as i face living without him as i grieve the loss of the one person who loved me unconditionally. i told her i will always be this way though i will improve as time passes. i will smile more and laugh more. she knows i am better than i was at this time even 6 months ago, but she also is aware i am different. and i won't be able to go back to the person i was when i was safe in his loving arms.

i told her dreams die hard and that we had found a house we loved. the backyard, of which is in the photo above, backed onto the harbor and we could see the island from almost every window of the house that faced south and east. i told her that i will always love that old stone fort and wish we could have lived there. i told her i would not have moved here if he and i had lived there. i told her i would have stayed and lived alone always surrounded by him, my memories, the ocean, and the storms that rolled in.

i told her there can never be another. i know that they say never say never but my Dragon was such a man that i do not believe anyone can move into my view. i won't see them. i can't. my Dragon was an adventurer at heart. he was a closet intellect and as voracious a reader as me. he loved being outside as much as i did (do) and he showed me that i could climb out to a world i would have previously been afraid to. he gave me strength and hope and loved away my scars until i did not see them anymore. now that he is gone, i see them again. and i feel the loss of his loving gaze very much.

i told her he made me laugh. and i made him laugh. he thought i was funny, and sweet. he liked that i got "drifty" - his word for my absorption at the beauty of the world around us. he said he loved being my "camera bitch" and taking care of me, making sure i drank enough water, didn't walk off the edge of a cliff, or fall into the ocean. he got use to my adoration of him. i told him every day how much i loved him, how handsome i thought he was, and he didn't mind that i told him multiple times a day. i hero worshipped him and he was humbled by it, but he needed my loving attention as much as i needed his. we truly were meant to be a couple. "if two were one then surely we." from the poem. we were one; finishing each others sentences, starting the same sentence at exactly at the same time and always laughing, marveling that our minds were so alike. it sounds stupid and untrue but i don't care. no one was there with us to hear it. but i know it's true and i feel the loss of that kind of unity very much. i will never be the same.

i told my daughter that i miss him as much today as i did the moment he died. i told her i believe i will miss him as much 10 years from now as i do today. that will not change. we married for love. i am not a young woman anymore, middle aged. he was my second husband. and i will say it again. i married him because i love him so deeply that being without him was unimaginable. and it still is. but the reality is i have to face each minute without him, each one knowing i won't see him again in this lifetime. and i can only pray and live my quiet kind of life trying to earn the privilege of being allowed to be with him again.

my daughter is fully aware of my self-esteem issues and how our Dragon was healing me. but since his death, and my having to deal with my ex without Dragon's protection, i have suffered a loss of my hold on where i was. i feel a little guilty that i have not drawn on my knowledge of my Dragon's love to fix this but i try to be kind and remind myself that i am just coming out of the first year of shock facing the fact that he is really gone. this year i am setting myself on the task of not letting him destroy what my Dragon was reviving in me. what is said will hit me. i cannot prevent that, but i will try not to let it tear me down. i know now that i can be loved. my Dragon loved (he loves) me. i just also need to work on the concept that God loves me as well.

human nature is what it is. this is my nature. it is in my nature to always love my Dragon. William Tammeus wrote: "You don't really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at this parents every time around - and why his parents will always wave back." who knows why one person will choose to live alone and grieve for someone for the rest of their life, and wait until they can be together again after this life is finished?

don't answer that. only i know the answer. and my answer will only pertain to me.

ah, Dragon, my love. i miss you.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

near life experience

i woke up this morning to a beautiful day. birds were chirping at a decibel level that far exceeded my own mood but i sincerely tried to adopt their enthusiasm. the sky was blue. it was the middle 70s today. i have a quilt in the frame and a box to create another one on its way to me. and at 1:22 this afternoon East Coast time, it was spring.

but i’m tired, life tired.

see that face? i look tired, don't i? my eyes have that weary cast to them. and the frown line between them. my cheeks are flushed but the fever is gone. i've just been working feverishly today. i'm trying to smile. see it? it doesn't look very good, does it. it looks forced. because it is forced.

