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.

Monday, October 22, 2012

i hope so........

"i picture Death as being millions of years old but only looking about forty."
~ anonymous 

i've been trying very hard to ignore what i am feeling.  i'm tired.  i think i've been too outside myself of late.  i've given too much of myself away and i am drained.
i'm tired.
i would really like to talk to him.  i just want to hear his voice.
i want to hear the love in his voice.
i'd like to see his eyes when he smiles at me.
i'm tired.
i've got stuff going on i wish i could write about but it would be a
"oh, my good Lord, she is complaining again."

i don't want to be thought of as a complainer and yet i think i give that impression here.
but this the only place where i can talk about what hurts.
where else can i go?
i have no one to "complain" to.
is what i do complaining?  i always that that a horrid word.
it was a word that i thought was used as an insult.
it feels like a person who is not grateful for what they have.
i am grateful.  i am grateful for my little place, my dogs, my children,
and the life i had with him.
and yes, i am scared, lonely, alone, worried, exhausted.
so if i talk about it here, know that here is all i have.
oh, i hope i do not ever feel stifled by the worry of that word being thrown at my doorstep.
i need the freedom of being able to speak my mind here.

otherwise, i'll really and truly have no place to go.

"the most important thing any of us can do to comfort the grieving is to listen when they want to talk - and to accept their silence if they are unable to speak about their loss." 
~ Susan Jacoby

i work and function at a high level.  i keep thousands of details in my head about what needs to be done, what is coming up, who is doing what, how can i make the store run more smoothly, and then i get a feeling of being so terribly alone in the world.
i wish i could see my children more than i do.
i miss him terribly.  i have my moments when it hurts so badly that i don't think i've made any progress at all.
is there even such a thing as "progress" or am i making progress and don't realize it?
am i being to hard on myself considering how much i love him and how fast he died,
how unexpectedly?

 "love is the only thing that we carry with us when we go...."
~ Louisa May Alcott

{i can hardly wait until Friday, my next day off.  i am going to see my daughter.  won't talk too much about what i feel but i get to be with someone who loves me and cares about what happens to me.}

i'd like to live in bed in a drafty old house.  just a handful of rooms.  kitchen, bathroom, porch, and a big-assed living room that would double as my library/bedroom.  there'd be a fireplace or a wood stove that i could keep going.  i'd hop in and out of bed and work, read, write, and most of all

of course there's that money thing.

"i think God has planned the strength and beauty of youth to be physical.  but the strength and beauty of age is spiritual.  we gradually lose the strength and beauty that is temporary so we'll be sure to concentrate on the strength and beauty which is forever."

"hope means to keep living
amid desperation
and to keep humming
in the darkness."
~ Henri Nouwen

i promise i'm not complaining.  i'm just down.  i've been down again for a bit.
i need to go back to the doctor.  diabetes and high blood pressure doing okay.  it's the foot that is hurting.  i am having a hard time walking but walking and standing on my feet all day is all i do.
i think being in pain and only having 1 day a week off now is wearing on me.

and this last quilt i've been working on?  she has added weeks worth of embroidery work to it.
i cried after her phone call.  i want this one to be done.
 but she is a widow and this is her quilt.  she wants what she wants and all i could say was,

"the Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
~ Psalm 34:18

i hope so.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

because i love Halloween.....

i've written a book.  it's quite dark and i love it.  it's the dark side of the moon that is me.  my Dragon loved being my proofreader.  he kept begging for the next chapter.

well, in honor of him, and of Halloween, here is the first paragraph and the last two of one of the chapters.  i hope you enjoy.  and then i hope it keeps you up at night.  just for while.

As soon as he realized he was losing his mind, and quite possibly his life, it seemed ironically apropos to Ryan that he would lose it all in the cemetery of an insane asylum though he wasn’t sure if he was technically still in the cemetery any longer.  He thought about what constituted sanity; whether or not the realization of one's predicament was a criteria, and then those thoughts segued for him into wondering if anyone would ever find his body.

