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.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Bunny is very, very sick.....

......really sick. she is a little scared, too. she went to work and got up from the stuffer that stuffs the bears and bunnies and she staggered dizzily from not being able to breathe. they saw and sent her on her way. she is so hot and so cold. her little Bunny Bun Bun head hurts awful and every time she coughs it is like knives are being thrust into her little Bunny chest.

she is a little scared this time around. this feels a little worse. she can hardly wait for her daughter to get off work and talk to her.

she can hardly wait until she feels better. maybe when the fever breaks. maybe if she could just take one deep breathe that does not hurt her.

maybe if she did not have to work tomorrow. scared little Bunny quivering under the quilt.
it is not new year's eve to Bunny. it is just another day that she is so very sick. and scared about it.

Dragon? where are you? i need you! please come sit with me. please. *hot Bunny tears fall*

Thursday, December 30, 2010

never thought......

i never thought i'd feel this ill,
i never thought i'd be this tired,
i never thought i'd need you so
that you could not be with me.

i never thought i feel this misplaced
in a world i no longer know;
i never thought i'd be this weary
and not have you to hold me.

i never thought i'd be this old this young.
i never thought i'd be this young
and have to live without you.
i never thought you'd have to go.

we promised each other our whole lives
but "our" life ended too soon.
i'm ill and weary, lonely for you,
and there is nothing i can do.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

one sided conversation

i have been embroidering jeans and a shirt for Bunny, the Traveling Ambassador of Grief and Whimsey. she will be very pretty when i am done. also she will have sounds in her little hands/paws. one side will say, "i love you." the other side will giggle like Bunny here does.Bunny and i have been working very hard and we ran out of Airborne, that tablet that helps prevent us from getting colds. well, we got one and, like in times before, it is a doozy. crushing chest weights. fever. chills. feeling like i will not make it. they seem to get worse every year.

so here is the one sided conversation that plays out in my head like it has in the past.

i give you, my Dragon.

She is sick again. I can hear her wheezing badly. God, I hate this. I wish I could take care of her but I can't anymore. I can only be here out of reach, out of her hearing me. It brings her down so low and yesterday, if I could have done something to stop her I would have. She went to work. She f***ing went to work feeling like she does! I know {our daughter} was really upset and worried. Every breath she takes she wheezes. She sounds likes she's whistling. And the fever. How could they not tell she was sick? She's killing herself to keep that job. If they don't hire her permanently I am going to come down there and raise some hell!

Dragon, can you hear me? probably not. you're in Heaven and i'm down here in Purgatory. well, not really Purgatory but you know what i mean. being without you feels like that. {long pause} i'm sick again. it's in my chest. why does it always settle in my chest? i know, my lungs were scarred or damaged from that time before. i'm hot. i'm so hot right now. and i may have to work from 5 - 10 PM tonight. i'm on call, like last night. but you would have been proud of me. i got there and focused on the job and brought up the percentage of sales on sounds. i did a good job.

Aw, Bunny, my love. I wish you could hear me and know I'm here. Please know I'm here. I could never leave you. You always believed in God. I was the heathen. You know God would never let me be far from you. You were the one who believed. I'm here. Close your eyes and feel me close.

i wish you were here. i like the way you made the hot tea. i don't know what you did but it always tasted good and it helped me sleep.

Because I slipped in some whiskey. You never knew that. I wished I had told you so you could do it now. There were so many things I did for you. I wish I hadn't been so sneaky. Like the hot washcloths for your chest. I rubbed Vick's on them. God, I wish I had told you. I just never thought I'd have to leave like I did.

i'm so tired. i wish things were different. i wish you hadn't had to go. i can't eat. nothing tastes good and i'm too tired to really cook. {our daughter} is worried enough without me telling her how down i really feel. she got mad at me for going into work last night.