i have nothing truly heinous to complain about. my children are grown and healthy, and doing very well. they have a handle on life and are generous and decent. i love them with all my heart.i eat. i have shelter. it is just nothing excites me anymore.

i am going to San Diego and i am happy to go, so very humble to be allowed, and yet, if i were to paint it, it would be a very satisfied grey. now if i were told i’d be walking with my husband on the beach this afternoon, i’d paint it using ceruleans and siennas and mauves and tans. only he gives me a thrill. only he can make me feel happy. when i see him, think of him, i see colors so brilliant it makes my heart burst wide open. i feel ready to live.

my library is closing on April 3rd so the city has more money. twelve libraries are closing in fact. i walked to my branch this morning only to see the sign on the door and hear the death knell playing inside. i am depressed about this because it was my one independent joy, walking to the library. the whole world is in the library. i could escape to anywhere, learn anything, and become anyone. the closest library that is staying open will take me 3 buses and 35 minutes to get there. it is such a tiny thing to be sad over, not even a blip on the screen compared to the problems others face but it’s just a little thing that has been taken away and i will sorely miss my walks there.

i miss my Dragon. as each day goes by, each month, season, i feel more and more attached to him. i do not think of trying to find someone else. i shudder at the thought. the standard is set too high and i honestly cannot tolerate the idea of someone else touching me.

i went up to the throne of love

the king stooped down to me

he put a kiss on my lifted face

then died and set me free.

oh, i would travel the whole world o’er

and i could have love if i would

but nevermore shall a beggar stand

in the place where the king has stood.

people get upset with absolutes so i will simply say; i am not ready to think about it much less try at this time.

i am tired of life. i haven’t had the fun i know can be had. i haven’t had it all and then lost it. ihave had parts of all and lost that. my parents had lots of money and i grew up with material things. but they did not like me and i could not become something different. my first husband made lots of money and we had nice houses but the price of living with him and his money scarred me both physically and emotionally. i wanted love. i wanted to be loved.

i was given my Dragon but homes were taken away and what little money we had went out the door to pay for my divorce debt and for my children to live. i was allowed to live in nice homes provided by parents first and then my ex but i was not loved. i was loved but had no home of my own. the one house my Dragon rented for us on the cove was the best of all though. we were so very happy there, and we had dreams that no one could steal from us.

but he died and i cannot bring myself to be angry with God because i know how very much my Dragon hurt. his body was worn out. all those scars of his that i kissed....well, kisses don’t always make it better. God was being good to my Dragon if you want to put a positive, “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle” kind of spin to it. however, it has not been good for me.

because i miss him.

i’m not sleeping again. it’s like back in the days of yore, the first 7 or 8 months right after he died. no matter how tired i am i cannot sleep without the help of Captain Generic, the pill of a lesser God, not the original and twice as expensive Advil PM but one from the other side of the tracks (read shelf here).

i feel not quite alive. i am lonely. fifteen to twenty hours a month to be with another person is not much. my daughter is so good to me. she worries and knows i lie to her about how i feel. she knows i hurt. she wishes i had found a friend. i sort of wish i had, too. i know people have gatherings and walks, people who surround them and help them. they have friends they "could not have done this without." i have done this without though.

i know one widow (yes, yes, one from the group i am no longer in contact with because i did not meet her standards) who has yet to go grocery shopping for herself. it has been one year and her neighbors are so thorough in weaving their net under her that they cook for her 3- 5 times a week. bringing over casseroles and breads and desserts to her, visiting with her. am i envious? i am ashamed to say yes.

i went through my Dragon's birthday, our wedding anniversary, Christmas, most of Christmas day, New Year's, my birthday, the one year anniversary, and Valentine's Day - the anniversary of his funeral alone. completely alone. the phone calls were from my two children who were desperately upset that they could not be with me due to their work schedules. but other than those phone calls, i endured those firsts utterly alone. in silence.

ah, there's the anger. it's not directed at God. it's just frustration that i cannot find anyone who sees me as a human being who might need to tell her story to someone sitting in the same room with me. "oh, my God, why didn't you call?" i did. i have tried. you told me you were busy and would get back to me.

