The rain has prevented me from working on s/v Pretty Gee as I was planning. So, instead, I thought I would write a bit about the amazing woman I love, to let my friends see who she is and why I love her so very much.
Ellie is a beautiful, intelligent, selfless, stubborn, and fiery-tempered young woman that I love very much. She is also a person with an illness that prevents her from being the person I love.
Like Gee before her, her illness doesn’t really change how I feel about her, what she has come to mean to me or who she is. Again, I can not abandon the woman I love just when she needs me most. Her being ill doesn’t change the commitment I made to Ellie back on June 22, the day I told her I loved her and wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.
However, unlike Gee’s illness, her illness does change how Ellie behaves quite radically. Initially, I thought the changes in her behavior were due to a reaction to the changes in our relationship and how I felt about her. This was only indirectly the case. The real issue turned out to be that I had confronted her about her alcoholism, and did not realize that she was an alcoholic at the time. Her illness forces her to push away the people she loves and cares about, and I believe that is why she has acted the way she has this past summer.
I really had no reason to suspect it, partially because she is a high functioning alcoholic like her father, and quite good at hiding her illness, and partially because I hadn’t been looking for it. Another reason I didn’t expect it was because of her relatively young age. While I knew she had been drinking since she was about 16, I didn’t think it was anything more than the normal teenage pre-occupation with something forbidden to them..
There were some warning signs, but I hadn’t put them together before I accidentally confronted her. Things like: her admitting she had been stealing alcohol from her parents’ liquor cabinet for the previous three-and-a-half years, while blaming those same thefts on her brother, with his known alcohol and drug issues. Her purchase of fake IDs, Rhode Island and Maryland, for both herself and a number of her friends. Her new social circle of friends that neither I nor anyone in her family have met, all of whom seem to cater to her needs for alcohol and drugs. Her use of strong spray scents in her bedroom and car to make them “smell nice”.
It turns out that since the end of May, her illness had been going into overdrive. She had also been getting into drugs, like marijuana and hashish, this summer. She has also been doing some other very risky things. I believe these are all things she did not want me to see or to know about. From what I have been able to see, her behavior has been accelerating, and she’s spiraling downhill quickly. I hope her family helps her get the help she desperately needs.
When she isn’t under the influence of her illness, she is one of the most amazing women I know. She is funny, beautiful, sweet, and intelligent. She is the woman I love and want to spend the rest of my life with. She is still young, and if she grows into the woman I have seen her becoming over the last few years, waiting for her will have definitely been worth it.
I absolutely adore her at these times and love spending time with her. These are the times when I love bringing her an iced coffee or some snack-sized cheesecakes early in the morning and seeing the beautiful smile on her face when she realizes that someone who loves her has brought her some of her favorite things.
She has dimples that show when she smiles, and the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen. When she smiles, her smile lights up the room. Seeing her smile is something I could watch forever. I truly love when she smiles and I know that I am the reason for her doing so.
She has freckles, which I love, probably because they’re her freckles, not just because they are freckles…I’ve told her I want to count all of her freckles some day. That may take a long time, but I hope to spend the rest of my life with her, so if it all works out, I should have the time I need to do that.
Her eyes change depending on the light, the colors she is wearing and her mood. They range from hazel to grey to blue. The best description of them is they are the color of the North Atlantic ocean after a Nor’easter has passed through. She does cheat on occasion and will wear bright blue contacts, but I prefer her natural eye colors.
I love talking with her through the night. It really doesn’t matter what we talk about. Just being with her, listening to her and having her listen to me, is priceless to me beyond any measure. Seeing the sky lightening behind her and watching the sunrise color the sky with her is something I treasure, knowing that we’ve spent the entire night talking.
She cares about the people in her life when she is not sick from her illness and not herself. She is no longer the selfish, self-centered child she was growing up, and the changes in her that I have seen over the past five years are just amazing. It was an impressive sign of how much she has grown when she asked me if whether Gee, my late wife, would be mad about my getting re-married, and whether Gee would be mad at her for marrying me. That is something that her younger self would never have thought to ask.