She was just upset, Love. She was just worried about you. You look so tired and you sound sick. You can't breathe! Just stay down today. Lay around and sleep. Read. Sew a little but only if you can do it while laying on the sofa. Please. For me. I don't want you to die like this. Gasping for air. Like I did. Your voice. God, I remember your voice. How scared you were. And you're there alone. Without me to help you, to be there for you. But I'm here, Love, my Beautiful Bunny. I'll be here for you always.

i wish you could hear me. i wish i knew if you were out there to watch over me, waiting for me. i'm laying on my pillowcase with your face on it. i'm under my quilt i made from some of your clothes. i just wish it were you i was laying with. i think i could sleep if only you were here with me.
I'm here, my Love. Try to sleep. Play your songs and try to sleep. Let the medicine try to work. I'm here, my Bunny. Close your eyes and try to find me in your dreams.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Bunny, the Traveling Ambassador

i have had such a great response to my crazy idea of sending Bunny to all of you for a visit. i have already gotten some email with your addresses. if you want a visit from Bunny, please click the link at the right, my full moon profile, to get to my email address. send me your mailing address and i will put it in Bunny's journal for someone to mail her to you.

i work today and will be picking up a little shirt and a pair of jeans that i am going to embroider for her. i'd like to get a bunch of address for her so i can have her in the mail by either the 14th or 21st of January. i think by then everyone who wants a visit will have emailed me.

so get those addresses to me so we can get Bunny on her way.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

wild idea on a lonely Christmas Day

so i am answering an email to Suddenwidow when i had this, what i thought was, an amazing idea. i could make another Bunny, just like my Bunny, and mail her to different people for a "visit."

let me quantify this with: i am alone today. my daughter has already come and gone. i have a cold. maybe it is the guaifenesin talking.

but i could mail Bunny to someone. i would send a journal along with her so everyone could write little notes in it, draw little drawings, put in stickers and tape in postcards. if she goes to another country, put in a coin and a stamp from there. also write about your grief. write down your heart's thoughts to her because she understands what you have lost. she is a good listener.

take little photos of Bunny in the snow, in your home on the sofa munching on the popcorn, beside the water if you live near water {just not in the water}. email the photos to me and when she is returned to me ~ i will set a deadline, like October 1st she needs to be mailed back to me ~ i can write about her travels and print up the photos and mail it to everyone.

she could visit Suddenwidow, Dan, Boo, J in Wales, Lonesome Dove, Judy, all of you who wish to be part of it. let me know where she is and where she is headed and i will plot her on a map.

she could be our fuzzy Ambassador of Grief and Whimsey.

i never thought i would put those two words together.

what do you think? am i crazy? am i living vicariously through Bunny since i cannot go anywhere?

i will make another Bunny since i cannot, cannot, absolutely cannot let this Bunny go. i hope some of you want to participate. let me know either email or as comments and we'll get this started. at worst, it is something to look forward to.
Traveling Bunny of Grief and Whimsey
only she will be in a box and not be bringing so much stuff.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve II ~ The Kiss, my poem, and other ramblings

i am finished with work for today. i was there for the store to open at 8 AM and put in my hours. for the first time in over a week i am back here before dark. the dogs love it. it is nice to be back before dark. i am about to start in working on another Memory Quilt, but i wanted to post my Christmas Eve poem. i think it might be a yearly thing. who knows anymore. we make plans then someone dies and it all goes awry.

the Bun is not a fan of "awry."

first, The Kiss. Bunny and i got back here and she instantly wanted out of her Christmas Elf costume. oh, wow, were those leggings hot. she put on her jeans and sweater since we are keeping the apartment temp. a little cooler to save money. we sat down to write the poem when Dragon caught the eye.

*sigh* my Dragon was a great kisser. i miss kissing him. he kissed slow and lazy. i will not go into detail, but the man had mad skills. Bunny would go all slumpy and he would rumble a deep laugh at her surrender to his kissing. {there. that was not too graphic.}
a great kiss deserves a close up.
but Bunny is alone again this Christmas. her children have other places to be. her son got teary and her daughter is militant about the length of time that she will spend at her in-laws. she will be stopping by later on Christmas Day. yea!

but for now.....