i am tired of being thought of as strong, or a commodity. i think i talk too much now if i get the opportunity to be around another human being. i am so alone for such long stretches at a time that i am afraid i am disappearing so i tend to be too chatty. i can tear myself apart for you analyzing why i am not an attractive prospect for friendship, but i won't. there's no point if i think i know why people do not wish to be around me. i can only sigh and wish it were different. i can only wish i were different. or more likable. or someone else.

which is stupid because if i were someone else, i would not have been my Dragon's wife. he liked me as well as loved me.

you know, he’d love the weather today. we’d walk and i’d take his picture. he’d be in shorts and i love his legs. they are so strong. and thick. he has muscles on top of muscle. his thighs put the "David" to shame. he is such a physical person with me, always touching, so we’d be holding hands. if i stopped to take a picture that wasn’t of him, he’d stand with me and put his hand on my back, my shoulder, brush my hair from my face. always touching.

i miss that.

i think i’m tired from the strep. i had it for almost 3 weeks before i had the wherewithal to get to a cheap clinic. i had asked the ex for help in getting to a clinic but he wanted me to shop around for the best deal. so i did. i finally found a good enough deal and presented it to him at the same time i made my presentation for my middle of the month stipend. it was just in time too because i had had a fever for 4 days straight. i’m coming back but i had it in my system for so long that i’m still tired from it. i work for an hour or two now and then have to take 15 or 20 minutes to just sit back and rest. but I am getting better. i can still work until really late so no one can say i'm lazing around.

i’m just not alive anymore.

when i was with my Dragon, i was. i was more alive than i have ever been in my entire life.there was love and love makes you believe in life, in dreams, and in yourself. i was an entertaining person to be around. we had some friends who liked both of us. that means me included. i was someone people wanted to know. i think it was because my Dragon saw me. now that he is gone, i am gone.

hey, i don’t make the rules. it's science. it’s a rule of science that the only reason objects are visible is because light bounces off them. he was my light. and now it is dark. because he is gone. i can’t make it any simpler than that.


last night i got up because i was thirsty. i have this plastic star that, when pressed, lights. it’s a night light of sorts. i was groggy from Captain Generic so i stumbled down the hall. don’t worry. it’s a short hall. and i saw him. i saw my Dragon standing there in that faux starlight. he took my breathe away. he was so handsome and his expression so intense. he had shaved his beard, which was fine because he is so handsome no matter what he does. his shoulders were so wide and his chest, so ready for me to lay my head on it and hear his heart beating again under my ear.

he was back. he had come back to me.

but it was only a near life experience. it was an illusion created by the light from my star shining on the glass of one of my pictures of him in this shrine that some refer to as my apartment.

when i realized my mistake i got teary. i sat down and looked at the star in my lap and kept hoping and praying, and wishing. “i wish i may i wish i might, have the wish i wish tonight….” then i would look up but he wasn't there.

my Dragon isn’t coming back. that’s the price one pays for a near life experience, sudden reality. they, whoever they are, are really going to make me wait until i die and then hope i am judged good enough to be with him.

but you know for a moment, for that one moment very deep into the night last night, i thought i was home, because he was home. and for that one brief moment, i was alive.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

impasse with God

Warning: This post contains thoughts of religion and the afterlife. Herein are my beliefs and worries, thoughts and hopes. They are based on my chose faith, Catholicism. I have already been punished by the family of my childhood for my conversion. There is no need for anyone to force himself or herself to read and then condemn me as well. Their job was thorough. Well-thought and well-meant comments are welcome. Spiteful and cruel arrogance will be deleted. I do not need anymore of it in my life than I already had, and have.

what happens at the moment of death? where did my Dragon go? this has been crushing me since that moment when i knew, before the paramedics came through the door, i knew he was leaving me. no one can look like that, no one can struggle so to breathe and be saved. was he gone during those moments when he became red in the face? was he gone when they sent me from the room? did he leave his body at the hospital? before he got there? where is he?