She has become a gracious person, as an adult, and as I said in her Palanca letter, I believe she is capable of being a gracious person under even the worst of conditions.
One of my favorite things to do is just be with her. We don’t even have to be doing anything in particular…just being near her is enough in and of itself. We don’t have to talk, or be doing anything special…just to be in each other’s company is enough. There aren’t many people I can say that about, but with Ellie, it is true.
She has a mischievous sense of humor, and I can often get a little warning because she has a certain smile when she is about to commit mischief. She also has a quick wit and is one of the few who I know that can keep me in my place. She’s one of the few people that keeps up with me and challenges me in Scrabble. She will probably beat me regularly at the game at the rate she’s going.
Sometimes, she is silly. Like when we were cleaning out the pool at her family’s house, and she kept leaning way out over a pool filled with green slime… and almost falling in just to clear some leaves. I told her that if she fell in, I would help her out but I reserved the right to laugh about it. But, I did hold her and support her, so she wouldn’t fall into the pool.
She is one of the most stubborn women I know. That is probably a good thing, since she does have to put up with me…probably the most stubborn person there is. She’s also pretty strong-willed, which again is a necessity for dealing with me most of the time.
She is one of those rare women who is beautiful without the need for a lot of makeup, though I don’t know if she realizes this. She does not need to use a lot of makeup to look her best. I’ve seen her in the early morning, just as she awakens, and know how beautiful she is without any makeup at all. I don’t think she realizes this yet though.
She is one of the most intelligent women I’ve met when not being affected by her illness. Last year, while dealing with the stress of moving out and living in a college dormitory for the first time, dealing with a lying sorry piece of shit boyfriend who was cheating on her and dealing with a difficult roommate situation, where her roommate was dealing drugs, she still managed to keep a 3.634 GPA. I was pretty impressed and proud of her. That is why I had been planning on helping her pay for school, since I knew she’d need about $12,000 in loans.
I know Ellie loves me, though exactly what she means when she says it is not yet clear to me. But I don’t believe she would have told me she loves me right after I told her how my feelings for her had changed unless she meant it in a similar way. I also don’t think she would have bothered to learn how to say “I love you” in Korean unless she loved me as something more than her life-long friend.
I hope you can see why I love her. She is more than her illness, though that can be hard to see at times. She is an amazing, beautiful, smart, funny, and gracious woman. She is mo chuisle mo chroi and my querencia, the pulse of my heart and the home of my heart both. I pray she gets better. I pray she returns to me, where I believe she belongs.
I hope that Ellie knows how strongly I am committed to her. I hope that she knows that I love her and care for her, as I have all her life, and always will. I hope she knows that I still want to spend the rest of my life with her.
I hope she knows that I do not hold her illness’s actions against her, and will not judge her for those same actions. I hope she knows I forgive her for all the pain and hurt she has caused me this summer, since I know it was not truly her, but her illness that did so.
I hope she knows that if she wants my help, all she needs to do is reach out to me, and I will be by her side once again–her guide, protector, mentor, and friend, as I have been all of her life.
I hope she knows that if she asks me to, I will walk beside her on her long road to recovery, step-by-step, one-day-at-a-time–giving her all of the love, support, guidance and protection she needs on that journey. I will help her up if she should fall or stumble, carry her on the worst days, and cheer her on and give her encouragement and love all of the way, because I love her so very much.
I hope that the love we share for each other can survive this summer. I also hope and pray that if and when my beautiful Ellie does get the help I think she has been asking for, that we can start our life together as we had been talking about.
I love you. I am here for you, and I promise I will return to your side if you just ask me to. I miss you. I have always loved you for being yourself.
But you are no longer yourself, being nothing more than your addiction at the moment. I pray for you to get better and to return to being the wonderful woman I love so much. If you should return, and you want me beside you, all you have to do is ask.
If you fail to return, I will mourn and grieve for you as I have for no one else, as I love you like I have loved no one else. I am sorry I failed you.
As always, with love,