Bunny is home alone right now
with no one to see
and nowhere to go,
but Bunny has plenty to do this eve
for there's words to write
and things to sew.

it's Christmas Eve again for Bun
she's lonely and blue
and missing her love,
But God and the moon made promises
to her, that he's happy and
safe in Heaven above.

so for yet another Christmas Eve
Bunny will sigh and
Bunny may cry,
but she's willing to wait for Dragon Time
when he comes to take her
to his Home in the sky.


i have been thinking about this word. waiting around. waiting room. this is a really nice planet. there are a lot of beautiful things here to see. lovely waterfalls. beautiful gorges. trees that seem to almost touch Heaven. the ocean so deep with fish that have lights of their own.

but now that my Dragon has gone, i find that i look at the sky often. i am reading a book someone sent me. it is titled, "Seven Choices." i am not very far into it, but one thing stood out. the woman who authored the book writes that she did not want to be defined by her grief. i have heard and read this a lot. i know a great many widow(ers)s feel this way. they do not want to be defined by the death of their spouse. i understand this. for them. i am not sure about it for me. i do not know what it means to me, or about me, or for me.

i hate the word widow, but at this point, i am more used to it. i do tell people i am my Dragon's widow if they specifically ask. i do not know if i am defined by my grief. at 22 months, i still feel it deeply though the guests who come through the store would never guess that i am even sad at all. but i have gotten off work, been driven back here, gotten inside and cried my eyes out.

i miss him. i admit i would like to have him back. i know i cannot. i know what is reality and what is wishful thinking, or wistful thinking.

i think i am a waiting kind of person. i say that at this moment in my life. i am waiting. i do not really care if anyone does not understand or scoffs at me. it is what i feel and know right now. he is my husband. he is my friend, my happiness, my life, my soul, my future.....

he is my love.

he is my Christmas.

i guess i am still grieving? deeply? actively? i do not know. what i do know is i would love for him to be here. i would love to be with him right now. i would love to not be so....... sad? down? bucking myself off the Grief-Empowerment Band Wagon? (long story ~ some other time}. i have not taken off my rings. i still have a lot of his stuff lying around with no impulse to do anything with it. it comforts me to see it, even if i have to move it aside to get to something else.

i am willing to wait. i will work and eat and walk the dogs and laugh with my children and sew for them and for others and myself. but i have this waiting feeling inside me. this world is my waiting room. i am waiting for my clock to wind down and the final chapter of my life to be written. then i fully expect my pages will be gathered up and added to the library that i like to tell myself is behind the moon. my chapters will be fitted in next to my Dragon's because our story has to end together....

with us being together....

it just has to because he and i are meant to be.

i am still having the bad dreams, but then i have off and on my whole life. i know why, but i do not know how to make them stop. the recurring dream hit me again hard last night and i wake up jarred. it feels so real when i am in it and yes, while i am there i know that it is not real, but i still run, i still get hurt, and i wake up clawing the air. there is no point in putting it in my Dream Journal. i know it by heart. i have had this dream since i was a little girl, and even after i was safe in my Dragon's arms.

the heartbreaking point is that i used to deal with it by myself. it was what it was. but now i know what it is like to wake from it held tightly and safely in my Dragon's arms. having had that, remembering how tenderly he treated me, and now having to face this alone again....... shattering. heartbreaking. yeah, all that.
it is Christmas Eve. almost time to plug in my little string of lights. i will sketch out this quilt tonight and see how far i get before i get too tired. i will have comedies on the television for light-hearted fair as the evening wears on into Santa time. then i will go to bed with my two Scotties.

and when i wake up, it will be Christmas. Christmas without my son again. Christmas without my daughter until late.

Christmas without my Dragon.

{whispered low for Bunny's benefit alone.}
i can do this. i can do this. it will be alright. i will be alright. right?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas is Over ~ Butterflies

i am sad today. discombobulated. i feel hollow inside.
and blessed.
my handsome wonderful son came to spend one day with me. he got into town Monday, the 20th in time to pick me up from work. we spend Tuesday, the 21st, together with his sister {my lovely daughter}, and he just left to drive back to Florida. and i feel such heartache. and peace. i love my children. i love them so very much.
they are the best parts of who i was, who i never got to be, who i always wanted to be. i gave them all that i was and am, and i still do.

we have such little time to spend together. there are things i really want to get off my chest, maybe i will someday, but not today. i have to leave for work in an hour and all i want to do is tell you about how great these two people are. my daughter and my son.