did he fly past the moon that night? fanciful i know but there is a poet in me that wants to write about it that way. did someone he trust and love come to get him? his mother? i have to know and yet, it isn’t for me to know, is it? or we’d all know. it would be taught to us as children. Jesus would have clarified.

as a child i believed in Heaven. i accepted it as quickly as i did everything my mother told me. there was Heaven. there was Hell. Hell was spoken of more to me as a child in reference to the punishment waiting for me should i not go to sleep, or if i couldn’t, what would happen if i woke my mother up. “There is a trapdoor under your bed that leads straight to Hell. If you are loud, or wake me up, demons will open the door and reach up with their long arms and grabbed your hands and drag you straight to Hell.”

to this day, at the age of 52, i clasp my hands when i attempt sleep so that they are occupied and the demons cannot grab them. that they can grab my arms or legs or neck is something i cannot do anything about. but my mother only ever mentioned my hands and it’s my hands i keep filled. i used to hold my Dragon. he understood and quietly wept for the child i never got to be. now i am back to holding my own hands.

and i am weary of this particular worry.

when i lost my son 27 ½ years ago, i knew he went to Heaven. he is innocent. he is my little baby, my sweet, Sweet Little Star. each of my children has a nickname that i gave them when the doctors first let me hold them. they were born and swaddled and given to me to hold for a moment before being taken for their Apgar scoring. i whispered each their name against their soft cheeks, letting my lips brush their skin for the first time. my Sweet Little Star. my BabyLove. my Little Boy Blue. i was determined to never be the mother my mother was. i gave them all so much of myself. my Sweet Little Star is in Heaven. i am sure. and i will see him if i am allowed to go. but will i get to go?

what will happen? what has already happened to my Dragon? he felt he would go to Hell for all that he did in service to his country. i told him he killed for his country but he was not a murderer anymore than a policeman who saves people from the bad guys are murderers. i told him that what he did, he did for God and country and that his honor and integrity, his worries for his soul would grant him his place in Heaven. he fought for his country. he fought for an idea and an ideal that was, at the heart of it, good and decent.

he would smile at me but i hope, i think i saw, relief in his eyes. he felt i knew what i was talking about. he called himself a heathen. i called him my lovely Dragon who saved my children and me.

but a year has passed and i am so alone and so tired. while worrying about money and health care, i still wonder and worry about Heaven and he is really there, and if i would be allowed to be with him. was what i always told him correct? nothing can shake faith like the loss of someone so important. after everyone goes back to their lives, and the alone time comes, the exploration of the dogma and the examination of faith starts. how to you keep to your faith when it is tested to this magnitude? my Dragon is somewhere i cannot go yet. i am not even allowed to know. when it is my time to go, will I be reunited with him?

to comfort myself, i try to create the image of my sailing out to find him. since i am so tired of life, i am too tired to believe i could fly. but he is my Dragon and he will come out of a beautiful sky to find me. he will take me up with him on his great back and we will go off to Heaven where i can rest for a moment.

however my inner child, the one that was religiously threatened with a trapdoor of demons under my bed begs God to let me be with my Dragon with promises that i will work so very hard in Heaven. please, oh, please just let me be with him. i won’t touch him if i’m not supposed to. i will just look at him while i work for You, listen to his deep voice, wait for his smiles. but, please, let me just be near him.

{it is a pathetic little prayer, isn't it? "When Rabbit Howls." a book i studied my first semester in abnorm. psych. i thought it then. i think it now. sometimes things can happen to a child that changes them forever. they become something different than what they were meant to be.}

so many theologians and philosophers have written their interpretations of Heaven, when it starts, who goes, and is there marriage and love there. some believe we are reunited but only insofar as we know each other but never look at the other because we are looking at God. some wrote of marriage being an earthly institution that cannot continue in Heaven because all things of this earth die. Catholic bishop Wilhelm Schneider predicted that God would bless the holy sacrament of marriage and that couples would reunite in Heaven, meeting joyfully, and that their unions blessed on earth through the priest, would now be blessed by God. he went on to touch on physical love saying that in Heaven, “we are freed from inordinate passion,” but that our reunions with our spouses would be “a spiritual union and will continue in the purest and most delightful interchange.” i've known priests who had a hard time discussing physical love. i've known others that were salt of the earth men who knew there was such a thing as sex and their counsel was wise indeed.

