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.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

he's here

he's here.  26 december 2013.
he is handsome, sweet, quiet, and perfect as all babies are.
i love him with a quiet, deep emotion that can fill me with awe.
i love my own children with that kind of love.

i hope to be able to teach him things; abstract things like kindness, tolerance, logical deductions, and the profoundness found in books.
i hope to be able to show him rainbows, dew on grass blades, all the different kinds of life at the ocean's edge, and the shadows that play across a flag was it furls and unfurls in a strong breeze.
i hope to be able to answer his questions and give him more questions for us to find out the answers together.

i hope he can grow to love me.

~

it's the last night of 2013.
going to bed early.
no plans.
no one to do anything with.
curl up with my dogs and try to forget the day,
the loneliness, 
my current respiratory illness,
the fact that i have to get up to go to work tomorrow.
i wish i could be with them - my daughter and her new baby.
but he is so new, and i am so sick.
i wish i could talk to my Dragon.

i'd like to be held once more.
i'd like to fall into a deep, restorative sleep in his arms.
i'd like to think he's doing great.

i'd like to think he still loves me

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

on Christmas Eve ~ for those who have nothing

i can't remember the last time a door was held for me;
that i didn't sleep on a concrete rug,
that people didn't ignore me.
i can't remember what it's like to have your stomach full;
or be as warm as a piece of toast,
or wear tweed, silk, or wool.
i can't remember if i ever really had a home;
a place to settle and sit for a spell,
a place to call my own.

all i have is a shopping cart that's full of memories:
full of things i no longer am,
full of things i used to be.
all i have to keep with me are pictures, quilts, and self;
things to keep me warm inside,
things that have no wealth.
all i have to worry about would horrify you tonight;
the cold, no food, no place to sleep,
the dark, no friends, no light.

i don't have a home anymore.  i live out on the street;
never to cook and clean a place,
never to kick my shoes off my feet.
i don't have a family now.  they are all lost to me;
never to fuss and do for them,
never their faces to see.
i don't have a lot of things, but one thing i do keep;
i have myself to talk to,
i keep myself hidden deep.

i need help from time to time, and sometimes it works out;
some people are a Godsend,
some people are ignorant louts.
i need to be allowed to have my dignity and my space.
don't tell me what i should have done.
don't put me in my place.
i need to know someone's aware i'm still a human being;
with hopes and dreams of my own,
with awareness that my life may have meaning.

i want someone to remember that i'm out here when it snows;
or whenever the weather turns awful with rain,
or whenever it's cold and bad, you know?
i want someone to remember to care about whatever happens to me;
to care about where i am,
to care enough to come see.
i want someone to remember that i'm alone out on the street;
to understand that i'm afraid,
to understand that i'm beat.

i think that people everywhere should try to visualize;
what it's like to be without,
what it's like to be despised.
i think if they could understand how life goes wrong for some;
they wouldn't treat us like trash,
they wouldn't act as if we're dumb.
i think if people could remember that Our Lord helped people like me;
then they'd find Christ in themselves,
then they'd see Christ in me.

"the Lord bless you and keep you.  the Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you.  the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace."  ~ Numbers 6:25.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

flashlight in the dark

i lay there and hope it's not real; that i'm not really awake again/still.
if i use the flashlight it will only be for a little while.
it's not for long.
i'm not getting up but i do have things on my mind that i need to get off my mind.
writing them down will help.

bad nights wear me out but they are productive.
when i do this the dogs move closer to me.  they cuddle.
first it's, "does she suddenly have a snack?"
then they know.
you can almost see it pass between them.
"you think she's cold?"
"yeah.  she's pretty miserable.  let's make a mommy sandwich."
so they deepen their cuddle.  i can feel their bodies squirm and twist as they snuggle down to get still closer to me.

he was always so warm.  i never wore socks to bed.  he would keep my feet between his legs.  or i would move my feet close and he would capture them to warm them.  he always knew.
and he burned so brightly.  he was always so warm to the touch.

Lord, i miss him.
i'd love to talk to him, have him embrace me and lend me some of his confidence, his bravado, that something-something that he had that kept him going on the worst days, his worst days when he was a Marine trying to survive and get home.
Lord, i really do miss him.

so under that soft light, i write what's on my mind.
a fantasy grocery list for a day when i have enough money to go.
things i need to take care of at work.
things i want to remember.
thoughts i have.
like this blog.
little notes to myself because i don't want to forget.
secret things that the cold light of day would diminish.

Christmas is coming.  i have worries.
busy time/stressful time for retail people.
worried about meeting the new higher rent that will start up on Jan. 1.

i wish things had turned out differently.  and i am glad certain things didn't.
but writing them down on a scrap of paper lit by a flashlight in the dark seems to make them more manageable.  it makes it seem like maybe i'm coming up with a plan to deal with them.
like maybe, just maybe, by some form of Grace, i might survive this.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

grief is not a dirty word

i haven't written in a long while for me.  i haven't known what to say though my mind is whirling with thoughts i want to express.  i've also been very busy at work and very tired at the end of each day.

a few postings ago someone left a comment saying i am clinically depressed and need to be under a doctor's care.

it scared me.  it angered me.

it scared me because i am sad at losing my husband, still, and it's been over 4 years.  i started second-guessing what i know best.  me.  i do not think i am clinically depressed.  what i am is frightened at my precarious financial position and wishing with all my heart to be with him; to be with my friend, my husband, someone i feel {felt} safe with.

depressed?  i think at some time or other we all get depressed.  and it's not for a few days.  it can be a winding road if you are going through a major life change, like the death of a loved one.   i am not clear on why there is a deadline on being over a death.  why is it so many people think there is a clear demarcation line for grieving to be over with it.