Late that summer workers eventually came again to work on the asylum committee’s memorial to their long dead patients.  Their stash of clean granite stones for etching was still at the bottom of the hill off to the side, still under the tree.  It was down in the oldest part of the cemetery and in an area that none of the workers really liked.  It gave them all the creeps.  The air was different down there; it was different all over the cemetery, but it was truly stifling down there.  It felt like no breath of a breeze had ever blown across that part.  One of the men had just finished mowing the grass and the silence after the mower was deafening.  Two of the other workmen were sitting in the shade to take a break after taking three of the stones off the pallet for names to be engraved on them.  Drinking from bottles of water, both the men froze listening.  The man who’d mowed walked up to join them and was hushed by the other two.  Tilting their heads they looked off into the woods.  Sunlight tried to work its way through the heavy summer foliage causing a riot of shadow, light green, darker green, and the deep brown of the tree trunks.  They men listened and all three heard it this time.  A cell phone was ringing not too far off in the woods.  It stopped suddenly and they heard a voice say, “Ryan, it’s your mother again.  What should I tell her?”

And then the giggling started.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

dead like me

i've heard and always known, "what you do matters.  what you don't do matters."  i try to make every moment count.  i work hard.  i keep a million things in my head.  multi-task.  i come back here to the apartment and i work.   and then i fall into the mattress on the floor. 

i think:  someday i'll save up and get a new mattress. 

i think:  someday i'll take a day or two and go over to the ocean.

i think:  someday i'll find a friend.

and then the pragmatic part of me reminds me that i need to make a car payment, car insurance payment, my lease will be up and my rent will be raised, and i need that surgery.  this isn't Canada and my insurance is only for 80%.  i hurt physically a lot. 

but i also hurt emotionally.  really wish i could find a friend, but when will i have the time?  or the balls to take the risk?  i'm a nothing little nobody and i am tired.


my boss came into the store and was on a rampage.  "why did you put that double-sided tape under the velcro rolls?  we don't fucking use the velcro rolls as often as we use the fucking double-sided tape?" 
me:  sorry.  me in my head:  "are you fucking serious about being upset that you have to reach under something that weighs once ounce?"

she was pissed that i had put some bears on the counter while i cleaned the bin.  "why are all these fucking bears on the counter?  didn't i tell you to keep the counter clean?"
me:  sorry.  me in my head:  "are you fucking serious giving me shit about putting bears on the counter for less that 5 minutes while i clean a bin you told me to clean?  how the fuck do i clean the bin with the bears in there?  my levitation skills suck."

and more of the same.  i went to the bathroom and sobbed.  i put my head down on my hands on the sink and sobbed.

what we do matters.  what we don't do matters. 

i try so very hard.  i know i do good work.  i never am told though.  i do get shit for stuff like that up there.  and it's lame stuff.  just another way of doing the same thing.  it all comes out the same in the end.  i kept telling myself she was mad at someone else/something else that she couldn't yell out; so she gave me hell.

and the worst part is i expected it.  i expect to be treated like that because ........... it's all i know.  and i allow it.

yeah, Eleanor Roosevelt,  the whole people walk on your if you lie down, but i have to lie down.  i am only an assistant manager.  and shit rolls uphill.  if one of my part time managers makes a mistake, i get hell for it because they are my responsibility.  i can't just pass the blame.  "on, {insert name} did or didn't to that."  that's stupid to do and i refuse to be stupid.  i am, however, quite quick to lay down and get walked on, stomped on, if only to get it fucking over with.

i feel dead inside still and i don't know if that's a bad thing or normal, or just a me thing that will be from now on.  have i accepted that his death, the fact that i will never be loved again, never be seen as a real person with depth and feelings, accepted grief to the point that i am used to it and this is what acceptance feels like, or am i so fucked up from all the abuse over the course of my life that i have had my behavior and thought processes modified to the extent that i cringe when someone calls my name, or forgets i exist?  that i accept more abuse? 