i cannot imagine my Dragon restraining himself, even in Heaven, especially in Heaven, where all good things come to those who have waited. he was a man of great passion. Heaven would have to make allowances for him.

i like what the chaplain to the queen of England, Charles Kingsley (1819-1875) wrote of his marriage to his beloved wife, Fanny. “All I can say is, if I do not love my wife, body and soul as well there as I do here, then there is neither resurrection of my body or of my soul, but of some other, and I shall not be I.”

there is a poem called “The Blessed Damozel” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. in it he tells of the reunion of lovers in Heaven. in Heaven couples have similar clothes, hair, and faces. they hug, kiss, and gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes. when Damozel arrives in Heaven, she cries because she cannot feel whole, such is her love for her husband. God makes her complete, but it is through her husband that she will feel all of Heaven. the poem creates a kind of quad-eternity rather than the Holy Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, and the Divine Couple that were joined on earth through their pure and eternal love. they are God’s children and Damozel needs to know that they will be reunited when her husband dies and comes to Heaven.

the last verses have the appearance of the figure of Mary. here She is not merely the mother of Christ, but a sacred person who understands women and the role their mates and children play in their lives. She is the Blessed Mother of all. Damozel proclaims that it will be Mary who will bring her and her love to a sympathetic and loving Christ and it is Damozel who speaks last.

There will I ask of Christ the Lord

Thus much for him and me: -

Only to live as once on earth

With Love, - only to be,

As then awhile, forever now

Together, I and he.

it is my belief that God created an enchanting world filled with what i see as miraculous, awe-inspiring beauty.

He wants us to be happy here. He gave us the gift of being able to love. He gave us marriage. Jesus loved to go to the celebrations of marriages so why would marriage be taboo in Heaven? and if someone, say someone like me, who had lived their whole life praying and being quiet, and worrying about the trapdoor of demons under the bed, why would they be as instantly relegated to Hell as her mother was so willing to do? i’ve read William March. i was not a "Bad Seed." i was a little girl who thought the world was beautiful and liked to collect rocks and blow the seeds off dandelions. i still do those things. sadly, i also still feel that if there can be demons under a little girl's bed to keep her silent, then God is going to have a hard time deciding on me. if my mother could firmly stamp that into my child's mind, what hope would i have of God's grace?

i am at an impasse, of sorts, with God. i would like to know, very much like to know. i know i will not know until it is my time to know. when i fear too much what will happen to me, i think of what i said to my Dragon. when i worry about my Dragon who is apart from me, maybe not hearing me tell him i love him, not hearing my assurances that he is a good man and worthy of the Heaven he feels he denied himself by being a Marine, i remind myself of two things:

we are all God’s children and Jesus asks the children to come to Him.

i also remind myself that God is above all else, a God of love, and love has many definitions. after all, He gave me the sun and the moon……..

.....and He honored me with my Dragon.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

my immortal beloved

my dearest heart, my love, my Dragon,

i love this picture of you. we were doing Habitat for Humanity and they took our photos for some brochure or something. i think it would have been better to have our photos taken after we were dusty. but i love your smile here, the tilt of your head. so handsome.

i'm just okay but okay is all i can be while we are apart. i miss you greatly and nothing is right. food does not carry the same flavor. the sun is not as warm. the mornings are awful to wake to because i find this is not a dream.

remember that song, "you are my sunshine?" the first verse that few ever sing plays out in my head.

late one night, dear, as i lay sleeping
i dreamed i held you in my arms
when i awoke found i was mistaken
and i hung my head and cried.

you are my immortal beloved. much like Beethoven loved and wrote to a woman no one knew the identity of, i carry a torch for you just as powerful. a little over a year out and the sorrow and aloneness i feel because you are not with me is still as strong as my first day left behind. it is more familiar though and the thought of that can weaken the remaining piece of my heart until i pant from lack of being able to breathe.