grief is not a dirty word.  i can think of other words that are worse.

my son died 31 years ago at the age of 19 weeks.  i still think about him.  i would say, yeah, i still grieve over him.  i went on to have 2 other children.  i laughed.  i cried.  i lived.  but i still think about him.  i have a little fuzzy star that hung over his crib tied to my bedpost.  it plays "Twinkle twinkle little star."  it's 31 years old.  it's stained.  tears mostly.  very old tears.  and yes, after 31 years, i will turn the tiny key to hear it play a few notes.  maybe once or twice a year.  not every night.  but, yes, i still play that little start, and tears do come to my eyes.

am i clinically depressed over his death?  no.  i am a mother who holds his memory dear and i miss him.  i miss what he could have become.  i miss.........i miss him.  i still grieve his passing.

do i need pills to balance the chemicals in my brain?  i think this person misunderstands this blog.  i think they misunderstand the freedom, the release that comes from writing.  i can be honest here, express the real feelings i have that go through my mind.  i can get it all off my chest, out of my mind.  i can expunge the poison.   

depressed?  maybe.  possible.  but a danger to myself?  no.  i know i am not.  i suffer.  i grieve for what was.  i miss him.  i need his advice, his humor, his confidence that everything will be okay; but i do not need to take pills to get over feeling this way.  why would i want to sidestep grief and the deep honor of working through it, however long it takes?

and yet, am i wrong?  i am clinically depressed?  is my analysis of my own feelings so far off base?

it angered me.  that someone would think from the few postings they may have read, that they can diagnose someone else.  how sure of themselves and yet, how can someone be that sure of themselves.  how can they truly know, just from what i've written here?  they do not see my eyes.  they do not hear the timbre of my voice.  they do not know me.  they do not see me at work, how i handle customers, babies, small children.  they do not see me as a manager of a store handling with confidence the multitude of things a manager has to do.

they do not know me and it would take a fairly confidence ego to judge someone, and then label them.  words are difficult to retract.  once they are out there.........it's like snatching air.  you can't.

there will always be people who think they understand, and understand better than you do, what you wrote about yourself, think about yourself.

what about just letting it be words that need to get out; expressions of feelings that need to be released, that should be heard.  once you shine a light on something, some shadow; once you see it for what it is and name it {i'm calling it grief.  i'm calling it worry over a difficult financial situation} then it sometimes ceases to be as frightening.  sometimes when you start to explain it to someone else, something dawns on you that might help.  an epiphany can strike and things are not as bad as they seem.  or if they are as bad, you as least can now write up a battle plan to survive it.

and sometimes a blog is just a blog.  i am a writer by nature.  i am a creative person.  i paint.  i sew.  i write.  i take photographs.  i design and make stained glass windows.  i feel deeply.  always have.  for the most part a creative soul is also a tortured soul.

i wouldn't trade who i am, who i know myself to be, what i feel, how deeply i feel, who i've known, and who i've lost - i wouldn't trade the ride i'm on for anything.

and i certainly won't numb it, hide it, mask it, or color it any less vibrantly with pills.

i'll be happy when i feel happy.  i'll feel sad when i am sad.

right now, tonight, i am melancholy.

i am strong enough to let myself feel weak.  i am strong enough to allow myself some time here and there to wallow.  i am smart enough to know that pouring out my heart and soul here is so much better than keeping it bottled up and swallowing it down with some pills and a glass of water.

i am a human being who has lost some people she has loved dearly and dearly wish had loved her more.  we all have to figure out how to deal with grief at some point in our lives.  meeting it head on and accepting the winding road, the roller coaster part of it, and the lingering reverberations of the pain death caused us is what adds the beautiful darker, cooler blues and violets to the palette of our lives.

having him, losing him at 19 weeks.  i wouldn't have missed it for the world.
marrying my Dragon.  losing him.  i wouldn't have missed it for the world.

no pills.  no fake sunshine and no false happiness.  i miss them both.

i won't get over it but i do have a handle on it.

my life.  my journey.  my way.

it's after 1 AM.  i'm going to bed now.  i will lay my head down on my pillow.  tonight, i will reach up in the darkness of my room to find a soft little star.  my fingers will find the tiny silver key in it's back and i will twist it a couple, maybe three times. a soft little song will play.  it's a song everyone knows.  very familiar.


"twinkle, twinkle little star.  how i wonder what you are?  up above the world so high.  like a diamond in the sky.  twinkle, twinkle little star.  how i wonder what you are?"

in my heart it plays:  "how i wonder how you are."

there is no pill on earth that can mask that kind of pain nor would i want it to.  he deserves to be remembered.  even after 31 years.  or another 31.
my Dragon deserves to be remembered and missed no matter how long......

Sunday, October 13, 2013

the answer was "no."

update on the living thing - on the rent going up and i hope i can save myself living situation thing.

their answer was "no."

Bunny has to try and get this all figured out, but she's not alone.  she's got the best friends there ever could be with her, staying by her side through shattered dreams and tear-filled nights.
that's more than a lot of others get to have.
but she knows, oh, Bunny knows that
life isn't going to be kind to her;
not just yet.

