We buried a 38-year-old Daniel nine weeks ago today. He had a funeral with military honors, as he had served seven years in the Navy, a point of great pride to him. When the Veterans handed the flag to his son Johnathan,15, I thought I would never be able to control this grief.
I met Daniel at a party given by my supervisor for her co-workers, and her husband's co-workers. The theme was a 60's bash, I dressed in my pink daisies and Daniel wore his regular clothes. He stood at the edge of the party most of the evening, unitl suddenly, he was at my side and he never left my company the rest of the party. Daniel was very intense in his attraction, and I was truly flattered, he was gorgeous: 6'1" with green eyes and golden blond hair!
We kept in touch sporadically over the next couple of years as I was going through a divorce and adjusting to being a single parent. The funniest thing of all is that we each had a son named Johnathon! After I had healed from my broken marriage, I called him up one day in July of 1992, and said to him "Either you come into my life, or stay out of it, I want someone who can be here with me through my tomorrows".
The very next week, on August 6th, he walked up my stairs, and my heart was lost to him. I loved Daniel with every breath I took, the sun rose in his eyes, and set with his smile as far as I was concerned. The little jokes we shared are so very precious to me now.
He used to say to me "Sing to me, sweet voiced babe" and I would sing to him along with the radio, he wrote me notes on everything! I have leaves that he wrote how much he loved me on, almost every day there was a note from him, sometimes there were letters. Daniel had beautiful block style writing, and I would delight in seeing it when I got home, he worked rotating shifts so we spent much time apart.
Daniel was an artist, he worked at a glass plant in Fullerton, CA, and would take scrap steel, weld it into a sculpture that held fist-size peices of glass. He also made the most beautiful mobiles with wire, bits of glass, and different pieces of scrap that he found around the plant. Most of them were created to rust, as that enhances the weathered look of the steel.
These sculptures are among my most treasured possessions. We lived upstairs and the kitchen had three walls with windows, which were perfect to display the mobiles in front of! He drew ink scetches, and created inlaid tables out of wood.
At Christmas, we strung up a strand of 100 lights all around the windows and would turn off the other lights, giving us a lovely glow. The kitchen is where Daniel proposed to me on New Year's Eve of 1993, my joy knew no boundaries, this was the man I had always longed for.
My son Johnathon, and his son Johnathan, became brothers overnight, and shared a room in our home. They got along like brothers, with the occasional tussle, and then we were blessed with the birth of Andrew who united both our bloodlines.
As time passed, I discovered that there were demons of acoholism, and child abuse suffered that Daniel was unable to face. With great heartache, I knew that the best thing for Andrew was to leave. I have never stopped loving Daniel, though he went on to marry again. He was shot by the police in the head on September 7, 2000. The demons won.
Elizabeth A Chaney