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, March 31, 2013


 my store is closing.  they are closing my store.  that was the news i got 4 weeks ago next Thursday.  it slammed into me like a fist into my stomach.  my first thought was "no money and no health care."

i cried.  they let me go home that day because i was so very devastated.  they offered me a part time job back at the store i trained at, at that moment, i accepted.  but the next day i started looking for work.  that evening i had an interview lined up with Stride Rite - shoes.  selling bears to selling shoes.   they offered me a full time assistant manager position at a store the same long distance from my little apartment but it comes with health care so i took it.  $1 an hour less in pay.  so i took it.  because jobs are so hard to find and this one literally fell into my lap.  one week exactly from the day i heard they were closing my store, i had another job to walk into.

i was lucky and i know it.  but i am still scared.  tomorrow starts my new job.  first question?  what is the pay period?  when do i get a paycheck again?  second question?  when does health care kick in?

transitioning is so very scary for someone like me.  i'm still a Bunny of a woman.  i'm quiet.  i seldom defend myself.  case in point.  when i had to return the keys to my store, one of the part time managers at the store i returned them to told me i was crazy for accepting the job i did, that i was stupid to accept a job where i would still have to drive so far, and on and on.  what did i say in return?  nothing.  i cried and walked away.  she saw me crying.  she knew she had made me cry.  i did not look back.  what do you say to someone who points things out like that?  "is your life so miserable that you relish every opportunity to make someone cry and feel scared?  do you look in the mirror and see the monster i see inside you?"

but Bunny says nothing.  she just cries and walks away, and, of course, has yet another place and person she avoids.  such cruelty in the world.  thoughtless acts.  purposeless.
 i closed and locked the doors to my store for the last time on Good Friday.  i peeked back in and cried.  i cried for all the fuzzy friends i will not get to make.  i cried for the uncertain future i am headed into.  i cried out of fear and loneliness.  i cried all the way home.

home.  when i got home there they were.  my two friends.  they love me unrestrained.  they have no self-interests.  there is no evil in them, no malice.  they are incapable of revenge or cruelty.  dogs are "the rich man's guardian and the poor man's friend, the only creature faithful to the end."  ~ George Crabbe.
i love them.  i anticipate their greetings as i hurry up the stairs.  i open the door and sigh with relief.  i am with them again.  our little pack of three are reunited.  all is well within the sanctuary of our small little place.  we all pile on the bed and we all three sigh.  snuggle time.  cuddle time.  time to rest together.  one of our pack is now gone forever, and i know that these two will see him before i will.  but for now, we are together, and i can cry, ask them questions, "what do you think about this, or that?"  they listen with all the intensity of a worried therapist.  they lick my tears and sit on my legs trapping me, drifting off knowing that if i move, they will awaken.

transitioning is hard on them, too.  my daughter is coming over on breaks or after her own shift to walk them until my hours are figured out.  the first week i am being trained and have to drive an hour to another store and an hour back.  the company is paying for mileage but i do worry about my dogs, my friends, my babies; so my daughter is coming to walk them.    i can find comfort during the day in that.

so life has decided that i am to do something different now.  from bears to shoes.  a job of serving others.  on my knees fitting shoes to others' feet.  humble.  very humble.  i asked my children if they were ashamed that i had come to this and they said, no, that they were so very proud of me.  they felt i had earned this "move up" and they it was meant to be.  it all happened so fast and so easily.

i have no idea what lessons i am now supposed to learn and/or what i am to give to everyone now, but i guess i'll go with the flow.  i'll work, and learn, and give and give.  i'll keep my head down and work.

once i transition into this job i have made a promise to myself, set a new goal.  i want to try to be happy.  i want to try and find a way to accept this life better, be on better terms with it, because i am tired of being so afraid and so depressed.  i miss him badly.  i miss him as a friend, companion, lover, husband, as someone who truly cared about me.  i miss him, but i have to keep going and i want to do that "keep going" thing better than i have been.  fear and worry and grief have taken their toll on me.  so i am going to try to find "happy."  or i could grade on a curve and find "doin' okay."  i'd accept that.

life is a journey.  "doin' okay" first, then "happy."

and i'll take my little Carmen Sophia and Scootie Wootums along with me.  after all, "i get by with a little help from my friends."

p.s. the Veteran's Administration has approved my waiver and released me from any obligation to pay them back for their mistake.  {just keep breathing, Bunny.  for some reason that went your way.  just keep breathing.}


Debbie said...

I hope your first day of work went well and your new company works out well for you. Stride Rite is lucky to have you!

judemiller1 said...

Why would that stupid woman say something like that to you? Did she expect you to leave and not look for work--better benefits? It may take 90 days for the health care to kick in, but it will be worth the $1 less an hour for you. We just do the best we can, the best we know how. For us fearful, anxious, quiet people, just getting a job is scary enough, but---you did it. I think, "doin' okay" is going to be good enough for us.

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