*sigh*

Monday, October 7, 2013

say "yes"

so i deleted my previous post.  thank you to those who meant well.
i got a horrendous lengthy comment that made me mad so i close the door what what i said.
i guess grief blogs aren't what they used to be.
going to keep it less personal which i think defeats the purpose of a grief blog.
in the early stages, i would read others and not feel so alone.  they were saying what i was feeling.
but now, well, i will still speak my truth, just not all of it.

slumpy Bunny is back.  things aren't going great.
 i didn't get the manager's job that i've been doing for a month.  "do it for one more month.  we've hired someone to take care of both stores.  instead of paying 2 people larger salaries we're paying one person a salary and a half."
so i'm acting manager for one more month on an assistant manager pay and then i'm back at my store. 
i cried.  my feelings were hurt.
i've workd so hard.
and i'm scared.
my rent is going up.  i can't afford to live here anymore.  the place i moved into 3 days after he died and i can't afford to live here anymore.
i have asked {read almost "begged"} to be allowed to rent a room in my son-in-law's grandmother's house.
i would pay less rent there and would do all the housework, plus all the yard work, plus keep my 40 hour a week job to have money and health care.  my dogs could keep her company while i am at work and i would be her companion when i am "home" and on my days off.  i would take care of her so she can live longer in her own home.  my son-in-law's mother said this is a win-win for them, but she has to ask her brother and sister.  so i am waiting for that conversation and for their approval.
i hope they all agree; that they all think it's a win-win.
and they know me.  my daughter is having their grandson/great grandson.
i hope they say "yes" very soon.
my stomach is in knots over the uncertainty of it all.

if i had enough money i would get me a little cabin type place i think.
and it would house all my books.  like below.
cool photograph, huh?
 and this photo is a blast from a long past blog entry....
the Saracen Tower.
i still think about a place like it.  i could be safe in a place like this.
no one could get me.

i know you're wondering why i think of safety and preventing no one from getting me.
it's a crazy story but simple one.
i've been "gotten to" a lot by some not nice people.
all i want; all i've ever wanted is a quiet life.  peaceful.  i want to breathe.
i want to live out my days in safety....from money trouble and criticism and judgements.
just let me work and go home do what needs to be done to deserve to live in a little home with a nice elderly lady.
i could sit and sew with my dogs and keep her company.
i don't need a Saracen Tower.
i don't need a cabin.
i'd whittle down my life to a little room at the end of a hallway,
in a home where i take care of the housework and yard work.
i'd be so safe in that one little room at the end of the hallway,
and i'd work so hard to make it a happy place and a place of acceptance
for me and the lovely lady who lives there.

fingers crossed.  stomach in turmoil waiting to be approved.

i hope they say "yes" very, very soon.  i'm a nice Bunny who needs a home.
i'm a scared Bunny who needs a little help.  i would work so hard.
all they have to do is say "yes."

Saturday, September 7, 2013

time

it's been awhile since i've written.  i've been busy working two stores, worrying about things, sewing the last Memory Quilt i'll ever make for a stranger, sewing for my daughter's baby who is due at Christmas, and simply trying to get by.

i got my mammogram results.  i'm good. that was nice to know.
i was supposed to have a routine colonoscopy done yesterday but ........ ,
and i truly hate to type this ...
again,
i've got pneumonia.
*very small sigh since i can't catch my breath too well at the moment*

i lay propped up in bed at night and i think too much.
i did have a dream the night before i found out how sick i was.
i dreamed i was drowning.  i was choking.
i was clutching my throat and my chest.
in my dream, this horrific dream of drowning,
i was in bed.  not in or near nor could i see 
any water.

all of it was in my lungs.

when they said that word ~ pneumonia ~ i closed my eyes and tears fell.

life is cold and aloof.
life has no emotions nor does it concern itself with individuals.
it simply is the passing of time.
people talk about how the life of a person can be measured.
mine will be measured, it seems, by the use of and number of humidifiers i go through
just so i can breathe; try to open up my lungs.

i hope my life is not measured.
i hope, when i pass, that it is me who is examined.
not my life.
me, the person me.
i saw a passage in a book.
"i am more than my wallet."
 and i am.
i am a nice person.
i am trying so hard to remember that when people are mean.
 
 the above is true.
food on the table.
i let myself get hungry.
i paid my bills and did not alert my children that i did not have enough to eat.
because i thought i could last until my next paycheck on dry cereal, toast,
and tea.
i could not.
my job has too much physical labor.
i got dizzy at work and almost passed out two days in a row.
it broke me.  i got scared.  so i called my son who sent me money for food.
until it could arrive 12 hours later {he transferred it from his account into mine}
my daughter came up with bags of food for me to eat right then.
both were so upset with me and with good reason.
i didn't ask for help.  i was too embarrassed.
but i was grateful and thankful
and promised i would never let that happen again.
they got angry because they love me and i put my health in jeopardy.
i have been contrite ever since.  ashamed i causedm the this worry.
to doubt me.  am i telling the truth about what i ate today?
i have promised them i always will.

 
i've always been drawn to the above message.
it's been in my mind for years and years.
death is the painful truth.
he isn't coming back.
i have had no signs from him or of him.
he is gone.
i have avoided the after life books for one simple reason.
i do not wish to explore it.
i do not really want to know.
my turn will come.
i will find out then.
in the meantime i have thought about the
"life is a beautiful lie"
part of that message.
what does that mean to me?
that there is no such thing as life.
it is a synonym for time.
how we spend our time is what is important.
i think life is a scientific term that allows us to distinguish
between organic and inorganic matter.
"life all the days of your life!!"
i can hear the gusto and frustration in someone's voice who feels compelled to blast someone with that quote.
"you're existing but not really living!"
they mean you're not using your time here with the joy they believe you should have.
time.
it really is all about time.

