bram ... the now

this is me ... as i am

13 November 2008

04 November 2007
Things I did...

For Bram

When Bram and I decided to get married, we didn’t waste any time. If I remember correctly, it was about 2 weeks from the time he asked me to marry him and the day we actually did it. We had to scrounge for change in our car and couch and anywhere else we could find it to buy the license and two wedding rings. My ring was from Walmart and cost us $5. During that time, some of Bram’s friends tried to talk him out of marrying me. I’m not sure what their reasons were, but I can understand that from the outside, we seemed an odd match. I was 8-1/2 years older than Bram, twice divorced with two almost-teenaged kids. Bram was gregarious, optimistic, loud, loved everyone he met and had a boisterous sense of humor. I am shy, pessimistic, quiet, distrust most people and my sense of humor is quite dry and often wicked. Bram was usually the center of attention and loved it. I shrank into the background and watched him amuse the world. What might have been hard to see was how well we meshed with one another. My weaknesses were his strengths, and vice versa. We always understood one another, often finishing each other’s sentences, or only having to say a few words for the other to understand what we were saying. I sometimes was amused when I saw other people trying to follow a conversation between Bram and me—it was almost like a secret language we had between us. When we were together, every day was magic. It felt like we had always been together and always would be. We took care of each other, and trusted each other. We only ever had one fight during our marriage and we rarely disagreed with each other. We were two sides of one very happy, shiny coin. Bram did many things for me, and I for him.

I learned to cook, and made him healthy food. Before Bram moved in with the kids and me, most of our food came out of boxes and cans. I was not a very good cook and I was not motivated to improve. But Bram was diabetic and after his first hospital scare, I determined that the food we had been eating was just plain bad. So I did research and I experimented, and I learned to cook for Bram. I made sure everything served in our house was healthy, low in cholesterol, and acceptable for a diabetic. I kept trying to convince him how good onions and other vegetables were for you, but he claimed he was allergic. He loved the meals I made for him and was beginning to appreciate even the veggies.

I scratched his back. Bram could act like a big 4-year-old sometimes, and at other times he acted like a cat. He loved to touch other people and he loved to be stroked, petted, caressed, and best of all, scratched. I used to scratch his back for as long as I could until my arms and fingers got tired. In bed, in the car, in the stores, wherever we were. Like a cat, Bram would lean into my scratching hand and twist and turn his back so I wouldn’t miss a spot.

I washed him in the shower. Bram was one of those guys who theorized that if he washed his hair with shampoo and let the shampoo run all down his body while he was rinsing, he was clean. And I admit he never seemed to smell bad. But diabetics are prone to infections and sores, and I was determined to keep him healthy. So I let him wash his hair—I couldn’t reach his head, anyway—and then I lathered up the soap and gave him a good cleanin’. Like he did with the back scratching, Bram would lean into it and milk it for all it was worth. I even washed between his toes, which made him squirm because he was ticklish.

I rubbed lotion on his feet. The diabetes. The diabetes worried me so much. Because of the diabetes, Bram had poor circulation in his feet. His skin on his feet would get rough and hard and we worried about the skin cracking and getting infected and him losing a foot—his left one, always—because of the damn diabetes. Also, because of the poor circulation, his feet hurt often. So I would rub lotion into his poor, dry feet. He would squirm and laugh—ticklish feet, remember? But I would rub lotion into his feet until they were soft and moist and safe. We laughed a lot while it was being done.

I kept his house clean and his clothes washed. Bram hated housework; he hated cleaning. When we first started dating in college, he took me into his room in the apartment he shared with Joe for some “private time,” and I didn’t know whether to be disgusted or amused. He slept on a single mattress laid directly on the floor. There was so much garbage and junk on the floor, that it was all even with the mattress! I remember a lot of old papers, pop bottles, clothes…6 inches of garbage covering the floor in his room. He said it preserved the carpet. I thought it was a recipe for illness. After we moved in together, I did all the housecleaning and I washed, folded, and put away our clothes. I don’t consider myself to be a very ‘domestic’ kind of woman, but I enjoyed taking care of Bram, and keeping him and his surroundings clean was one of the ways I did it.

I rubbed his head when he couldn’t sleep. Sometimes Bram had nights when he couldn’t get to sleep. I used to tease him that he was over stimulated. He was so full of energy all the time, and sometimes he couldn’t calm down and go to sleep. So I would rub his head. I would rub his whole head: his forehead, behind his ears, down his neck…I would gently pull his hair and rub it in all directions and I would scratch his scalp. We didn’t talk much while I did this—the point was to relax him and get him to sleep. He would hold my free hand and kiss it every once in a while, and we would tell each other we loved us. Remember I said he was like a cat sometimes? Rub his head long enough, and he would fall asleep.

I let him be quiet and still with me. Bram was so rambunctious and talkative and amusing most of the time. But sometimes he just needed quiet. When he would get still and quiet, I would ask him if everything was ok and he would tell me he loved us and he wanted to just be. So we would. We would just be. Sometimes this involved cuddling on the couch or in our bed. Sometimes it meant going out for coffee and reading books or writing poetry or stories. Sometimes we would just take a walk and not say anything at all. I’m glad he felt safe and comfortable with me, enough to just be.

Bram was my world. He was the sweetest, most amazing man I ever knew. I will always love him. He will always be in my heart.

thought by Bram Davidson around 6:44 PM
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