"i almost wish we were butterflies that lived but three summer days. three such days with you i could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain." ~ John Keats.

i know he wrote that to the love of his life but my children are also the loves of my life. just as our Dragon was. is. always will be. my children are all i have left in this world. i wish my son lived closer. he is such a joy. so funny and interesting to talk to. such diverse interests.

i cannot believe the both of them are grown and yet, i am glad i got to be here for it.
it was so hard having to watch my son drive away. i walked him to his car. we hugged real tight. we both were a little teary. then we smiled and did the stiff upper lip. life is what it is. we will persevere in spite of it, or to spite it. we will see each other again. and there is always iChat.

but i did stare at the empty parking lot where his car had been for longer than was good for me.
i love my children. we got to have one day to spend together to have Christmas together. and now for me, Christmas is over. i will tell you what i am doing. i think i can type it and not cry. i am spending it alone, working on a quilt, eating what i want when i want and taking a nap maybe. i will watch movies, whatever is on. and hopefully my daughter can stop by later in the day, early evening, for a time, when she can break free. Christmas alone. i am not the first. i am not the only one. but it does feel horrible to know that i will be alone.

i will go to bed alone on the 24th, and wake alone on the 25th, and i will be alone all day until she can stop by. it feels wrong and yet, it is what has happened. there is nothing i can do to change it. but i will make it a good day. Christmas is over for me. i had it on the 21st with my son and daughter. but the meaning of Christmas will come on the 25th as it does every day. i will do my praying/meditating thing, whatever you choose to believe. and i will work and wait.
i got to see my son. i got to have my children together. the Three Musketeers were reunited for one day. the Fourth Musketeer could not come. he had to go on ahead. breaking trail for us to follow. that is the only way to think of it for if i did otherwise, i would never stop crying.

i love my children. i love my Dragon. our brief times together are worth their weight in gold.

butterflies. making the time together count.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bunny / Wall*E

tired. Bunny is very tired. so am i. we both are. Bunny and me. me and the Bun. one and the same and yet, one is stoic while the other is the sensitive one who allows herself to cry out loud. in private, of course. Bunny may be sensitive but she is not an exhibitionist.

Bunny has fun at work. i keep up the pretense so that i can hopefully keep the job, make it permanent. it is a good place to work. fun. toys. dressing up bunnies and bears and dogs. i am, at present, typing while i watch Wall*E. i love this movie. i have never gotten to see the whole thing, but tonight i am. he is so interested in his job and yet so soulfully lonely. Bunny feels a little like him. she works very hard, but she carries within her such longing for her Dragon. Bunny is lonely like Wall*E.

pssst. see the photo of Bunny below? she is limp. she has gotten her Cube of Love and is just lying there. her Dream Journal has slipped from it's spot and smacked her little face. yes, Bunny has had so many nightmares of late that she is keeping a journal. the Matriarch of Grief and Joy thinks there may be a pattern there, there may be something there. of course there is. Bunny already knows the direction of the undertow in her psyche. she will not say it here but, Bunny knows. Bunny is not so blind that she cannot see the gauntlet in her own life.

Bunny gets home and first takes Miss Carmen Sophia the Wild Gypsy Girl and her lovely brother, Mr. Scootie Wootums, Lord of the Dance with the Stardust Eyes out for walkies. but then she flops on the sofa and wilts. tired. ears ringing. limp like a noodle. and thirsty. oh, my gosh, have mercy, Bunny is thirsty from all the talking and all the heart ceremonies she performs every day. and then she has to coddle her Scotties. they have missed her fiercely so she talks them down from their fears that Bunny is never going to come home.