someone told me that all my creative endeavors were a wall i was building to hide behind.
they said i should try to meet someone.
i should at least date.
i smiled at them.  i felt sorry for them.
they wanted to know when i would be ready.
i said this,
"i have always been creative.  i have always had to make things.
if no one saw them, they still had to be made.
i am an artist.
it was never something i hid behind.
it is something i am.
and my Dragon loved that about me.
he never interrupted me while i was working on something.
he would sit in the same room and wait until the muse quieted and i came back to this reality."
 
 i am creative.  i am an artist.  i just have to work outside my "studio" to make money to eat.
yes, i ate 3 meals today.
i am feeling stronger.

i still cry about losing him.
i still long for him.
i ache at times.
death is the painful truth.
life is a lie.
i am not living but i am spending my time here wisely.
and i will do better because i promised my children that i will eat 3 meals a day,
or ask for help so i can do that.

my time here without him is lonely.  i am a lone goose flying the darkening skies knowing winter is coming.
and by winter i mean old age.
i hurt in my joints.  i get scared over things that didn't use to frighten me.
i struggle to leave home beyond work or visiting my daughter.
i make no plans.

"the days grow shorter, the nights grow longer;
the headstones thicken along the way,
and life grows sadder, but love grows stronger,
for those who walk with us day by day.

the tear comes quicker, the laugh comes slower;
the courage is lesser to do and dare;
and the tide of joy in the heart falls lower,
and seldom covers the reefs of care.

but all true things in the world seem truer;
and the better things on earth seem best,
and friends are dearer, as friends are fewer,
and love is all as our sun dips west.

then let us clasp hands as we walk together,
and let us speak softly in love's sweet tones,
for no man knows on the morrow whether,
we two pass on or but one alone.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

my lovely Dragon has passed on and i am alone.
were someone to ask i would say, "yes, i am grieving."
and i simply do not understand those who do not understand that it is possible to
grieve like this.  quietly.  respectfully.  without really telling anyone how lonely i am.
i've stopped admitting it to anyone though no one really asks with the sincere intent to know.

i miss him.  i wish i could hear his voice and feel the touch of his hand.
i wish we could fly together into winter's cold days and dark nights together,
but some part of fate believed i could do this alone.
i am without my mate.
i am lost in the storm of the beautiful lie that is life.
my time is being spent being creative.
because.
it is what i do.  it is who i am.
and it passes the time.
until........ 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Bunny's boob squishing/boho baby shopping/friend day

today, Bunny's mom had a day off from work.  workity work work.  stressity stress stress.  that's all Bunny sees from her mommy these days.  but today?  today was different.  Bunny and her mom had a day off.  {pssst.  tomorrow, too!}

today Bunny's mom had her first mammogram since her Dragon died.  such worry.  we girls all know that the waiting is the hard part.  are we okay?  oh, Lordy Lord but Bunny and her mom worry.  it's like a hobby with them.  some people collect stamps.  Bunny and her mom worry.  

but Bunny and her mom have something new in their life.
something very important.
Bunny and her mom have a friend.

Bunny took that first step and asked her daughter's mother-in-law if she would go with her to get her boobs squished.  that's what Bunny's mom calls a mammogram.  and she said yes!  Sherri.  that's her name; the name of Bunny/mom's new friend.  

it's nice when family becomes friends. or friends become family.
so photos were taken today to commemorate this lovely day.

here is Bunny/mom checking in for her appointment.  she how fuzzy Bunny looks in the photo?  her mommy had trembly hands.
 Bunny picked up a pamphlet to read up on boob squishing/mammograms so that she knew, when her mom went "into the room" what they were doing and why.
knowledge is truly power.
and while knowledge is power, there is also something to be said for comfort.
Bunny/mom had a friend with them today.  Sherri.  maybe she knows; maybe she only has an inkling of what her being there meant to them.
see, Dragon was Bunny/mom's go-to person.  he was the voice of reason in an insane world where things can go wrong at the drop of a hat.
"but i feel fine!"  how many times has doctor heard that after he/she has had to deliver soul shattering news?
Dragon did the self breast exams for Bunny's mom.  he was the one who did it for her.  who would know better?  who would be more thorough?  more conscientious?
these are times when Bunny/mom misses him so much.  the empty hole he left.  i mean, it's almost been 4 1/2 years and this is something that Bunny/mom has just now thought of.  we finally have insurance and it's preventative care.  yet Bunny/mom hasn't thought of it until now.
Dragon used to help her check her boobs.  Dragon would go to doctor visits with to help her ask, to help her hear and interpret what the doctor had to say.  through all of it, Dragon was there.
until he wasn't anymore.

Sherri being there was so very important.  someone knew this appointment was scarey.  someone knew that Bunny/mom needed a companion.
Sherri was glad to be there.
see that word?  glad?  important word.
you know that Bunny and her mom choose their words carefully and with intent.
glad to be there.  as opposed to grudgingly.  as opposed to disinterested.  as opposed to obligatory.
Sherri and Bunny and mom were a little tribe of women who were a the boob squishing place and who understood the depth of the awe that place can inspire.  and the worry. 
 Sherri and Bunny couldn't go into the actual room but Bunny did go to the changing room with her mom.  and there she waited.  she sat with her mom's shirt and her Brown Scapular.
her mom wears the Scapular because it is a devotional to Mary and makes her mom feel closer to the Blessed Mother.  sometimes it's nice to have another woman to talk to, you know?  Mary was a woman who had to make tough decisions, shouldered the honor of bearing the Son of God, and suffered great sorrows.  no one knows, until now i guess, that Bunny's mom wears a Scapular.  she always has ever since she converted.  anyway, Bunny talked to Mary while her mom was getting her boobs squished.  it gave Bunny comfort.
 after the appointment, Bunny, her mom, and Sherri went to look at, what else, baby stuff for the little boho baby coming their way.
Bunny did all the investigating while her mom and Sherri looked one.  see, Bunny is small enough that she was the "tester" of the products.  all grammas are notoriously picky about what their grandchildren sit in, sleep in, ride in, etc., etc.

