Before The Rainbow



Sometimes… You just stop hiding.

The children and in laws tucked away asleep, we retired to the kind of boudoir that is goal worthy. Nick the meanest man in the world leaned against the headboard to play the daddy and hold our beloved Kiks. Sighing she leaned back against his strong body, like a woman who hasn’t felt a man in a long while.  He held out the bottle and poured us both wine. He was into the rum with a vengeance. I had thought about what I would say.. I had a speech, I had my guts and glory face queued. She fiddled with her wedding rings and hugged Nick’s broad hairy arm that trapped her in his embrace. I went to speak and started tearing. “Not tonight” she said….”Tonight tell me a story, as you do.”
My words stuck. My mind went blank…
Nick snorted… Sipped his rum, voice breaking… announced to Kiks that Sully and I were a revolting display of love and hallmark cards sap. She giggled like a child, her raspberry red lips going wide as she pressed me for details. I put on my game face and recounted blackmail worthy stories of lust and love between Sully and I. I watched her face calm into the beautiful woman I have known for so long. Gone was the worry and fear…
Unwilling to spoil it, I quieted the screams inside of me and let the night slip past… We fell asleep all together. Nick holding her and my hand in hers.
I woke up near four hearing a voice… It was Nick holding Kik and Kev’s baby girl.  She was nuzzled in his neck as he walked around with her, tears in his eyes again, softly singing Pearl Jams ..Yellow Ledbetter… The song we used to sing together as an aide group on whatever transport was taking us to where ever…
It was a surreal moment….to watch a man who is gruff, prickly and intensely sarcastic fall apart and yet hold those around him with such tender care and love. It struck me anew that these people were my people. My lie and die team.. and it seemed the emphasis was on die the past few years. I have know these folks since my very early 20s. We all made mistakes, loved and hated, birthed children, married and divorced, told secrets and became secrets. We were and are so bound together….It was in that moment that I felt ice cold fear… We are going to lose her.
Yesterday, I flew back to Portland with hate in my heart. The kind of seething anger that makes you want to hide yourself from the world, lest they see how the emotion has disfigured you. In Sully’s big bed, alone, last night I made deals with a god I don’t believe in and sobbed the kind of tears that mark you in a forever way.
I sat there at work, willing my phone to vibrate with a message from California, with a call from Suls who is out in the nowhere land of aide work. I wished for a miracle via text. Someone to write me a happy ending…I needed a…its going to be alright.
I walked to get a ice coffee and my phone rang.. It was E. If anyone could get her to fight I knew it would be him. He is our surrogate father(our old boss and friend). The one who kisses the booboos, picks you up when you fall and plucks you from unsafe places no matter what or how.
He said he had a job for only me. The thing is, he needn’t have even continued speaking.
I stood there in the rain, clutching my hello kitty umbrella, staring at the river listening to E give me the same pep talk he has been giving me for decades.
I walked back to work like a zombie… E had phoned my boss Billy, so Billy was waiting for me when I returned. He picked up my planner and brought it into his office. I watched Billy and I as if I was floating above us.. Re-planning my schedule. Billy knows Kiks well. SO it was no surprise to see tears in his eyes. What was the surprise was the absence of them in mine. I left with a box of work and started the ignition….The first few bars of James Blunt Goodbye my Lover came through the speakers… I sat there staring at the rain…Thinking, Ok Life I get it… you can stand down…
I listened to the words. I felt the words. This day has been filled with words spoken and sung.. I drove home, I climbed in this big bed and I opened this laptop. And I wrote her. I made promises. I asked for things. I raged, I whispered love through my fingertips.
Her answer was simple. Yes. Yes to everything.
Kiks has months, I’d like to dream a year. Her cancer has spread.  I cant let her die, so I am going to help her live until she dies.  We are going to record videos for her children, lullabies and make hope chest for them. We are going to put pink streaks in our hair. Lay on rooftops listening to long past songs…We are going to get a tattoo.. and sprinkle trails of glitter where we walk. Go back to her favorite restaurant and order all of the appetizers. watch our fav movies and cheer the Saints on one last season. She is going to make a list and make me cry. Go dancing all night and ride horses in North Carolina. I am going to go back to Catholic church to become their Godmother as Kevs oldest brother becomes their Godfather.We are going back to the swamp to take Kevin’s ashes home. We are going to kiss, touch, hug and love. Hell I’d give her Sully if I thought he could love her up without crying. We always seemed to share everything else…..She loves the song Hero by Enrique Iglesias so I am going to learn it and play it for her with all the guys singing to her. She has an embarrassing secret addiction to Harlequin romances , so I will read them to her while Nick paints her toenails. She loves country music… So Sully and I will take her to a concert

I am going to take her home to Wyoming so she can make peace with her past. I want to settle the ghosts in her heart. I want to watch the sun rise and vanish with her. I want to drive a long open road and say all the unsaid things. I will help her settle her children into their new forever after home, after they come here. My son will come to her and he will grow with her children and know them well. He will be the kind of brother/family that Kevin’s family was to me growing up. I’ll handle all the hard so she doesn’t have to. I’ll handle all the THE END. I am gonna do whatever I have to do to see her through, I am the girl that doesn’t understand No, which is why E put me in charge of this….  And in the end, I will say goodbye. To my lover, my friend, my lie and die team member, my soul. My Kiki. My Lu.

I will love her children and be a part of their lives until I breathe my last breath. I will tell them stories of their father the River King and their Mother, the brave and beautiful Dr that traveled the world fixing all the lost and unloved.  I will be the living breathing love letter of their eternal love.

I don’t want this blog to become a misery blog.  SO I will end with this.

Kiks has big beautiful sea foam colored eyes, Her lips are raspberry red. She is wispy with beautiful breasts and elegant legs. Her fingertips are always cool and comforting.Where as I am all wild and frenetic energy.. she is poised and calm. We both loved each other and loved the same man. She is Godmother to my son as her husband, my oldest friend, was Godfather. She has been so many things to me.

She is a Butterfly to my moth. The rainbow after the rain. The river that runs through the valley. The fog that hides and the stars that shine. She is the words of my favorite book, the song, the tempo and the rhyme. She is the breath I exhale as I run. The cotton thread of the sheets I lie on. She changed my world. She taught me acceptance. She whispered to my sexuality. She taught me to be strong in adversity. Everything I am, she had a hand in. ON my birthday all of those years ago… she so throatily said… Everything will change now, as she kissed me. And so it did.

I wrote too much and too long…because at the end of the words come the acceptance of what is going to occur. I will have to let her go. I will have to say goodbye. But for now. Well.. I am still before the rainbow.


5 thoughts on “Before The Rainbow

  1. Your words are beautiful and poignant, sad, yet hopeful. All of you are so lucky to have each other in good times and bad – a true lie and die team. As always, your words make me feel as if I am there and living it with you. As always, you have a plan.and, although the details remain to be fleshed out, you are the worlds best planifier. Your back-up plans have back-up plans. My heart and my hopes are with you and your team.
    BL – honourary member


  2. Her children will have their own lie and die team, because you’ll all raise them. You’ll return the love to them that she’s given to all of you over the years, and through you they’ll know and love her like all of you do. I know from experience that there’s nothing to say to make losing her any less heartbreaking, it is what is, but I know that with Sully, Nick, and E, you’ll make it to through. Those of us in your Tribe will do what we can to help too, because you can never have too much love in your life. xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tearing up as my heart swells – full of all the pain and love and hope in your words.
    To you and Kiki – whispered or shouted as the moment demands – ‘You go girl. You go and live and do it all.’


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