❤melt: the simple truth

Monday Heart Melt, Monday Melt

The simple truth is, I love him.

Sometimes I type his number onto my cellphone just to stare at it.  Just to remind myself to breathe.  In prison, I would sign up for a phone slot and sit in the booth for all fifteen minutes– just to stare at his number on my hand.

I don’t press the button to connect because I don’t need the button to connect.

At this point, we are connected always.

We are tied through our blogs, of course.  We started within weeks of each other and have labelled together, and warred together, and collected Stories together.

Matticus, Ra, Dave, Dani, & Deb
Matticus, Ra, Dave, Dani, & Deb

We are connected through shared memories of my husband– dining in the warm light of his kitchen, entertained by the enchanting smile of his queen, serenaded by the chuckles of his Little Prince.  We are connected through casual parties with blogging friends.

We are connected through a love of all things geek, blog, literary, and absurd.
But more than that, we are connected through 438 days of imprisonment.

He did my time with me, carrying what he could.

His idealism bled with mine when I was first cuffed.
His heart broke with mine when I was torn from each place or person where I found comfort.
His body limped with me when I injured myself.
He learned, rejoiced, and boiled with me, and when time came– when I didn’t think there was any more he could carry–

He mourned with me. He stood silently beside me and lifted bags achingly full of pain, nodding the direction forward. Mutely, numbly, I followed.

He is the reason I continued on.

He is the voice inside my head that told me to step past those gates, even if I didn’t know where I was goingYet. His simple truths corrected me at every turn:  You don’t know where you’re going yet.

From miles away, and through thousands of words, he served 438 days in a women’s prison through the eyes of someone who could not have survived it on her own.

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Oops, look like Queen played a bit of an invisibility trick on us in this one.
Oops, look like Queen played a bit of an invisibility trick on us in this one.

“I love him.” I blurted to Dave– in the middle of the visiting center, seemingly completely out of context.

My husband, who never had any trouble following my mind, pinched a strawberry between his fingers and continued my thought, “I love him, too.  I didn’t want you to do your time alone, but you know that’s not the sort of thing I could carry.  It’s taking all my energy just to hold down the fort.”  With a pause, and without knowing he was giving me comfort only days before he passed away, he said, “It gives me peace to know he’s walking with you. You know?”

I knew.

I knew my husband inside and out.  I knew the weight of his blood vessels, the silence between his heartbeats, and the taste of his freckles.  I knew he couldn’t be imprisoned– not even for me, not even through me.

Just as I knew how lucky I was to have someone who could, and who would, and who did.

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I would press my pen to paper and think:

This time, don’t drag him into the details.  This time, let him be as free as he is.

But then I’d write “Dear Matt”, and the simple truth he called for would spill forward.

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In the 31,632 words he wrote back– by hand, in pen– he gave me the gift of simple truths, over and over again.  No matter how many times I needed to hear them,  No matter how cramped his hand must’ve been.  No matter how tired his soul must’ve felt, worn down by the baggage I kept asking him to carry.

He never stopped writing. Not once.

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At the funeral, he wore blue to match my state-mandated outfit, as many did, but it was especially fitting on him.

Like me, he was a prisoner.
For me, he was doing time.

All the while, unbeknownst to me, he was keeping the light on here.  Keeping my blog warm, keeping me remembered.

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He held out his hands and caught the crumbles of me, when I was ready to blow away.  He whispered to those crumbles, telling them fairy tales about shards of glass that one day became beautiful windows.  And then when I had reshaped myself into something slightly-resembling a human being, he let go, stood a careful distance away, and let me take my first stumbling steps.  All the while reassuring me with simple truths: change happens, I am possible, and everything’s gonna be okay.

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I wish I had finest gifts to give him, or his family.  I wish I had the most elegant words to show you what he meant to my entrapment and what he means to my freedom.

But the truth is more simple that all that, and I hope it carries with it a weight of understanding that translates from my heart to yours.

I am hoping it is so heavy that it grounds you in hope for humanity, delight in serendipity, and pride for your fellow man.

I am hoping this true story of his strength lifts your chin, and this rambling tale of his generosity refuels your spirit.

I met him here, on WordPress.
He is not blood, but he has shed his, with me and for me.
It counts.

It counts so much that when most words have no meaning at all, my hands grab a blank sheet of paper and write “Dear Matt”.  It counts in the existence-ripping minutes I spend staring at his phone number.

It counts so much that the thousand words I wrote here seem entirely pointless because the only four that matter– the only four that can possibly sum up what I feel– are these:

I love him.
Always.

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There are many people I have to thank, and many hands that went into caring for me over my last year.  I will begin to do so every Monday, but of course I had to start with Matticus.   My words felt jumbled, but I hope they were clear enough where you can now understand why it was so important to start where I did.

Please visit him to get a glimpse of the family I celebrate every single day.  Be sure to say hey, and send some RawrLove his way.

http://www.thematticuskingdom.wordpress.com