here Bunny is checking out the crib that is the top favorite.
looks pretty good from Bunny's point of view.
 strollers were next.  nothing too fancy.  nothing gilded or encrusted.  boho baby will mostly be an "in arms baby but you have to have a stroller.  Bunny thought this one was perfect.  great color, too.  solid wheels for those times when boho baby might want to go "off roading."
 Bunny saw a bear and, of course, had to say "hi."
 Bunny and mom and Sherri all went to Bye Bye Baby where everyone, literally everyone was wonderful.  they met, talked with, learned from, and laughed with Shawna who was so great.  Bunny wanted her photo taken with Shawna.  i mean, what greater job than to help soon-to-be moms, new moms, and almost grammas with all the latest and newest baby stuff!
so thank you Shawna for being so cool, and for letting Bunny get her picture taken with you.
p.s. we saw stuff we love love love and we'll be back with our preggers girl in tow.
there are some "must haves" for our boho baby at Bye Bye Baby.
 like this awesome drying rack!! how "green"is this?!!?  Bunny loves it!  now if we can only decide on the colors of the flowers.
 Bunny tried out this, what Bunny thought of as the "zen baby melodic relaxing pod."
Bunny could have napped right then and there but she was introduced to the......
 4moms mamaroo plush baby swing!!!!  freakin awesome!!!  it's like an amusement park ride for boho baby!
it bounces, it sways, it makes circular motions all with music!!  Bunny had to have a ride.  she love love loved it!  she wants one for our boho baby so she can have a ride whenever she visits/babysits/takes over.

all in all, a lovely morning and early afternoon.  after the girls all got back to Bunny/mom's place, the girls all sat and talked.  they talked family. they talked sex.  {yes, Bunny said sex.}  they talked religion.  it was deep.  it was funny.  there were a couple of tears but it was wonderful.
imagine.
just quiet yourself and imagine this.
someone to talk to.
a woman.  a friend.  someone of like mind yet diverse opinions.
someone who sees your pain and accepts how you are dealing/living with it.
imagine this.
a friend.

thank you women at the boob squishing place for accepting Bunny wanting pictures for her blog.
thank you, Shawna and Bye Bye Baby for being wonderful and having such fun products.
{shhh Bunny.  the mamaroo is something we'll have to talk about later.  it's rated $$$$$}

and a most heartfelt thank you to Sherri who would say, "don't thank me.  i loved it."
but thank yous should always be said.  yes, out of politeness, but most of all
to those we love and want in our lives.  they always should know how much we appreciate them.
it's the little things that we should acknowledge because sometimes it's the little things that cost and mean so much.

now, Bunny must go sew.
 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

boho baby

Bunny's been working for her new grandbaby that's coming; her little Boho Baby.
here are some pictures.
Baby Blocks!!

 there are little bells inside.

 Prayer flags.  some are finished.  some are not.  this is not all of them.



 
 mobile.  i went to Goodwill and bought an old lampshade for $2.  i used my Dragon's jeans to wrap the top and bottom.  yarn to wrap around the entire body of the shade.  i used scrap fabric for the dangling fish.  i bought little cards and wrote nice little sayings inside.

i miss my Dragon.  i wish he were here for this.  he would have loved this time in our lives.  grandma Bunny.  grandpa Dragon.  it would have been so cool.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

comfortably numb

so, as Bunny wrote, i've been reading a lot.  insomnia has been my buddy these last weeks so i've been going through books like a starving soul at a banquet.  what am i searching for?  my defense at feeling this way?  my excuse?  my justification?

"where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which i find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night.  i miss you like hell."  ~Edna St. Vincent Millay

"when you have nobody you can make a cup of tea for, when nobody needs you, that's when i think life is over."  ~ Audrey Hepburn

"loneliness is the human condition.  cultivate it.  the way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow.  never expect to outgrow loneliness.  never hope to find people who will understand you, someone to fill that space.  an intelligent, sensitive person is the exception, the very great exception.  if you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment.  the best you'll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you want, and not let the cattle stand in your way."  ~ Janet Fitch, White Oleander

“the best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. that's the only thing that never fails. you may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. there is only one thing for it then — to learn. learn why the world wags and what wags it. that is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. look what a lot of things there are to learn.”~ T.H. White, The Once and Future King 

then i got this message - it's called "Messages From God," and i subscribed to it.  at times they are eerily what i need to hear.  {to anyone reading who does not believe or believes something/someone different, please do not be offended.}

it's time you remembered who you really are.

you are not your wallet, your job, your kids, your house. you are not your activities or your worries or the labels other people give you. like an actor you play these roles, and like a good actor you sometimes forget who you really are. time to wake up now, and remember that you are a being of immense power and breathtaking beauty created in the image of God.


 i have gotten comfortable with feeling down.  i have lost weight and my daughter says i am looking fantastic.  40 lbs. total so far.  i want to lose another 20 and i think i might be okay there.  the doctor is pleased.  i wish i could be.   i feel so lifeless.  i'm excited about being a grandmother.  gran'ma Bunny.  but i have this melancholy feeling all the time.  i'm neither too up nor too down.  i'm just going through life with my head down.

i feel like i'm on the outside looking in at life.  i see fun.  i hear about the fun others have.  i haven't had fun in so long.  i had fun last year when i visited my son.  this year i do not get a vacation.  i am, however, scheduling my colonoscopy, a mammogram, and pap smear.  whoopie.  i always have anxiety over medical tests.  terrified of these now.  wish i had someone to go with me.  my daughter says to call her mother-in-law to go.  i'm thinking of doing just that.

