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.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Green Frog

a length of green fuzzy fabric and some fuzzy fabric were laid out and stamped with a pattern. they were cut and sewn together. big plastic eyes were inserted and anchored down. two red hearts were machine embroidered on a yellow foot and lastly a red ribbon with gold hearts stamped on was tied around his neck. and voila, a silly green frog was made to sell for Valentine's Day 2009.

he was put in a box with other green frogs and shipped to the airport in Atlanta, Georgia where he was put on display in a store in the Southwest Airlines terminal for a quick and easy gift for a passing traveler.

he waited patiently. his big, friendly eyes wistfully tried to lock on to passersby. Valentine's Day was approaching. there was a narrow window of opportunity to attract a buyer and he was determined to find himself a home.

fate waved a hand over the world and circumstances were set in motion that put a young man in the terminal on Monday, February 9th. he was tall and very handsome, but he looked grim. Green Frog thought maybe he was worried about a girl. he said to himself, "hey, maybe a silly green frog would be just the thing to take to his girl." and he sat up straighter, smiled brighter, and let his eyes shine with his gentle inner light; the light that all stuffed animals carry inside when they hope and pray they find a good home with someone who will love them.

the young man sat down across from the store and stared at nothing. his thoughts were deeply dark and secret. his body was restless as he waited to board the plane. suddenly the young man's gaze lifted up and into the store. he spotted Green Frog. getting up he walked into the store to stand and stare at him. Green Frog shifted just a little to draw attention to himself. he repeated a little mantra to himself, "i have a purpose. there is a reason for my being created. Valentine's is coming and i am important. he will pick me."

and the young man did. with a grim face and sad eyes he lifted the green frog into his arms and carried him to the register, bought him, and stuck him in his carryon.

Green Frog didn't mind being stuffed into the bag. he was flexible. and he knew he wasn't meant for the young man. he was obviously meant for a girl. no young man could look that sad before Valentine's Day and not be worried over a girl. Green Frog was almost giddy as he knew, just knew, he was a gift of love. and what greater gift is there than love?

he felt the plane land. he felt the bag with him inside being put in a car and felt the motion of the car for a while. then suddenly the car stopped and the bag was hurriedly unzipped. he was yanked out and held by the young man who was now with a young woman. the two of them walked to a door. they knocked on the door and Green Frog smiled his biggest smile. he wasn't meant for the young woman standing next to him. he was meant for the girl who would answer the door.

the girl wasn't what Green Frog expected.

she was older. she was the mother of these two. and she was crying. her face was pale and strained with the heavy burden of some great sadness. when the young man handed Green Frog to the woman, she looked at him for a moment and then hugged him very tightly. she buried her face in his green fuzzy fur getting him wet with her tears.

he snuggled close into her embrace so that she would feel comfort. oh, the poor woman. something was making her so sad; and so close to Valentine's Day. well, Green Frog would make her smile again. he was sure of it.

the days leading up to Valentine's passed and each day he was left on the bed. but each night, the woman hugged him tightly and cried. Green Frog was feeling terrible. he wasn't making any headway with the sad woman. he couldn't understand how she could not smile at his adorable, smiling, fuzzy face. but each night while he was being held, he snuggled close to the woman. and if she slept at all, he slide his soft little arms around her so she might feel his presence and maybe feel better.

the day before Valentine's, Green Frog watched the woman and her children leave. he waited and waited for them to come back. when they did, he finally realized why his woman was so sad. she carried an urn and she carried a folded American flag. oh, gosh. oh, Lord. she was a widow. he, a perfectly pleasant Valentine Frog had been given to a weeping widow. he wasn't meant to be a reminder of love. he would be a reminder of love lost. oh, no. he wasn't trained for this. he didn't know what to do.

Valentine's Day arrived and Green Frog waited and watched. the little family was obviously going somewhere that morning. he watched them all get ready. his woman held the urn and the folded flag in what could only be called a lover's embrace. as they were about to leave, his woman asked her daughter to bring him. he was grabbed by the leg and put in the car.

the little family went to the funeral for his woman's husband. so sad. he sat in the car while they went into the church and left him in the car, but he knew what was going on. sadness. tears. lost love. and on Valentine's Day. such a bad thing to have happen on Valentine's Day. his woman will always remember that her husband had his funeral service on this day of days, this day of flowers and hearts, and love.

after the funeral Green Frog was put in a moving truck and his woman and her daughter drove for two days. there was such heaviness in these two women's hearts. he felt terrible. he was supposed to represent romance and love and frivolity, wasn't he? instead he was a gift of sorrow. he had hearts embroidered on his little foot. he was smiling all the time. he was supposed to be for romance and happiness. instead, inside him, his heart was breaking.

eventually they arrived. everything was unpacked. the daughter was setting her mother up in a tiny apartment. Green Frog understood that this was to be his woman's new life. alone. silent, so silent. and sad.

each night his woman held him and cried. at first she cried every single night. eventually she stopped crying every night but it took months and months. but every night, when his woman laid down in bed and pulled the quilts up over her, after her little dogs settled their furry bodies near their "mom," she would reach for him. his woman would reach for him and hold him in her arms. sometimes she would sigh heavily. sometimes she would say her prayers out loud. and sometimes, even now, she would, she will, put her face in his fur and cry for her lost love.

and Green Frog was always there waiting for her.

he had been created for one thing. Valentine's Day. but as it turned out, he was meant for something else. he had thought he was made for romance, but he had been made for forever love. he had thought he had been made for fun, but he now meant for a higher purpose. he had thought his purpose in life was frivolity. it was not. he was meant to offer comfort. he was something soft and safe to hold onto in the darkest and loneliest part of his woman's grief.
his dreams of being a special Valentine's frog had not come true. but then, neither had his woman's dreams come true. or maybe they had, but for far too short a time.

but one thing came true. he was important. he was needed and desired. he had a home where he was loved and held and cherished. this was the reason he had been created.

his name was Green Frog, but sometimes, every once in a while, his woman called him Carl. she held him tightly every single night. and he was there for her and would be for all the nights left to her.
and every single night he would whisper to her, "happy Valentine's Day." he does this because he knows Carl would want him to.

p.s. and no worries about Green Frog. his woman's daughter has already promised that Green Frog will come and live with her after his woman passes to be with her beloved.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it. Thinking of you today.

Sandy said...

This is just beautiful Susan. Holidays are tough. xoxo

judemiller1 said...

You always make me cry--thank you for that! I don't cry--I am not a crier--I just don't. Afraid I suppose, that if I start I may never quit, so...I just don't, but you helped me today on this dratted day for lovers. I love Green Frog and I love my Freddy Puppy--thank you Susan. BTW--I so love the headboard on your bed!!!!!!!!

judemiller1 said...

I just got done telling you that I don't cry--if you get a chance, read my post! I guess it happens.

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