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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

It Hurts So Good - Pain and Laughter

It is here, the 2nd anniversary of Clint’s death. I will get through it.

I woke, tired and aching, from a dream of blue crabs, some skittering around the deck, others dead, cooked to that bright orange they take on when heated. It was nighttime, no moon, and my dogs were chasing the live crabs all over the deck, ignoring the dead ones and trying to eat the live ones. I began to try to catch the live ones so I could to steam and eat them. I tried grabbing them with a pair of short tongs. The result was the picture of a frantic me, chasing the crabs and catching none. Then they were all cooked, perfect orange sculptures decorating the deck and glowing in the dark.

I looked into the dogs’ kennel on the deck, a product of my dream, and found the shells and flippers of large crabs scattered all over it. I got down on my knees and reached in to start cleaning up the mess.

Awake. Aware. Today is the 2nd anniversary of Clint’s death. I will get through it.

Two years ago, Clint lay in this bed, dying, scorched with fever but awake enough to say, time after time, that he loved me. The day unfolded and he was too tired to talk but would open his eyes when he heard my voice. The afternoon wore one, and I lay at his side, whispering permission for him to go, lying to him, saying I would be okay. He stopped opening his eyes, and at 6:33 PM he stopped breathing and I put my ear to his chest and his heart was still. Today, it beats within me, his heart so kind and good and loving.

This is the 2nd anniversary of Clint’s death. Will I ever get through this?

Clint fretted about leaving me alone. He wanted me to meet and marry someone else after he was gone. I shrugged off the very idea. No one in the universe, I told him, could fill his size 13 shoes, love me the way he did, treasure my very existence as he did. I had great romance with him for 35 years, and I could feed off that for the rest of my life.

These two years have been a time of transition for me, reinventing the parts of me that Clint took when he left. I have made some mistakes. I have taken great pleasure and gratification from my work. I have grown, but I have also shrunken. I have become more and more reclusive, less tolerant of fools. I don’t have enough time waste on prattle .

I have been dreadfully lonely, sometimes sitting on the hearth to talk to Clint, there in his urn. I have wept and laughed with him. When I sat down with him 10 days ago and told him my high school sweetheart had called and wants to come to see me, he smiled. He does not want me to be alone.

Now I am confused and crazy. I have always loved Michael as a friend, and we never lost touch. Clint grew to like him when he saw how important his long distance friendship was to me.

Now, in two weeks, Michael is coming from Houston to Macon to see me. I have a Gentleman Caller. We have not missed a day talking to one another since I returned from France. When he called me, I was in Aix. This sounds like something you read about, not something that happens.

I think God and Clint put their heads together and sent Michael back into my life at this painful time to give me hope, to help me through the tremendous pain I am feeling. When Michael calls, he makes me laugh and that laughter soars over my grief and covers it up, if for only a short time. This man and I have loved one another since our teenage years, a love born of great friendship and mutual respect. I don’t know what he wants, he won’t say until he gets here, but I believe he is coming to woo me.

Thus the crazy confusion. Am I ready for romance? Will I ever be? I’m lonely. Am I reading too much into this? What is Michael looking for? Do I have it?

Today is the 2nd anniversary of Clint’s death, and Michael is helping me get through it.


Amanda said...

This was a very moving post cj, I'm in tears! It is sad, inspiring, heart-warming, all in one.

I'm so glad for you.

Sue said...

Beautiful post, CJ.

(And if I may say a word?)

Just be open to whatever this brings...

And whatever direction it takes, let it nurture you.


Hipstercrite said...

cj- that was very beautiful and moving. reading this definitely made my afternoon.

injaynesworld said...

Beautifully and lovingly written. As for Michael. Just breathe and try not to create a bunch of scenarios in your head. Let your dear friend just arrive and with him, whatever the Universe has in mind for you.

I'm happy you're going to have his company again. Enjoy whatever it brings you.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

cj how sweet and loving and such raw truth in this post. I know you will always miss Clint but keep your heart open and give yourself permission to love again.

Athena said...

CJ, if nothing else, delicious anticipation for a friendship continued, renewed, or expanded beyond. Heart and eyes open, consider the possibilities.

Thank you for sharing this post with us -- take care.

June Freaking Cleaver said...

I've been thinking of you, and hope that you passed they day with a bit of sunshine amid the clouds and sorrow.

Katie Gates said...

Oh, CJ, once again you move me to tears with your intensely visceral writing. I love what you are willing to share, and the fact that you share it so eloquently is a testament not only to your gift as a writer, but to your gift as a human.

I'm intrigued by the pending arrival of Michael. The universe has interesting choreography, doesn't it?

daydreamertoo.com said...

Having gone through the journey you are on, I know we feel as if being happy is a betrayal of the one we lost but really, it isn't. They loved us and above all else wished to see us happy. Your husband maybe did conspire with whom you see as your God to bring you out of your dreadful loneliness. I think you ought to just treat this meeting as a meeting between old friends, go from there. That way you have no expectations, and your friend knows not to over step boundaries that you may not be ready for yet.
Friends, is always a lovely place to start because you know what is expected of each other and can relax.
Hope that helps.
It isn't easy, but, I do think your husband had a hand in the making of this... for you.

daydreamertoo.com said...

Once again, I have to thank you for such a lovely comment and, I am so happy what I write resonates in you too. Anything that helps towards our healing has got to be for the good.
(((Hugs )))

deborahjbarker said...

Be open to whatever choices life brings. You will always have the 35 years you speak of so eloquently - I am sure life does have a lot more in store for you just as Clint wishes.
As Katie says, intriguing!