i am working on some really nice things for my daughter's baby.  boho baby things.  she's due Christmas Eve.  i'll be taking photos of these newest creative ventures and posting as i get them done.  sill working on this last quilt.  she has added more embroidery.  i have hung my head and resigned myself to probably never being done with this quilt.  i am not sure if she realizes how much work all this is.  all by hand.  it has become a burden and i am so very worn out with this one quilt.  king sized.  intricate embroidery of scenes like sunset behind a silhouette of the Golden Gate bridge - {118 hours to do that one}.  and now she wants more.  and how can i say no?  its her memory quilt.  and no one does it like i do.  all by hand.  anything you want.  any picture.  i paint with embroidery floss.



i'm up and i'm down.  i'm neither too okay nor too sad.  "i have become comfortably numb." {~ thank you, Pink Floyd.}

p.s. i've decided to take a class at a yarn shop.  i want to learn to crochet.  maybe i'll meet some nice women there.  maybe i'll find someone to talk to; to hang out with upon occasion; maybe a ~ friend?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"forgive life"

Bunny hasn't been around of late.  if you remember, she's retired.  her mom, me, no longer works at Build-A-Bear - sad, sad thing with her store closing for economic reasons.

now i sell children's shoes.  tough life there.  been written of.  no need to rehash.  nothing's changed.

but Bunny wanted to write to all of her readers.  she's never spoken before, written in her own words.  she's always allowed me to speak to her life.  but she wanted to - for the first time ever.  so here she is:  the Bun

hi.  it's me, Beach Bunny, Bunny, or just the Bun.  it's been quite the adjustment being left at home now.  i hate to see mom go off alone, out there in the world.  she has to drive so very far from home.  and i worry, especially when she has to close the store and it gets really late at night.
 one night she didn't get home until after 2 in the morning.
she was so tired and, here's a secret.  it was the first time i actually slept with mom.
she usually has me sit in my special place on my special pillow beside her bed, next to Dragon,
but she was so tired that night, and filled, literally filled to the brim with anxiety, that she held me close, and cried a bit, and had me sleep with her.
i comforted her all night.  after she was finally asleep, i whispered out loud in her ear so her heart could hear, about how much i love her.  about how much her children love her, and especially about how much her Dragon loves her.

so what does a Bun do alone in the home?
ears up and i help my mom.  i vacuum for her and i plump pillows.
 i take care of my pony friends my mom made. i love them so much.  they are a fun group
and we run around the apartment like crazy chasing mom's scotties.  exercise is very important. 
 i have quiet times, too, sitting and reading to my own little puppy, Snowball.
 and i wait for my mom to come home, home where she's loved and is safe.
see my eyes?  see the anxiousness i hold in my heart when she is gone?
i'm going to tell you something, maybe it's a secret, i'm not sure, but mom read this short story.
mom reads to try and relax and she's going through a lot of old books of hers.  Oscar Wilde is a favorite.  she just reread "The Canterville Ghost" because, as she told me, "Bun, there is poetry hidden in the prose."
her favorite part of the book is Sir Simon's soliloquy about death.
"Death must be so beautiful.  To life in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one's head, and listen to the silence.  To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow.  To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace."
 mom read that part to me out loud and then she was quiet, not reading, not talking, just thinking.  and then she said this to me, "i miss him, Bunny.  i think about him all the time.  i'm not sure if i'm supposed to, or if i am to fight that.  but i can't fight any longer.  i'm not a fighter by nature.  i'm a re-router.  i do things my own way.  i have to.  'to thine own self be true.'  Shakespeare told the truth on that one. you can't lie to yourself.'
i stared at her in my own inscrutable way and she said, "no, i'm not thinking about dying dying, like, you know, dying, but i do think about being with him when my time comes.  and i think about being at peace.  i'm searching for it and i have come to sort of believe that peace is our journey, or at least it's mine.  i have moments of peace, but not a life of peace.  i wonder if anyone does.  i do have things that i am upset about - things that have happened to me throughout my life and that's the part of Sir Simon's speech i was thinking about.  forgiving life.  'to forgive life.'  i need to try and do that."

so i have spilled the beans.  mom is a deep thinker.  she is always trying to be a better person as she calls it.  and she is always thinking philosophically.  about everything.  even me.
which is why she went ahead and let me write this time.
because mom and me, we're sympatico.  we're kindred souls.

just like her and her Dragon.
btw, he's a truly lovely person.  i know that for a fact.  i've met him; seen him when he checks in on mom.  she doesn't know.  she's not really looking for signs.  she doesn't think she deserves them so she doesn't anticipate them.  but being the Bun, you know, THE BUN, i have that special gift.  
i've become Real, as in "The Velveteen Rabbit" Real.  and with becoming real, you get special gifts.
seeing the Dragon is one of them.

so to anyone out there who grieves, i hope you believe me when i say this. 
you are loved.
you are watched over.
you are being waited on.  {or for.  i can never get that one right.}

as mom sometimes writes,
peace to all who read.
peace and light to all who grieve.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

the hug

there is this thing we did that i miss.
we would hug.
or more than hug, by definition, but it was a hug.
 we hugged like people imagine a hug, but we also did this one other thing,
do it this one other way.

i have had a life of being starved for human contact, for the need of being touched.
my parents did not touch us, my brother and me.  they were not affectionate people.
my grandparents would hug us, hold our hands, but our parents did not.
and oddly now that i think of it, our grandparents did not touch us in front of our parents.

