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Dreaming by the light of the Moon
I Can Only Imagine
Jeannie awoke with a start. Something startled her, a strange foreboding uneasiness in her soul. Was it the presence of something dark and oppressive that she felt, or just the stirrings of the emptiness she had grown accustomed to in her heart over the last 15 years? After all, she had always been deeply sensitive to the spiritual nature of things.
Her husband Tony was snoring loudly beside her, in the thick of the night. "Maybe that's all it was," she thought, and then realized she had actually said the words out loud. Tony stirred, and with a few grunts rolled in the opposite direction from her.
Grateful for the change in his direction, and the subsequent temporary quiet, she closed her eyes and tried going back to sleep, to no avail. Glancing at the clock again some 40 minutes later, she succumbed to the obvious. Another sleepless night, plagued with thoughts about the past, present and future.
Their relationship had been rocky for quite some time. Things had changed over the years, mostly as a result of his financial success. They had started out well, she thought, but then realized that she was living with a workaholic who didn't know how to rest, or enjoy life with her as a companion. Her once cherished dreams had been shattered by his indifference.
For a moment, she wished they had less, and recalled how different things were in the beginning. He was kinder, more grateful, and actually listened to her. Wait, she thought, was that just how I imagined it to be, or was I lying to myself and creating the imaginary relationship that I needed? It didn't seem to matter much either way. She was lonely now and had been for some time. She felt like a servant in her own home, her needs overlooked, her desires never considered, her accomplishments left uncelebrated. "I might as well be Invisible", she thought, "he's just too busy to notice".
Each anniversary with the exception of years 1 and 10, brought increasing measures of pain. No flowers, no dinner, no romance, only her card to him, thrown carelessly aside after a brief comment. Nothing in return, predictably, no reciprocity in expression of value. Deep sadness overtook her and enveloped her in despair.
The obligatory, less frequent pecks on the cheek from Tony when he exited home daily just weren't enough any more. Hugs were out of the question apparently. She had given up asking or wanting them. Her emerging thoughts once again became loud. After all, who wants to be reduced to a beggar when it comes to love?
She was tired of being the carrier of blame for anything and everything that went wrong in the relationship, in their home, or in their world. She was weary of constant efforts to please him and appearing publicly at his convenience to reinforce his pride as required when it was necessary, "a token wife appearance." His "friends" and employees had clearly been indoctrinated, and intoxicated with the benefits of association, and treated her likewise.
She could only imagine the stories he weaved for them, probably the counterparts to the ones she had been told over the years. He had his office wives, along with business associates who fawned over his exagerated stories of success, coupled with yarns about his integrity in business matter. Yet, she, his covenant partner longed for truth as much as true love that had been pledged but feigned in delivery.
There was always an entourage of people around him, dancing for dollars. It had become all to clear by his actions and comments that she was not part of his "successful" life, in fact, not even necessary. She had been relegated to a piece of property which apparently had become non-negotiable.
The latest development was a demand for an agreement that would relinquish all her rights. A prelude to the disposal she perceived and refused. Now she had procured her place as the enemy. His response had been increased self-indulgent expenditures to the extreme to validate his power over all things. You know, the vacation homes, the airplanes, a stable of expensive autos.
There was little to look forward to except more broken promises. He had his own plans, his own friends, his own secure control over pretty much everything that concerned him, and the non-existent "them." He was going to "enjoy these last years" of his life, and taunted his freedom from her with contempt and disdain.
He spent countless days out of town on business and pleasure, always aloof on the phone, unreachable, and indifferent to her needs. She had been on a few business trips in the earlier days, and had painful recollections of hours of wandering alone while he remained on the phone with his female "business" associates. She remembered the day he told her she needed to stay home, as he travelled to the city where his old girlfriend lived and as so many times before, went absent from all communication.
Rather than stay engaged in the rehearsal of the deviant nature of his activities, she closed her eyes and let her heart sleep off the pain. Her heart told her he had travelled with other women more than once, and his words had later confirmed it, but never apologetically. He ridiculed her for her jealousy in such matters. Truth be known, her faith carried her through time and again. No one should have to be deprived of love, she thought, it will make you crazy in time. She had heard the messages and seen them more than once. She wondered, how did I get here?
She, in turn, kept house, helped other people, and tried to keep occupied with dreams of deep spiritual development and interaction with like-minded people who knew how to care. She was expectantly looking and expecting to find a place to belong, but unrealistically held out for the love she was promised time and again in the "thrill of the moment."
She drifted off to sleep with a strange sense of uneasiness still hovering. Then the Gentle Man came to her, in a dream. He was tender, holding her as she wept uncontrollably. He seemed to have time for all of her emotions. She felt the warmth of his love, and the fear melted into the embrace which was enveloping all of her. There strangely was no sense of sensuality, only pure, unselfish, complete love available as she felt a sigh of relief escape from her chest.
It seemed that he wanted nothing in return, except that she accept the full measure of his deposit of love into her heart and soul. Joy began to well up and permeate her heart and she felt as though she might explode with hope. She had experienced this love before, this pure love, but now she understood that it was deeper and wider than any other time.
He was responding to the cry inside her, that desperate, lonely cry without a sound, that had echoed through her each time she longed for it from her husband. In that moment, she realized that he did not have it in his heart to give, and she felt sadness for the inability of his heart to feel deeply. She, in the depths of her anxious love-hungry soul, stayed engaged in the exchange until the pain was gone, literally loved right out of her.
Then she remembered who she belonged to, and wept some more. Why had she settled for such a lesser love, when she once had it all? She recalled the day she had been ruined in the first dream for the ordinary, yet had settled for the shallow love that the world had to offer. No matter the instrument, the object, it would never be sufficient again, to fill the longing place in her heart that had been fulfilled.
She wept uncontrollably again, this time awakening both herself and her husband. He grunted and showed his anger by throwing the covers back, emphatically, and marched off to the bathroom.
She drifted off to sleep, this time peacefully, with the expectation that her Savior would come again often and rescue her from this loveless life. Someday it would be final, and she would be freed from the heartache and tears.
Peace came as she drifted off, now oblivious to everything evil. When Tony woke the next morning, she was gone forever, at peace in a place that could never be interrupted again.