'nother *sigh.*

Bunny is very weary these days.

ruined Christmas. Bunny's son cannot come for Christmas. he had said he would since he missed last Christmas and he missed this Thanksgiving. but the Great Puppet Master did something or other and my son is going north for Christmas for 7 days. so sad. so tearful. if Bunny thinks about it too much she crumples into a little Bunny heap and cannot function for a while.

okay? if she does that, is that giving in, or expunging poison? hmmmm. the great debate over that may commence.

Bunny came home from work the other day and found a gifty at the door. a big box with a little Christmas tree in it that had little wooden ornaments in it. she fluffed it and decorated it and put it on the bookshelf by her bed.
it smells all piney in her bedroom, which is poetic since Bunny pines for her Dragon. {Bunny is so funny even when its kinda sad.}
Bunny misses her Dragon very, very, very much.

Bunny has a big query to put out there for her dear readers. Bunny was at the post office last Tuesday to mail a quilt to someone. while standing in line with her daughter, the man behind starting talking to Bunny. he overheard where Bunny worked. Bunny was polite. Bunny was nice. Bunny's daughter said Bunny was a polite, nice person to the man and that the man was flirting with Bunny. Bunny scoffed at her daughter and said, "next, the grocery store."

BUT, the next day at work, this man showed up at Bunny's store and bought a gift card. he talked to Bunny again, making little jokes. Bunny took the second to talk to her store's "guest" very politely and while she did this she touched her wedding rings. the man did not seem to notice. today, the man came back and Bunny pointed him out to her manager. now both of us girls think this is a little much. the manager made sure that Bunny did not have to wait on this "guest" again, but he sort of hung around until she had to. he bought another gift card. nice for Bunny, but kinda creepy. when Bunny left this afternoon, the manager called for a security guard to sort of follow Bunny out to make sure she was not followed.

still another sigh. is Bunny being paranoid? her manager did not think so. he has been nice but very much hovering on the periphery. cannot put her finger on it but Bunny gets an Off Feeling about this.

any thoughts for the Bun?

okay, Christmas Day ~ she has her Christmas Day plans all set. she is not going to tell anyone, not even you, dear readers, until the day of. she is accepting of and satisfied with her plans. it will be what is best for everyone concerned. no worries about Bunny. she knows how to put one little fuzzy foot in front of the other.
but she is very, very sad these days. crawling up on 2 years. 365 days x 2 = 730. *sigh.* she is quietly, deep inside kind of sad. the kind of sad that only someone who knows Bunny can see. but you have to see her to see it. and she wears her glasses to hide it. Bunny does not wear rose-colored glasses. she wears shades. as in "so much pain her dazzled eyes refused to see." Bunny protects her eyes from the dazzling, burning pain that looking at her life, and her future, can do to her little Bunny retinas.

Bunny sometimes thinks of the day when she will no longer be tired. she will be free to fly away with her Dragon. she will not hurry it along, but she does think of it, of what it will be like to no longer worry, to no longer be so tired.
just "fly me away with you my love."


oh, no!! Wall*E is hanging on for dear life to the side of Eva's rocketship! he is leaving his little cockroach friend behind! ohhhhhh! another lonely soul. Bunny has to go and watch Wall*E, and see if he can find Eva, and then get them back to Earth so the little cockroach is no longer alone.

*sigh* i hope it works out for Wall*E and the little cockroach. no one should be alone in the world.

Monday, December 13, 2010

the Bunny who gave away her heart forever

i took the lights off my Dragon Christmas tree. i could not look at it, how big and lush it is while he is not here. it is too much his tree, his gift to me, so i took the lights off and have my little tiny colorful tree from the dollar store set up. Bunny is a little less anxious with this set for the reason for this posting. because someone asked me to. the Matriarch of Grief nad Joy whom i met at the spiritual retreat has been contemplating something i said during that weekend and wanted me to explain it. so here it is in the inevitable story form; because there some things i can only explain with a story.


The Bunny Who Gave Away Her Heart Forever

Once upon a time there lived a… I know. Many great fairy tales start with “Once upon a time,” but this fairy tale is not a great one. It is not even a good one. It is simply a story about a Bunny who, as it works out, lived once upon a time.