my first husband hated being touched.  he hated touching me
he told me once to never touch him.  so i was very careful if we stood in close proximity.
no holding hands.  no sitting on the sofa together.  no touching.
he slept in a different bedroom and for 15+ years, i was not touched by him.

as my children grew up, i kept holding their hands, ruffling their hair, kissing their cheeks,
and hugging them.
i never wanted them to feel alone in the world.
 i never wanted them to feel worthless, or like there was something wrong with them.
there is nothing wrong with wanting a hug, or wanting to hold someone's hand.

my Dragon liked touching me.
he would hold my hand.
he would hug me.
but he would also do this one other thing.

i would lay down on the bed and he would lay down on top of me and hold me.
i would feel his big body pressing down on me.
he would nuzzle my neck and whisper in my ear,
"i love you.  you are mine and you are safe.
i will never tire of touching you.
you are my love forever and ever."

i had told him what it felt like to realize the people
who are supposed to love you to not want to touch you.
he never wanted me to feel like that again.

i feel that again.  so i close my eyes
and remember the hug.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"go glitter or go home"

Bunny was sneaky.   she hopped into her mom's backpack to go to work with her.

see, mom has been way down.  really down.
like so far down she cries all the time.
oh, no one at work knows.  but Bunny knows.
mom talks to Bunny.
so Bunny wanted to see what it was all about.
 Bunny saw.  oh, Lordy Lord Bunny saw what made her mom cry.
so Bunny did what she could to make her mom smile that day.
she jumped out of the backpack and yelled, "i love you, you crazy mom who talks to bunnies!"
mom was happy to see her.  it was like, almost like old times. 
Bunny at work with her mom.

Bunny pulled a funny.  she gathered up all the shoes that her mommy was having to damage out
and she tried them all on.
 Bunny says, "go glitter or go home."
and mommy smiled.
i miss him.  i'm really hurting and i need to talk to him.
so i do.
but it's not the same.

things are just whacked out at work.  i've got a girl who deliberately screws things up
and then does this Orwellian double-speak.  
i am having "the talk" with her on Friday.
i'm not being paid to be the manager.
i'm not being paid enough to be the assistant manager, but
i do my job, 
and the manager's job.
i hope someone's watching.
i hope something good happens sometime soon.
i'm trying to keep in mind what Bunny said.
"go glitter or go home."
keep a light heart.

i ordered the book "Heaven" that an anonymous commenter told me about.
i'm looking forward to reading it.
i got it off amazon.com.  used.  cost me $6 total.
i also ordered "The Way to Zen."
61 cents.
$4 total.
i love amazon.com.

i'm tired and i miss him.
i felt protected with him.
now i feel like a little boat lost at sea.
but not too far from shore.
i called my son today.
i told him everything.
he is sending me money for food.
he told me not to wait so long to call him;
that he's here for me,
like a "Special Trade."

i'm embarrassed to have had to ask.
i am grateful i have him.
i cried after i hung up the phone.
i cried that a "special trade" had to happen.
i cried that i do have him; and that he loves me so much.
"go glitter or go home."

i love you, Dragon.
i love you, my kind, generous, loving son.
i love you, my sweet, loyal daughter.
i promise you guys that i will keep my head up.
i promise not to give up.

"go glitter or go home."

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Bunny update and a letter to Dragon

i think i promised a Bunny update.  well, here it is.

first off, Bunny is still working full time at that new place.  {psssst.  she doesn't like it but it's a job
and she is grateful to have it.}  But the Bun doesn't make enough.  she is working for much less and driving much further and she isn't making ends meet.  she had given up on the luxury of enough food so she is going to try and sell Mary Kay cosmetics.  she is doing it with her daughter so both girls are trying their best to be pretty and invite women they meet to free facials in hopes of selling to them.
Bunny is trying to find people for her first party.  her daughter already did one and made $300 that evening.  Bunny's fingers are crossed.  oh, and if anyone here is interested, Bunny is getting her Mary Kay website up soon and will post it here.  it really is a good product and Bunny would love to take orders.  {yes, she knows.  she is selling here on her blog.  Bunny isn't above screaming for help.}

 Bunny has a friend that she got on her last day at her old store, the bear store.  it's a little white Scottie.  yes, she knows most people will think, "oh, a Westie," but Bunny says, "nope.  she's a Scottie."  her name is Snowball and Bunny loves her very much.  they watch Netflix together.
 Bunny drives her around the apartment in her car, and lets Snowball toot the horn.
 Bunny sews, and sews, and sews.  and Bunny keeps company with her Dragon.
she misses him a lot.  a whole lot.  in fact, Bunny has had some moments where her self-doubt has gotten the better of her and she has wondered if her Dragon would even know her anymore.  she has changed so much.

she has wondered if he would still love her.  she has lost so much weight.  she looks so sad sometimes.  she doesn't smile when she isn't around people.  she talks softly to her Scottie babies.  but she doesn't ever go out, except to work.

she thinks about her Dragon a lot and wonders if he is alright.

my dearest Dragon,

how are you?  i know that sounds like a ridiculous way to start a letter to someone who has died, and been dead for over 4 years, but i really want to know.  what is it like?  what do you feel?  do you feel?  can you see me?  i hope, if you can, that you don't look in on me at all because i have changed.  i am so far from who i was when i was with you.  i feel lost out here in a storm that continues to build.

i lost my store.  it closed and i am at a store that is so vastly different.  the boss there is a bully.  she is verbally abusive and we have been unable to get upper management to even acknowledge it.  the humiliation is hard to take.  the pressure, the denigration, it is embarrassing in front of customers.  the constant threats of being fired.  the unreasonable physical demands, it is taking it's toll on me.  i am looking for another job, but i have started with Mary Kay.

