This is a “guest post” from my wife who died in 2021. It’s a couple days late for Valentine’s Day, but I came across it this morning while reorganizing files on the computer. She wrote this in 2020 after her second heart attack. Below is what she wrote to a friend about this work of art. If you’d like to see some of her work, here’s a link.
Ok, here’s the wolf story.
There are times in our life when the universe “talks” to us, in one way or the other. We find a metaphor or a symbol because burned into our memories. At least that has happened to me more than once…maybe because I’m a writer and a poet. Maybe it happens to everybody. Maybe not. Anyway, over twenty years ago, I guess you could say that I almost bled to death….at least I ended up requiring 2 pints of blood for a transfusion. Since the human body holds about 8 pints, that is a significant amount. I had started hemorrhaging and it would not stop. I had an emergency D & C (dilation & curettage) and that is when they discovered that I had uterine cancer.
This was at the time (in the 80’s) when people were still concerned about people contracting AIDs from the blood supply. After the transfusion I would be tested at 6 months and at a year, before they were to declare me clear of that. I could not do anything about the first transfusion. However,I could make sure that if I needed blood for the second surgery to remove the cancer, I could have a safe source of blood. My husband has the universal blood for donating, so even if we weren’t an exact match, I could use his blood. So, a week apart, he donated two pints of blood (you can’t donate more than one at a time…and they still had to stretch the rules a bit). I believe the second time they sent him home with a T-shirt with two wolves on it. Wolves are one of the few animals that mate for life. Somehow, I just found it comforting.
Now a couple of months later, we were scheduled to attend the San Diego Comic Con. My doctor said I could only go if I went in a wheelchair. He was right, I only lasted 2 out of the 4 days, I couldn’t stay warm (and this was in August in a convention where there were tens of thousands of people). They are more than just Comic Books…they are a celebration of the Popular Arts….movies, TV, artists doing fantasy an science fiction…panels covering a wide range of subjects with writers and people from the various different industries.
Anyway, I digress. They have an art show where amateur and professionals can sell their art. Mostly people make bids on them and if the little sheet gets filled they go to auction. If the sheets don’t get filled, the last person who made a bid, can buy it for that price. Sometimes the artist will put a quick sale price on a piece. It is usually a hefty price, and more often than not, one can get it cheaper by bidding on it.
Anyway, I see this painting on a piece of rough wood of two wolves standing next to each other, each one having an ear adorned by a feather and some beads in the style that some Sioux would adorn their hair. I fell in love with it instantly and we bought it at the quick sale price. We were reminded by the man taking our money that we could probably get it cheaper if we put a bid on it. I didn’t want to deal with auctions…and once someone put a bid on it, we would not be able to buy it at the quick sale price. Sometimes in life, it is not about getting a good deal. And I’m always willing to pay artists for their work. But there isn’t always a quick sale price on things or I haven’t always had a lot of money to spend. And because we bought it, we got to meet the artist and I really felt better about buying it, because she told us that it would really help. She had a friend with AIDs that she was paying his costs for him to attend the Comic Con. Then I was really glad that we bought it…the first day she had made a good sale. And had some money in her pocket. She was at the beginning of her career…eventually she would pretty much sell all the pieces that she would bring to a show.
So, since that time, I have always considered the pair of wolves a representation of my strong relationship with my husband. We have always been there for each other. I was in the hospital for 9 days last July and he slept in the room every night and has been there for everything that has gone on since. In October, we celebrated our 40th Anniversary. Quite frankly, I should be dead…I had a heart attack and heart failure….but he’s my best friend and I will not willingly leave him. And by that I mean, I will do my best to stay attached to this plane of existence. If he wasn’t here, I’d have no reason to try to stay. I have no desire to be immortal, nor do I really want to suffer any more than I already have in this life. I suppose faithfulness takes on a whole different meaning when I look at the pair of wolves standing still by each other’s side. To just be there, no matter the cost.
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