She was born sensitive and creative and, unfortunately for her, with a naïve belief in all the books she hid away from real life to read. Her imagination and soulful way of being led her to the only path she could take. She was an artist and a writer. It was not something that her family understood. Not fitting in with the world is very difficult, as you, dear reader, must know, but to not fit in with your family, that can be a terrible thing. Bunny did not fit in and the price she paid was very high indeed. To survive, she complied, she placated, and she accepted her punishments for not being the Bunny her family thought she should be. But Bunny could only be who she was.

“To thine ownself be true.”

As Bunny saw she did not fit in with her family, she also saw that her heart was getting damaged. It wounded her deeply to see that so she started to keep her heart hidden. She thought to herself, “Well, not every mother and father have to love their children. It is written of in literature all the time. Maybe when I am grown up I will have love.” So Bunny tucked her heart away and waited. This did not mean that she was aloof or withheld her respect for her mother and father and brother. She was respectful and caring and hopeful. Ah, innocence. She tried to earn their love. Oh, how she tried, but nothing Bunny did was exactly right and sometimes if she did something exactly right, rules had changed and it would be exactly wrong. Punishment was swift and severe but Bunny did not let them see her cry. They saw her afraid. They saw her anxious. But never, ever, in Bunny’s long memory, did she remember a time when she let them see her cry.

As Bunny grew up, she adapted to not being loved by staying close to the shadows. Bunny built up a side to herself that was stoic and bending to the will of others. She allowed this side to be the one people got to know and kept her Bunny side hidden. She called the side that everyone met womanNshadows because even that part of her could not stand being in trouble and stayed as close to the shadows as possible. Avoidance, subterfuge, and always knowing where the exit was located was the talent womanNshadows developed. Bunny’s talent was in never being seen.

Bunny was whimsy. womanNshadows was realistic. Bunny kept her heart tucked away deep in the shadows with her, which left womanNshadows without a heart to break. Bunny hid. womanNshadows stayed public to run interference keeping everyone satisfied, or unsatisfied, with her behavior. It meant nothing to womanNshadows. She perfected being the “good girl.” Whether she was successful or not depended upon the mood in the room, but she kept people from looking too deeply at her. She provided the veil that no one looked behind. There was no reason to look past her into the shadows, into the darkness where Bunny trembled, and at times, wept.

Bunny grew up. She grew up alone in her mind and in her feelings. She grew up alone in her thoughts and her choices. She kept her fantasies and dreams to herself and only let them come out through her art. If anyone wanted to know Bunny, if someone wanted to find her past the obstacle that was womanNshadows, then they only needed to gaze at Bunny’s art. Few ever did.

One day Bunny was introduced to a man with dark sandy-colored hair and puppy-dog eyes. He was nice to Bunny and courted her with a cool dignity that Bunny thought was respect. This man with the puppy-dog eyes told Bunny she was pretty and smart and sweet and good-hearted. It made Bunny smile. She believed that maybe, just maybe, here was someone she could give her heart to. Poor young Bunny. She was young and innocent. Bunny had not been courted often and she did not know the signs.

Signs, you ask? Yes, there are signs that someone is not what they appear and only experience, or a close family can offer perspective to a young Bunny. Since Bunny’s family had either died or abandoned her, she was alone in her choices of accepting the man with the puppy-dog eyes as a husband. Bunny had wanted to believe so desperately that she forgot the lessons she had learned from interacting with her family. Bunny was tired of fear. She was tired of horror. She wanted to love and be loved, so she believed in the man with the puppy-dog eyes. Bunny soon learned through experience that the man was not what he had appeared and henceforth he will be referred to as the Dark Man.

The Dark Man continued his charade of kindness and politeness until their wedding day. As the young Bunny walked down the aisle with her heart in her hands, fully extended towards her soon-to-be husband, she noticed that he did not accept her heart right away. “Maybe it is the ceremony and all the people around,” Bunny thought. “He will accept my heart when we are alone.”

