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Four Months...

The holidays have come and gone; but there was no Merry in my Christmas…no Happy in my New Year…despite being able to get together with most of my children and grandchildren; I still felt very alone and desolate, I found myself needing to be alone though; without Ray I have no peer, no one that shares my view of the world, no one to laugh at silly old stale jokes with…or enjoy an old movie or song together. Or to share that knowing look when the younger generation doesn’t “get it” and those wordless hugs that told me everything will be alright… Not anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, my family has been so very supportive and loving and anxious to bring me happiness; I did have moments where I could laugh a little and smile at their interactions and conversations, even contribute a few observations and memories of my own. But…it is not and never will be the same. Ever.
At least I was with them. At least I had a chance to feel their warmth, their embraces and their love. But there is this deep, sad, empty void; where my Ray used to be… some days I am filled with despair at his absence, I have many tasks to do related to his departure from my life; I avoid them; for now. From the time I get up and open my eyes to my empty bedroom, I pat his pillow and stare at where he used to sleep; as I struggle to get up my spirits, to get myself ready for work…dragging myself as a reluctant child down the stairs, averting my gaze from the walls that contain Reynaldo in all shapes and forms and sizes; just get by, don’t look…you will never get out the door…
Yet… they also comfort me, I come home, stopping to touch the unfinished painting on the easel; caress the face of Geronimo as I come through the door; stop and stare in wonder at all the beauty he saw and recreated on canvas, paper and wood. My fingers run along the back of the large painting that is still set next to the stairs, it has a million staples in it! He would stretch his own canvas and staple the living daylights out of it…over the top; that was my Ray! And his name is everywhere…he would ID everything that he ever had/found/bought/made… “Reynaldo ‘07” or “RVD ‘04” all the tools of his carpentry trade; his workbenches, brushes, anything…named and dated. I think he got that from his dad, who still to this day identifies each grocery or leftover with a dated masking tape label…
I have yet to clear anything off his desk, his worktable, his easels, his sofa…the little Budwiser beers that he liked are still in the fridge waiting for him to pop open a cold one…for the GAME. His Cheerios, his Earl Grey Tea that he drank each night…his cookies, the one’s with the little sculpture on top (sugarfree) and so many other things; his paint encrusted shorts and t-shirts, the moccasins that he wore constantly; his sister bought him a new pair every year, but he would get paint on them almost immediately to her dismay, he said ‘one day they would be valuable, because they were worn by the world- famous “ Reynaldo” and they would be on display like “the shoes of the Artist” and always with a twinkle in his eye…his humor was like no other…and his laugh; his smile. He would light up the room…
…yes, he had big aspirations, lofty goals and a creative spirit that will live forever. And in my heart; my forever love…my Ray, whom I ended up sharing with the world… immortalized in a Bubble called RED.

Four Months...

Reynaldo

Joined April 2009

Artist's Description

I felt compelled to share my thoughts as I enter the new year…now on my own without my other half, my partner, my best friend; my forever love. The house is full of Ray’s essence; I cannot bring myself to disturb or move his things. I know it is part of grief and eventually I will find the strength and courage to take care of what needs to be done. But; I can’t, it is still too painful and tender for my spirit to handle. I try to take comfort in what he left behind; but what lies in the future? We would always have the tradition of writing out our goals and prognosticate what it would take to accomplish them, and he would write sheets and sheets of steps, and bullet points and figures, and he would put a picture of those goals taped to the front of his computer. There was usually a new truck or car on the list…lol, but he was still driving his ’98 Hombre which we fixed up in preparation for his art exhibits and shows a few years ago. If nothing else…he had an exquisite imagination and vision…
I sit here now…staring at the blank page of my future.

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