our son sent me a flowery bunny. Beach Bunny with Daisies he called her. he reads and looks at the pictures. his note said he sees me getting stronger. he loved my defense of you in the previous post. that mom, the one of strong words and titanium convictions is the one he grew up with. he called me his shield. but the shield is battered now and very old, or feels that way. so much damage has been done to it.

a shield. i think i will put that analogy to rest and take up Daisy Beach Bunny instead. she isn't as worn out. she may look like an aging hippie but she's lighter, softer, and she is covered in your daisies a day. i miss you singing that. "i'll give you a daisy a day, dear......" i hope when i die that is one of the first things i hear. your voice singing to me. waiting for me. reaching out to me to take my hand and guide me as you did before. at any rate, Daisy Beach Bunny is still blessed with the talent of using a needle. she is working on the fifth dragon handkerchief. psssst. a little hint. she wanted a full moon in the center.

this is an "i ache for you" day. i'll be this way all day, however, don't worry. it is a familiar agony. i am comfortable with it since i know it so well. i'll embroider and quilt and sew all day. there's a new television show coming on late tonight that i'll check out for us. it's based on one of your favorite Elmore Leonard characters. i just wish we were together to talk about it after.

ah, well, our little Scootie Wootums is dancing like Michael Flatley. i think it's time to go for a short walk. then back to the solace of sewing.

i love you, my Dragon. i will always be your wife. you will always be my beloved, only now you are immortal. please watch over me as i stand watch over your memory, your pedestal. (i had to say it that way because it pleases me to do so. i'm down. i'm being walked on. i haven't given up.)

i'll see you tonight, in my fantasies, my dreams, my prayers.

Friday, March 12, 2010

the Dragon on the Pedestal

i find i am in a position of needing, no, wanting to defend my Dragon on the pedestal.the above photo is my symbolic one for him on a pedestal. he is pewter here, and his pedestal is an old wooden spool of thread. it is merely a visual.

anyone who writes their own blog knows they will get comments and emails. so many are supportive that they seem to create a slender thread, much like the one that developed between the characters in the film of the same name. for someone like me who does not own a car and has no real contact with the outside world, this virtual contact is a slender thread of sorts that connects me to a world that i sometimes feel has largely forgotten i still live. if someone leaves a comment, or email, then someone knows i am out here, still breathing, still adjusting to a life without my Dragon.

i got an email from a woman who, under the guise of an eager expert, insisted that she knew my life and thoughts better than i. she felt my marriage to my Dragon, and even the Dragon himself, wasn’t as i remembered him. she wanted to tell me that in my grief i was not seeing him clearly. “He was not perfect,” she said, and neither was my marriage so i needed to, let me paste it in here, “tell it like it is, why don’t you?”

i think because i have related that my life is one where i have been beaten down, and now appear weak due to writing of my deep and lasting grief for a man the likes of which i will never find again, there are a few people who believe i am spineless. i am not. i am tired of life. i am exhausted from grief. i am not, however, deluded or insane. for all the creativity I am capable of, for all the dreams and fantasies i have shimmering in my mind, i am an intelligent, introspective, and pragmatic person. my personality leans towards a calm, quiet demeanor. but i know my own mind. like sees like and i think my Dragon saw the smaller, quieter dragon in me. i can become terse.

late last spring, this woman’s email would have made me cry because i was in shock over my Dragon ‘s sudden, tragic death. last fall, i would have recoiled in horror due to the seeming immense cruelty and perverse ego that thinks it knows someone it does not. between Christmas and Valentine’s Day, i would have been wounded as i was reeling from the many firsts that hit through that 2-month period. now, when i opened the email and read her words of infinite wisdom from the planet of It Has Never Happened to Me but I Know Some People and I Know How I Would Handle It, i shook my head at her naïveté. she feels she has magic vision and knows what went on behind closed doors.

allow me this time to pull up my keyboard and open that door.