After the wedding and the reception, only when Bunny was alone with the Dark Man, did she get her first inkling of what she had done by marrying this man. Their marriage was {this part must be censored. Bunny/womanNshadows apologizes but some things cannot be spoken of in polite company.} Bunny’s proffered heart was knocked from her hand onto the floor where it got cracked and chipped. After it was over, Bunny was left alone. In pain, she crawled across the floor and gathered her heart close. She saw the damage that had been done to it, more than ever before. She did not know what she had done wrong, for that was how Bunny thought of it. She had done something wrong, much like she always thought of it with her family. She simply had to figure out how to please her new husband. That was all. She simply needed to learn how to make him happy and help him see that Bunny was a “good girl.”

But as time passed Bunny stopped trying to please him and simply tried hard not to make him angry. The Dark Man was cruel to Bunny and kept her financially and physically trapped. Their marriage was not a sacrament as Bunny had always dreamed her marriage would be. She kept her head down and slipped deep into the shadows. Her stand-up girl, womanNshadows, took her place and as for Bunny’s heart? Once again she locked it away deep inside herself.

The years passed, oh, yes, they did. Two decades that Bunny was trapped. She had had two babies that she had kept physically safe, but as for the things that the Dark Man said to them, the things they overheard, and were exposed to, well, heartbreakingly, there was nothing womanNshadows could do but try to figure out an explanation for them, protect them, divert the Dark Man’s rage, and finally confrontationally place herself between him and her babies. And all Bunny could do was watch helplessly from the sanctity of her darkness, out of harm’s way.

The sad thing is this. Bunny was not really out of harm’s way. She was not really safe and she knew it. You cannot witness yourself being damaged and not feel it all the way to your soul. But sometimes the thin veil of lies we cover ourselves with are enough to keep us from going mad.

As with all stories, there is a time of conflict. Bunny’s story was no different. It seemed that all through the almost 20 years of Bunny’s faux marriage the plot was rising to the pivotal conflict that would be the catalyst for the climax of the story. The one event that lit the fuse to the divorce of Bunny from the Dark Man occurred over the course of 2 days. It was ugly. In desperation, Bunny saw that she, herself, womanNshadows, could not endure this any longer. A very broken Bunny initiated the divorce.

Bunny and her babies were forced out into the cold, uncertain world like all the demons of Hell were after them, but it was really only one. Whatever the world intended to throw at them, at her, Bunny felt they might be better off, for the world is a cold and cruel place, but it would never pretend to be anything else.

Terrified, Bunny kept her arms around her babies and her eyes on the Dark Man. This meant that Bunny had to walk backwards into her uncertain future. It meant she never saw him coming ~ the Dragon ~ the love of her life.

Now it might seem that a Dragon is an unusual mate for a Bunny, but it is actually perfect, and poetic. There is a saying. “Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.” And indeed it was.

A Dragon and a Bunny. No two were more opposite. He was fierce and brave. She was cautious and afraid. He was strong in spirit. She was exhausted. He had much experience in affairs of the heart. Bunny’s heart had always been locked away and she did not know if she still had the key. He was so very handsome. Bunny was faded. But there was one thing they did have in common. Both the Dragon and Bunny had pain in their eyes. He saw it in hers. She saw it in his. Bunny’s was pretty self-explanatory. But Dragon’s pain ran deep for he was a Marine, Force Recon, and he could not really speak about his pain. All he could say to Bunny was, “I’ve done things.” But that’s all he had to say, for Bunny knew. She was intuitive, and she had empathy and compassion.

Bunny looked into his eyes and saw across the field to the castle he had built around himself. Behind the castle walls she saw the stoic and valiant warrior who stood at attention. He was ready to defend. He was ready to protect. And he was tired, too, just like Bunny. He wanted to love and be loved, just like Bunny. They were meant to be.

They grew close very quickly. Bunny first offered her eyes to her Dragon. She let him see who she was and smiled as she looked through his defenses as if they were glass. Then she offered him her ears to listen to him. She listened to the stories he would tell and to the stories he could not and she comforted him. She offered him her arms to hold him in the night when flashbacks and nightmares assaulted his dreams. She gave him her life and her love.