i feel dead inside.  i was so excited to see my son in Florida.  and then i came back here.  reality sucks.  i was excited to start hitting golf balls at the driving range but i haven't had another day off since that one day and i won't have another day off until next Tuesday.  and that day i have to go to the doctor fasting for some more tests.  and to see about that damn surgery which i fucking refuse to have.

i do sometimes wonder if anyone else feels dead like me or if this is, like grief, my own personal, lonely journey.

what's crazy is that my daughter says i am a delightful person who has wonderful stories and a great sense of humor, if only someone would take the time to really get to know me.  i can be a fun girl.

i really can.

i can be interesting.  maybe it's revulsion at my physical appearance.  i've lost so much weight. i'm not slim but i'm better looking that i was a year and a half ago.  maybe contacts.  lose the specs.  makeup?  streak my hair? 

that would all be fake.  it wouldn't be me.  and it would take away from my new mattress fund.

my mother got mad at me once; she was always mad at me for something.  she pinched my throat and yelled at me that i was ugly and not a girly girl like guys like and that i would die alone.

as a child i was so afraid of her and i used to think she was a little crazy,

but i guess she was also a prophet.

what you do matters.  what you don't do matters.

i try to do the best i can.  i don't have a lot to offer anyone so i don't expect to have a friend during the rest of my life.

i miss you, Dragon.  more than you'll ever know.  i like to believe/remember that you liked me and that, to you, i wasn't ugly.  you're dead.  i'm dead inside.  i guess we still have a lot in common.  {pssst. Dragon.  am i depressed or is it normal to be this down?  are you there?  }

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

end of an era

i made a huge decision tonight.  i did not discuss it with anyone really though my children have been coaxing me to make it.  i made it ~ the decision.

fall is here; as much as it can be here this far south.  not like where i know it so well.
 come September 1st, summer quickly bows out and Fall with a capital 
comes in with wide open arms. it embraces the earth and us with the coolness
and change of color, the pumpkins and the mums, and the anticipation
of the much colder time approaching.
 Fall was always my favorite time.  i aired out the house before shutting my children and i inside for the frigid cold that creeped up.
i took countless photos of the farm stands and the trees, 
the decorations for Halloween and Thanksgiving.
it was a time where i felt brave and alive for reasons that are not important to you or to this blog.

just know that Fall was a time for change; in the seasons, the air, and in me.
 and i made an enormous decision.

i shut down my creative website.
i received another email asking for prices for my quilts and demanding that all of her requests be completed before Christmas.  i wrote that i work a 40 hour a week job and that i have a quilt commission that i am working on at present, that she would have to wait.
i got chewed out.
so i sent her an email stating that i could not do business with her, and blocked her address from emailing me again. 
and then i went and deleted my creative website.
renaissanceartist no longer exists.
i will finish the commission i have and then......
no more.
 i am tired of working so hard for so little.  i set the prices and then, well, add this, add that, and i ask for a bit more money, but i feel guilty and no way do i charge for the labor intensive work that i am asked to do.  hours and hours.
i make mere dimes for each one of my hours of work.
so no more.
i have projects of my own i want to work on that have been sitting there as sketches.

and i have my beloved children for whom i want to leave a legacy for.
i selfishly want to sew for me now.
i work so hard for the money i make.  so far i am breaking even.  not saving but not going hungry.
i made my first car payment and i have some food. 
my rent is paid and i have gas in my new lil Seanaroonie car to get me to work.
i don't need much and i certainly don't need more work and people who do not understand the time it takes to embroider by hand.  

so it's the end of an era.
renaissanceartist has died.  she died from lack of understanding.
she died from overwork.
she died from the loss of being allowed to breathe.
from the ashes is just little Bunny.
mom to two.
wife to........

the end of an era.
am i a little misty about it?
Bunny will never tell.

Friday, October 5, 2012

2 things i've never done before

"death is a wild ride and a new road."

it hit me and i finally said it out loud.  it echoed a little bit.  and now i'm writing it.

of all the things i've written since i started this blog over 3 years ago,
this is the first time i've written this.

now i've said it.  now i've written it down.  2 things i've never done before.


he left me.