i know.  this will make you laugh.  me and makeup.  i have never worn makeup in my whole life, and here i am now using it and trying to sell it.  you always told me i was so beautiful.  but you always said the best part of me was the "inside me."  you loved my soul, who i was.  i guess who i might still be.  that part of me hasn't changed.  what has changed is my courage.  my stamina is less.  hope is hard to hang on to.  i miss you fiercely.  you were so strong.  you were kick ass and bad ass and all that kind of ass.  you also had a great ass but what i need is for my own ass to be stronger. 

i have gone through all the strength i have.  i have gone through my inner reserves.  i am now running on the idea of hope and strength.  but ideas have carried far more than i further than i even want to go.  so the idea of hope, especially if it's all you have, isn't such a bad thing to have.  some have less.

over 4 years since i kissed you.  over 4 years since i last heard your voice.  where did you go?  is it nice where you are?  do you ever think of me?  do you wish you knew?  if i were tired or happy or, if i were sad and blue?  la de da.  la de da.  i sometimes wish it had been me who died.

but then i think about my children.  and i think about my dogs.  i think about what the future holds and i wonder where i will go.  will i go to Heaven?  is there one?  will we be together?  will i .......
the questions go on and on.  and now, you are one who has the answers.  why won't you share them with me?  

sometimes i don't think i'm going to make it.  i work hard and keep looking for more work.  i never rest on my day off {well, writing on my blog isn't exactly work} and i never go out.  i don't do things other than work, errands, laundry, sew, and now Mary Kay.  my time is taken up with surviving.

i don't even take photos of clouds really anymore.  and i miss the creative thing.  yes, sewing is creative, but i have drawings that i make at night, sketches of things i want to make and i don't take the time for myself.  i don't feel i can.  like maybe i would be punished if i tried to do something nice for myself.  like it's not allowed.

i miss you.  you made me feel happy.  happy is one of those elusive feelings, like inner peace.  you only know you aren't there, but it's what you work for.  and yet, if you read Zen, Judeo-Christian writings, it isn't something you work for, it's something you discover.

i discovered happiness with you.  i discovered inner peace with you.  watching you die ripped that all away and i am swamped with a grief that i've read is all my fault.  "pain is an actual experience.  grief is something you have control over.  so get over it."  reading that hit me in the face like a shovel.  i'm in control of grief.  i'm in control of how much i miss you and how lonely i feel for you.  let me snap my fingers and get over it.  there.  all done.

not.

anyway, i'm more or less the same as i was.  well, i am less than i was.  i am quieter.  i am sadder.  i am more of a loner.  i am freer in a way with what i say and how i look because i do not care what i look like.  you're not here to impress.  i am despondent a lot.  i am hopelessly in love with you.  still.

there is a pattern to my days and a rhythm to my sleep.  all fucked up.  but i'm used to it.  i am tired.  i do have a few more questions for you.

do you miss me?

do you get to sleep, really rest after you die?  

do you, could you, still love me?

forever and always,
~ your Beach Bunny

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

3 surgeries, 3 deaths ~ a day in the life of...

i have done nothing today but look for another job, deal with some medical issues, and been the observer of 3 deaths.

i'll talk about the job thing some other time.  i don't want to sound like i'm complaining.

i got the results of some other tests i had done.  today the doctor told me that i need 3 surgeries.  both my feet and my left knee need surgery.  i told him it will have to wait until i can have health care again.  he understood but told me the pain will get increasingly worse.  there is nothing i can do.

i went home to just sit and remind myself to breathe but i was forced to deal with 3 very small deaths that bear no import to anyone but me.  there will be no write up in any papers or anything like that.  in fact, some readers may roll their eyes.  and that's okay.  i understand that these 3 things are only important to me.

my humidifier died today.  i use it to help me breathe at night.
my toaster died today.  sometimes toast is all i have left to eat until my next paycheck.
my fish died today.  i've had him for almost 3 years.

humidifier and toaster have been solemnly removed to the dumpster.  i stood there for a moment and considered the cost of each item.  can't do it right now.  if my breathing starts to disintegrate i will sell something at the pawn shop and get me another one.  the toaster?  someday i'll get another one.

my fish, Moby Mocha Boo, has been tearfully removed from his tank and placed in a baggy of water and placed in the freezer.  i will take him to my daughter's house on my day off on Friday to be buried in her back yard.  yes, i called her.  she has fish.  3 huge tanks at her house.  3 dogs.  2 lizards.  the girl understands my love of animals.  she carries my genes for that.

i made up a song for him that i sang to him every night before i went to bed.  i have songs for Carmen Sophia and Scootie Wootums, too.  every animal i've ever owned had their own song that i made up.  it's a foolish thing to do, but i've always been a fool like that.  i sing silly songs to fill the quiet and my animals always seemed to like it.  my dogs love their songs.  Moby Mocha Boo would swim to the top of the tank when i sang his song, even if it wasn't feeding time.

and now he's gone.

i tried not to look at his eyes when i placed him in the baggy.  but before i put him in there, i took a sharpie and wrote his song on the baggy so he will have it with him when i put him in the earth.  and even though i am burying my fish in the earth, he has his water all around him.

i hope he knows how very much i love him and how soothing his swimming was to me.

Moby Mocha Boo, i love you.  you're swimmy and you're silly.
Moby Mocha Boo, i love you.  you're pretty and you're mine.

good-bye, Moby.  you were a funny, silly, very pretty little fish.