the quick and ugly is that up until the moment i met my Dragon when i was 44, i was exhausted from being on guard. i had learned that the best way to go around was to sneak around, and the best way to get along was to adopt the bobble head strategy of “Yes, you are right and i am wrong. i’m sorry, so sorry. Please forgive me.” let me assure you it was merely a strategy to survive. i did lose a lot of myself. chipping away at anything means pieces are lost; sometimes a lot of pieces. but you have to remember that i got away. i got away from my mother and i got away from my first marriage. it took time but i left both of them with some a shred of dignity and my hands still pushing up on the heels of their boots. no one touched my mind. no one affected what i believed to be true nor changed the person i was when the Dragon saw me deep inside me. i was still very capable of fighting for the survival of my children and myself.

i still can. i can also speak to what is my own personal truth. so to the woman who believes she knows it all, let me address your concerns. this time i am not typing from my knees in grief. this post comes from standing beside my Dragon that i keep on the pedestal. i am protecting what was and what is. he will stay there because i, and only i, know what went on behind closed doors. i have been behind quite a few in my life and trust me, no one knows better than the person behind the door.

i never said my Dragon or my marriage was perfect. no, i have not gone back over each and every post. i do not have to. i know what i wrote. i have an eidetic memory plus my retention for the written word, especially my own, is excellent. i am grieving. i have not suffered brain damage.

what i said was my Dragon wasn’t perfect but he was perfect for me. our life was hard but our marriage was fantastic. i agree that no one is perfect but i believe there are degrees of acceptance and tolerance of another’s eccentricities that can turn them into mere quirks that quickly make them come to be cherished. this kind of acceptance can be seen as a necessary part of love so it can grow with the people who are involved, and can withstand the pressures and tragedies of everyday life. understanding a man or a woman is, i believe, required to make a relationship not only last, but be all encompassing, spiritually, emotionally, as well as physically.

my imperfect Dragon is on the pedestal. that seemed to put you in a dither. i had written that i had put him on a pedestal during our marriage, while he still lived, and i wrote that he is there now. i want to express clearly that, to me, and only me, he has the right to be on my pedestal.

within my Dragon, no one thing stood out as a glaring character flaw i had a difficult time accepting. i am one person who knows about character flaws. i was whipped, struck, and locked in a small room all before i got to third grade. i was cornered, choked, hit, pinched, grabbed, shaken, and other manner of things all before i met my Dragon. i know a character flaw when i see one.

but for the sake of argument let me try to relate some things i had to adapt to for the honor of being the Dragon’s wife.

his voice was loud. it would reverberate around any room. it could be heard over the roar of an angry ocean. i had to adapt to that voice. i have never liked loud voices. they can give me flashbacks to times when i was physically helpless and someone was in my face. when my Dragon was angry his voice was a very powerful instrument. if he was upset with me, though, he deliberately kept it soft. he knew what i had endured. i had told him before we married. he and i both thought it only fair to open our baggage along the way as our love for each other grew. that is another reason for, or defining evidence of why we love each other so very much. we were adults. we had both experienced a lot. we knew what we wanted for ourselves and for each other. if he needed to explain his side of something, he kept his voice softer. he related his being upset without sounding loud and intimidating. he didn’t want to add to that particular script in my head.

he was fearless while i was more timid. he would walk out on rocks that i had no business trying even with my graceless crawl. but he would look back at me with his adventurer’s smile and offer his hand. i would be afraid of falling but i wanted to go with him. i learned to trust him and reach out to put my hand in his. i am glad i conquered my fear for i got to see and do things i would have missed. and so would he because he would not have left me there.

he ate things i thought were gross. he had been all over the world and eaten bugs and slimy things that are considered delicacies, but to me seemed to need a shot of Raid. i never learned to eat that stuff. i just watched.

he wasn’t tall, dark, and handsome. he was my height, powerfully built, and staggeringly handsome. it’s a personal preference. no one needs to agree with me. i didn’t base my continued dating or marrying him on his looks. i went with my instinct. i went with what he said. i brought my children into our growing relationship based on knowing his character. i asked questions and i watched his answers as much as i listened to them. i love the physical man but i also love the man he is/was inside.

