Hi again. It’s me calling out from this island in the Aegean Sea. Are you there? Are you reading my words? Do you care? WTF? What is so important you can’t respond? Are you so busy with your iPhone, checking Facebook, googling Syria-GMOs-radiation leaking from Fukishima, wondering when you can might get your nails done, walking the dogs, sitting on the freeway, yelping gluten free pizza, paying bills, selling on ebay, occasionally seeing clients, making your art from trash and crying about your dearly departed sweetheart…you can’t even take a moment to hear what I have to say? />
Oh shit, that was me, just weeks ago. Well, sort of. What can I say? I was very busy at once living my life and ignoring my self, even though I thought I was paying such good attention to my inner being. Oh. Yeah, maybe I was. Actually, I was doing the best I could do at the time. I suppose it takes removing ourselves from the familiar, or having the familiar removed from us, as in the case of having your partner leave, as happened to me, to give us the opportunity to “see” what has been in front of us all the time.
When Max moved from here (life as I thought I knew it) to there (death/the great beyond/heaven/the planet why?) I was, for months-maybe a year, in a sort of stupor. “Wait a minute,” I asked, to no apparent being, “where did he go? Where is this man, you know, Max Middleton, the one who says he loves me, who is fighting the good fight, who talks his 125%, promising he’ll stick around… Where’s he now? How do I live now he’s not here to hold my hand when we go to bed at night, who wakes in the morning and thanks me and I him, for being here. I can’t see him. Really, where the fuck did he go?”
Max and I were lucky. We spent almost every day of eight years together and really liked each other. The love thing? It was natural, almost eerily so, as if we had known one another for years, maybe previous lives…even though we met, through match.com, on a whim… when we were both over fifty. He’d thought he wanted to just “play”… I knew better. Oh, sure we did play, but exclusively with each other, after he finally got over the fact he didn’t need to hide his feelings, those were safe with me. “Life is good” he’d remark to friends when asked how he was doing, and he meant it. Those same friends would tell me later, in confidence, they’d never seen him happier. And me? I was at peace in a way I’d never felt before. I was finally in a relationship with a man who loved and honored me, himself and others, who loved dogs – we had 4, and my kids, my friends, my home- all now ours, and he loved travel, gardening, the theatre, movies… we could talk easily with one another about everything, even what we were actually feeling! The only occasional argument was over in seconds, with one of us offering the other a hand, a kiss, a look, maybe even one word to say, “I love you, no matter what.” Magic was with us.
Sounds like a dream…and now it seems as if it were only that, a dream… except I’ve got pictures, and a little scroll in a bottle he had made especially for me one valentines day, which remind me “I love you.” I’m thankful for that, and other stuff too. Like the habaneros he planted in the garden two years ago which still produce bushels of “god-they’re fucking hot” (understatement) golfball-sized peppers, which might only get removed, should i ever decide to re-landscape, with a permit from the city’s hazmat department. I believe Max is still tending them from whatever plane he is on, since I swear they are the biggest habaneros I’ve ever seen, and they weren’t that size when he was alive! Can he eat them in heaven without crying? Has he reincarnated? Does it matter?
Yes, there are a few things I’ve thought I could’ve done without, like his 1984 jeep cj7 and 1984 Honda magna motorcycle – these I’ve attempted to restore, to sell, to pay our bills. I thought it would be an easy thing, restoring the jeep, that is, but it’s still sitting in my driveway awaiting our angels (and my willingness to finally quit waiting for Max to show up and give me a big hug) to help complete the project. The bike is ready to sell when I return. I’m not rushing now. It’ll happen…selling them and other stuff I need to shed from our life together.
My grief is finally transforming into another word which begins with “Gr” and it’s not my “gritting” my teeth, or “growling” at people or things who piss me off, or even “grinding” my teeth at night as I attempt to hold back my tears. Nor is it “grasping” at more stuff to keep me busy so i don’t have to feel sad, or angry, or even slaphappy. I’m sure those things will still happen from time to time well beyond today.
My transformation is my entering my own sense of divine Grace. Somehow, someway, through angelic intervention, or a trick of the cosmos, I have been given the chance and choice to now be here for me. I can be here, alive, on planet earth…with Max, wherever he is. I’m learning to love someone else now… Me. I let you know how it goes. I promise to keep in touch.