HA note: This series is reprinted with permission from Caleigh Royer’s blog, Profligate Truth. Part Ten of this series was originally published on June 12, 2013.
Also in this series: Part One: What Is Courtship? | Part Two: We Were Best Friends | Part Three: The Calm Before The Storm | Part Four: To Lose One’s Best Friend | Part Five: To My Darling Clementine | Part Six: The Storm Starts Brewing | Part Seven: The Five-Year Relationship Plan | Part Eight: The Means To An End | Part Nine: We Made It | Part Ten: I Am A Phoenix | Part Eleven: Conclusion, Don’t Brush Off the Next Generation
Part Ten — I Am A Phoenix
I finished chronologically writing our story yesterday.
Although, in a weird way, I haven’t finished it.
Our story still continues, and even though I reached over 2,000 words with almost each post, I left a lot out. Like, pages upon pages of information, memories, circumstantial happenings left out. I had the opposite of a writing hangover yesterday. My mind was buzzing with freshly remembered memories and I felt like I needed to go back and add even more to each part.
Like I didn’t talk about how we had nicknames for each other, how Phil called me Lady Mysterious because he couldn’t figure me out in one conversation like he could most girls. I called him DLF; reminiscent of The Chronicles of Narnia. Or how Phil said that I was like a good book; a good book that makes you think and that you can’t read in one sitting. I didn’t mention how it became my goal in life to make him laugh.
Do you know how rewarding it is to know that you can make someone laugh?
Especially after he had told me that he didn’t laugh much. I still have a mischievous side to me that will try to catch him off guard by doing something he least expects. Tell you what, I have pulled some awesome stuff on him, and thoroughly enjoyed making him speechless.
I haven’t talked about how Phil once compared me to an onion, multi-layered and all that. He covered his tracks by hastily saying I smelled so much better than an onion. We even once tried to write a book together. It was going to be called The Official Guide to Modern-day Hermitage. Trust me, that would have been one heck of a spectacular book!
We both have felt the pull of wanting to be hermits for a very long time.
I didn’t mention how I stupidly almost ruined our friendship at the beginning. I held on to these very damaging ideas of emotionally purity and how I couldn’t be friends with a guy unless I was going to marry him. When Phil asked for a week of communication silence, I retaliated and basically told him our friendship was wrong, we needed to stop talking, and I apologized for “allowing the friendship to reach this point.” Gah, I was so stupid! I broke his heart without even realizing it because I thought that was the right thing to do. Girls, if you any of you are ever in a situation with a guy like this, put yourself on the line and speak the truth. Be bold, be honest, and be real.
Don’t let “purity-catchphrases” get in the way of a real friendship.
I didn’t write about how high and mighty I felt when I told Phil that our friendship was wrong. I don’t want to remember just how rude I was to a genuinely caring guy who was falling in love with me. I don’t like mentioning just how goody-two-shoes I was about a lot of things, especially when it came to relationships. I was a thoroughly messed up girl, and yet, I thought I was doing it right.
This is what is coming back to me as I work through the details I left out about our story.
It’s in those details that the guilt lies. It is in those details that I remember just how flippant I was with this precious man’s heart. Even though having him ripped from me was devastating, I needed that wake up call. I needed to know just how much I needed him. I needed to see that I could love him, and did. I needed a slap to the face for how much I played with him and wasn’t honest. I don’t like remembering or reading about how shallow I was with hinting I liked a guy when talking with Phil, but never being honest and saying look, I like you, really, I do.
I didn’t mention about a little red heart I made for Phil.
He told me one day after the six months of silence that he really wanted a token of love from me. I thought about it, and before I even thought all the way through it, I had crocheted a perfect red heart. From the day I gave it to him, to this very day, he still carries that heart with him. I didn’t mention that I still have the first two roses he ever gave me. Those roses — one red, one pink —are tucked away in a thin wooden box which I still open every once in awhile. I still have the first dozen white roses he gave me on our first officially dressed up date.
I didn’t mention how much I hated saying goodbye to him.
Out of everything that happened to us, having to say goodbye every night for so long was the worst thing. There is something about saying goodbye to the one you love that really eats at you. Our first words to each other after being pronounced man and wife were now we don’t have to say goodbye!
I have a sense of being unfinished. Maybe, one day, I will write about our first year, and this past year. Our story does not end at our wedding day, it has continued and will continue until the day we die.
I have learned to never say never when it comes to writing about something.
We both have looked back on our relationship and recognized it as a testing ground for us both. I have often taken the stand that God was/is preparing us for something as we went through our pre-marriage relationship.
I say “bring it on!” to anything that’s coming in our future. If we were able to get through what we did, then there is no reason why we won’t make it through anything else that might be coming. Going through those three years of trial after trial only taught me more about being resilient. The past four and a half years have proved to me that I can make it. The past six months have taught me that I am strong.
I am a Phoenix, I will continue to bounce back even stronger than before.
Phil and I made it through some of the worst years of our lives only to come out stronger in love, in trusting each other to have the other’s back.
I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
To be continued.
What I have taken from your story is how strong and resilient you both are.