My dead husband had nothing against flowers. He simply disliked the words they spoke. John claimed flowers said, “I’m sorry for what I did,” or “Love me now, because I’m soon going to cause trouble.”
Amy maintains the computer part of my childrens’ books and my Outsider Art business. One day John heard us trade survival ideas. In case we lose electricity we should; store food, water, other items, and use a new, never before used, toilet plunger to wash clothes in our bath tubs.
John shopped ahead, and on the next holiday (still feeling traditional flower- type gifts were inappropriate) he gave Amy and I both TOILET PLUNGERS!
John died two years, and a few days, ago. On holidays, when many people decorate graves of those they love with flowers, I splash water instead. John enjoyed a good flower but his passion was his old 1984 Toyota truck. The splashing shapes below and washing John’s truck are words that say, “I love you John. I’m looking forward to being with you again!”
My neighbor Faun brought me homemade spring rolls.
“Enjoy my retired!”
I like her terminology.
My dead husband once said, “Everything I hear reminds me of me.”
We can consume all that is around us, then let our bones vibrate to Mossorgsky, next we cannot sit still while contemplating quantum physics. Our energy can be still, almost petrified, while confronting something new. Our souls shrink from bad and our cells ring with the good. It’s then we are awake as is Sally below.
Before John, my husband, died he had a habit of sitting on the front porch steps. An old yellow cat always sat beside him on one side and a crow or a blue jay would take turns standing beside John on the other. Together they surveyed our short front yard and the people walking by.
John’s friend, the squirrel, would run up to the steps and hesitate to make sure everyone was on his best behavior then scamper up to John’s open hand. The squirrel lifted up one of the three peanuts John held, roll it around, inspect it thoroughly, then put the peanut back in John’s hand. The squirrel carefully picked up and compared all three nuts replacing them in turn to John’s hand and only then would the squirrel pick up the biggest peanut and run off with it.
Sometimes the squirrel didn’t run very far! Sometimes the little rascal grabbed one of my bonsai by the trunk, lifting my little tree up and out, and placed the tree and its exposed root system on the porch beside its half empty bonsai pot. Then the squirrel buried his peanut in the remaining puddle of dirt. How could I complain? But if I was on the porch I’d scold the squirrel. He’d glare at me then run off and pretend to search for an alternative place…. until I wasn’t looking! I repotted my tree several times a day.
Two Crows – Framed
The older our culture grows the bigger our reality gets- just ask a physicist. John’s Daddy saw a baby coming down into a house next door just before the baby was born.
A few people I know have seen babies just before the little ones come to their homes, sometimes days or weeks ahead. Several cultures consider this occurrence regular, normal, and necessary. In the picture below the reflection on the man’s glasses shows a ladder draping down from above into a house.
John’s Dad Seeing Babies Born – Framed
Ladies came to a sewing group to admire fun new hair styles, fantastic dresses, and a handmade antimacassar. The picture is called, Calapander’s Antimacassar. The first word, Calapander, is an invented name and the second word, antimacassar, is a cloth. It’s often times fancy and set on furniture to keep hair oil from damaging it. Years ago Macassar Oil was very popularly used on hair especially by men. In my sewing group we show off all types of hand made items and our new grand baby pictures.
My husband, John, and our neighbor were very close having both served as warriors at the same time and place. One day my neighbor called John insisting he rush right over. Fairly soon John returned home very puzzled. My neighbor’s new grand baby, just a few days old, had come to visit for the first time and John was called over to inspect and hold and love the child!
After a moment I understood. I remembered the first time my son entered Cub Scouts. The leader greeted us all then called my son to the front and almost immediately called up the rest of the Cub Scout pack. My son up front and I in my seat were shocked! A pack of boys completely surrounded my son SNIFFING him! After many sniffs from each boy the pack approved of my son and were asked to sit back down. The leader explained Rudyard Kipling wrote about wolves sniffing every new member as a way of accepting them into the FAMILY.
John was so important to my neighbor a similar ceremony was called for and it occurs to me showing off new baby pictures is exactly the same thing.
This is a picture of me looking out my open mouth and nose holes. Outside I see windows. It’s intriguing to stand beside someone and the two of you see a thing before you, but differently.. By the time my children could notice having memories, I’d hear,”Mom do you remember the time we…” Often I didn’t.
My husband and I would often sit with friends and I’d remember a very dear memory. A special and romantic, but extremely creative, thing he had done for me. Then he’s say,”I didn’t do that.” We’d laugh at the oddity if it.
Understanding Plastic Vanities
Late at night John’s dad saw a ladder from the sky connected to his neighbor’s house then saw a baby descend. The next day he discovered his neighbor had given birth at home on that exact same hour and those same minutes. In the painting we see the ladder and house reflected in his eyes glasses.
The Bible tells us all things were created before they were formed here on earth. With this in mind my friend Sandy noticed she and I had been born six weeks apart. She simply beamed and said, “We came here in the same batch!”
John’s Dad Seeing Babies Born
Johnny my husband died a few weeks ago and it hurts. But I’m not complaining.
I drew Portrait With Lizards a few years before I met John and since that time his love and providing care have made me a giant. (To see his photo see my blog on July 23.)
Most of my life I have hurt in anguish. Now I hurt with love mixed in. John’s biggest passion in life was to help the people around him be successful so he touched family, friends, neighbors, VA hospital staff, and our church family in deep and profound ways. While driving if he had to decide whether to speed up and cut in front of a bus, or slow down and let the bus go first he always choose to slow because,”The bus driver was working, I’m only going to the store.” He’d look and watch for wild crazy ways to help even strangers walking by on the sidewalk. Most of the stories, stored inside me, are private and I laugh to remember them.
My friends, neighbors, family and church family are bigger now because of John and are so caring toward me. So my hurting is mixed with John’s love and theirs. Thanks John. I love you. nancymauerman.com
Portrait With Lizards
John Mauerman Died On Friday July 17, 2015 At 9:15 p.m. In The Portland VA Hospital