Dancing With Bear: A Love Story by Marie "Lady Bear" Marler
J. Bear Marler is the love of my life. When he passed away Dec. 18, 2010 my life changed forever. This book is dedicated to my children, grandchildren, and all the generations to come. I wrote this book because we had a romance and a love story that was unique and not always easy. We went up the hills and down the hills hand-in-hand. We raised our children, loved our grandchildren, and all the other members of our family. Bear was a force bigger than life, and sometimes I felt as if I was covered in his shadow but I know now that he was the man he was because I was there and that he never intended to bulldoze over me. Hindsight is 20/20 and although I beat myself up with the woulda, shoulda, and couldas, I know he wouldn't want that. Even so, I think of all the things I could have done differently, all the things I could've said, and all the things I said and shouldn't have. But in the end he loved me and I loved him - not even death can take that away.
About a week later, I received another letter from Bear.
I haven’t heard from you and I am hoping you are all right. I’ve been thinking about you a lot and I think we would get along well. I realize I’m in prison and in October I will finish my state time and be sent to the feds, if they pick me up.
I’m almost sure they will but I am hoping they won’t. I owe ‘em eight years and have to give ‘em half of that so I know they aren’t going to let me slide on it. I just hope that you will write to me and let me write to you to help pass the time.
Love & Licks,
I thought he was sweet but I was just enjoying being able to breathe, not being under Clem’s thumb, and I wasn’t about to take a chance with another man, especially one who was incarcerated. I didn’t answer his letter.
About a week or so later, I received another letter. Each of these had been sent to the old address and forwarded, and that somehow seemed like a buffer of sorts. Even though Bear’s third letter was as friendly as the first two, somewhere in the back of my mind I was sure he was trying to get my current address for Clem and I wasn’t biting.
The kids and I moved into our own place and they started school. It wasn’t easy but we were doing all right. The kids made friends and I met the girl who lived next door to me.
Sue was short, overweight and laughed a lot. She had a daughter the same age as one of my daughters and they became friends. Life seemed to be going pretty well and I was slowly getting over being jumpy every time the phone rang.
One day my aunt came over with mail that had gone to her house and there was a fourth letter from Bear. He was still his pleasant, friendly self, but the letter was just a little different.
This is the fourth letter I’ve written to you without hearing back. I think since we are going to be married, you should at least write to me.
I told Joanne the day you and I looked at Janis Joplin that I had met the woman I was going to spend my life with and the divorce has been filed. All you need to do is divorce that idiot you were married to and we’ll get this situation taken care of.
Love & Licks,
I laughed when I read his words. How could I not answer that?
I guess four letters is enough and since I don’t want you growling at me, Bear-man, I’m answering you.
As far as us getting married, I think you’re out of your mind. And as far as that other person goes, I’ve already started the divorce. Unfortunately, Clem has refused to sign the papers, so now I have to figure out what I’m supposed to do next.
MarieFunny but that was all it took and the letters became regular. I told him everything about my life and he told me everything about his.