he...i am struggling with anything so horrendous that it was tedious and frustrating to have to live with him, to make me think, 'he is soo imperfect.'

he is/was a good man. he was sweet and kind to me. he knew my whole story and kissed all the hurts away. he was helping me build myself back up stone by stone. in turn, he gave me his dreams and his thoughts. we shared everything. we talked books and movies, foreign policy and religion, crime and punishment, God, Mohammad, and Buddha.

he never got angry at me, only angry at what had been done to me and the lasting effects. i would scare him if i stayed at the beach alone too long. he was afraid that with my new sense of security and faith in his abilities, i would get into trouble. then i would see The Face. intent upon finding me. am i all right? am i being crazy trying to lug some honking big piece of driftwood up to the house by myself? i had quite a large commission for my driftwood sculptures and i would go hunting after storms. he knew i got lost in my work plus i always got dreamy while at the beach. i love The Face. that's it up there at the top, the main blog photo right now, intent upon finding me. such intensity. when he saw me, he’d smile, and the sun would come out no matter how dark the day.

he had flashbacks but that’s not a character flaw. the dark recesses of his mind replayed things from his life as a Marine and i would wake to help him quiet down. i would love him back to me. i was grateful he wasn’t alone, that i was with him to be able to do this for him.

he was stinky when he was sweaty but his neck always smelled and tasted good even when he was stinky. i don’t mind dirt and sweat. i was usually dirty and sweaty right along with him.

i love his mustache and beard and he kept them year round just for me. he did like to keep his hair short and i learned to cut it for him. i like him with longer hair but we compromised every June. facial hair stayed. hair was buzzed boot camp short.

he let me play with him, touch him, caress his mustache and beard. i got to touch his muscles and his scars. some were rigged. some were smooth. he didn’t tell me how he got them all. i always wanted to know but some were too difficult for him to talk about. now that he has died i wish with all my heart that i got to enough of his stories, to enough of anguish to have brought him peace.

he could be a silent man but then i knew how to be silent with him. he was in awe of the majesty of where we lived as much as i was. he knew to look down and up whenever we were out walking. he carried the sack of shells and stones we always picked up.

it seems i cannot find a great many negative things to say. c’est la vie to the woman who seems to know it all.

he took over the enormous debt my ex left me with. he complained about my being screwed but he never called me stupid or reckless for not fighting for my financial rights. he knew i was fearful about the threats, or promises as they were referred to, for my children. he also didn’t go vigilante and make my ex disappear off the face of the earth. the paperwork would have been monumental.

my Dragon is/was my best friend. he was my confident. he knew more about me than my doctor. he was my mirror when “you stupid, fat bitch” echoed out of the past into the forefront of my mind. he had wonderful, ridiculous terms of endearment for me but the one he called me by most was, “love.”

his singing voice was deep and haunting but only when he sang our song to me. he loved to sing in this terrible voice he affected just to make me laugh.

he is the love of my life after a life of not ever being loved. i never felt safer or more valued. through introspection, i know i had to have more irritating habits and annoying quirks than he ever did. when he finally found me i was so tied up in knots that i was a very closed off and tense woman living in the shadows. he was taking the time and gentle care to untie the knots and set me free.

he was setting me free to fly with him wherever life was going to take us. that was one of his wonderful gifts to me, our gift to each other. being there for each other when our memories tried to wound us was another defining aspect of our marriage. we knew what the other had been through. we cared deeply about each other's spirit, each other's soul. we love each other.

so i put him on a pedestal. not many of us get to have someone in our lives for whom a pedestal is warranted. a Dragon found me. he is/was the most awesome sight to see. he had the powers of healing abandoned souls. he healed my soul. he gave my children someone to look up to and adore. so i put him on a pedestal. it is my pedestal. i built it for him. it will stand as long as i am alive. he deserves something much more grand, but a pedestal is all i own.

and after i am gone, he will still stand very tall over a world and a society who will never know all he did for it. but as long as i am here, i will write about a Dragon who saved a woman from the shadows. that i can talk about.