And the Dragon gave all he had and was to his Bunny. He gave her his eyes to see the Bunny she really was. He gave her his ears to listen to the terrible things she needed to tell someone, just once. He gave her his arms to hold her close, in comfort and protection. He gave her his strength when a certain sound, when a feeling of terror would creep up her spine, whenever she had her own flashbacks. He gave her his life and his love.

Bunny and her Dragon. Dragon and his Bunny. Their marriage was a true sacrament. They joined their lives and their souls, and yes, they offered each other their hearts. Like all perfect marriages, Bunny and Dragon kept their hearts in the center of the circle that their sacrament formed. Together, facing each other, hands always joined, fingers always laced together, Bunny and her Dragon protected their marriage and their hearts. Neither worried that anything would happen to part them. They had both faced terrible things and survived. Now that they were together, they felt blessed. Finally, after over 40 decades on this cold, aloof world, they had both found someone to give their hearts to. Sometimes life saves the best until last. Bunny and Dragon looked forward to their future together.

Just as fairy tales start with “Once upon a time,” they also come to an end. They always seem to end with “and they lived happily ever after.” Those fairly tales really haven’t ended though, have they? We were merely taken away from the story. The truth is there is no happily ever after because the story has to end and the sad part of this truth is that only one story ends while the other is forced to continue on alone, at least for a time.

Bunny’s beloved Dragon died one night, suddenly, tragically, almost violently, while she cuddled with him with her hand over his great heart. It seized and Bunny tried, but failed, to save him. She had no magic. Only her Dragon was magic. All Bunny had was her love for him and love has no power over death. Love’s only power is the strength of its endurance and loyalty. In horror, Bunny watched as the light left her Dragon’s eyes. She called to him, cried to him, then bowed her head and told him softly how much she loved him and always would. It was her way of saying she understood that, though he did not want to, she knew he had to go.

After his beautiful, handsome form was prepared for her to sit beside, a shocked and mournful Bunny went in to quietly say good-bye to her beloved. His silence was terrifyingly loud. His great chest was still. His body was empty of his majestic soul, yet Bunny hoped he was still near, somehow, someway, to hear her. Through their short time together, she had always given him little gifts, a flower, a seashell. Now she wanted to give him one last gift.

She held his hands in hers and, as best as she could with his body lying down so still, she formed their circle. As always, inside their circle were their two hearts. His heart no longer carried any life therefore its colors were fading, but hers was vibrant and full of her life and her love for her Dragon. It beat fast with shock and grief inside the last circle she would be allowed to make with him. Bunny closed her eyes and reached inside the circle and took her beating heart, and put it in her Dragon’s hand. Then she closed his fingers around it and leaned down to whisper against his lips, “Keep it. It’s yours. It always has been.”

The room started to feel empty. The color of the harsh florescent light shining over her and her beloved Dragon seemed to cool. He was gone. Terrified, Bunny opened her Dragon’s hand to look and see. With an odd relief, she saw that it was gone. Her heart was gone. Torrents of tears started to finally fall. Her Dragon had taken her gift with him. He had taken her heart with him on his journey. Bunny prayed it would keep him safe and allow her to find him when it was her time to go.

Bunny reached in to take her Dragon’s still heart from the circle that would never be formed again on this earth and put it where her heart used to be. She would keep his dead heart just as he was keeping her live one, a special trade, one that only true love can understand.

Now Bunny lives without her heart. She is lonely and desolate. When she stops to listen to her life now, she hears nothing but the sound of her own grief. But dear reader, you must not worry for Bunny’s heart is not lost; it is simply gone to another place. She does take comfort in the fact that her Dragon has her heart with him. She hopes he won’t be lonely while he waits for her though she is in deep sorrow without him. She cannot go to where he lives now. She has not been called. Bunny believes that when she does hear her name from the other side, she will go with his heart in her hand and find him standing there with her heart in his. Then they will embrace and form their circle again and this time it will be for all time. Their hearts will be transformed and placed back in the circle of their love and the sacrament of their marriage, for you see, there is something I have not told you, dear reader. When Bunny and Dragon got married they had “until death do us part” removed from their ceremony. They had promised each other “forever.”

Ego dilecto meo et dilectus meus mihi.”

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”

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