Today I let go of someone I love. I went against everything my heart wanted and obliged everything he asked for. Did he want this? Or is it simply what he asked for?
We met in 2004. I am a civilized, well-bred Yankee woman and friends with his mother, Maggie Mae, a southern woman raised under the hickory hammocks on the Kissimmee River, never knowing an actual home with a roof and walls until she married Yib Boney’s father at age 15. Never were there ever two opposing souls… that is until she introduced me to her first born son. Rather than cross his mother, Yib Boney indulged her request to call me. Four hours later, we started an intimate telephone relationship. We were always best at a distance.
By the time I met him face to face, I had already fallen in love. So had he. In our first face-to-face meeting, he confessed his innermost controversies testing me to see if those would rule him out as a suitor. He also asked me not to break his heart.
Our ill-fated love story is a civil war re-enactment. North meets south. Yankee woman meets Florida Cracker redneck. Young meets old. Tobacco chewin’ and spittin’ hard headed southern man with an inability to share any emotion or feeling, fell head over heels in love with a highly emotional, well-bred Yankee woman who was a writer of all things to do with love and feelings.
Ain’t no way this ever gonna work out.
And it didn’t.
Four tumultuous years of tears and broken hearts. Mine not his.
I turned my life over to the Lord in the last year I was with him. I prayed for a way out promising to follow God no matter how difficult if He could get me out without breaking Yib Boney’s heart. He did.
Yib Boney”s favorite saying “don’t let the screen door hit you in the ass on the way out” came true. He initiated it. He also regretted it and begged me to come back. I said not unless he was willing to follow the Lord. He said he would think about it.
Fast forward eight years. Love is a very strange thing. I maintained a long distance one-way relationship with Yib Boney. As much as I loved him, I knew we would never be together again, but heaven was another matter altogether. He was raised an Independent Baptist. He and his father literally built the First Baptist Church in Lorida, FL.
I was not however convinced he knew my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So for the last eight years, I sent him every creative thing I had ever produced about the love of Christ. He only shared one comment. It was when I sent him an Advent calendar I created. He wanted to know if I had him in mind with some of what I had written. I reflected back on what he read and realized it was mostly all scripture, so apparently God has his attention.
Do You Love Me?
Once every two or three years I would insist that he answer the question, did he still love me and he would admit under duress that he did. Then there were only two other occasions when he revealed his true feelings. Both were under great duress when I made him so mad he could have killed me and then and only then did the truth come out. Once early on in the relationship when he sent me packing, he said in a rage that he loved me, thought I was a beautiful woman and there was nothing I could ever do to make him stop loving me.
Once when I won a bet with him, he had to do what I wanted and what I wanted was for him to give me a history of his life complete with emotion and how he felt about his history. This was the one and only time he was vulnerable and he complied with what I asked.
Don’t Talk No Religion
The last time was last week (July, 2017.) I was going to make a final visit to see him before he died. He had called me two months before and asked if he could come spend his last living days with me in Indiana. After I got over the shock of this being the last living thing on the face of the planet that I knew that he would ever do, I said yes. I knew he truly had to be dying. When the VA turned him down and he became too ill to make the trip, I went to say my final goodbyes to him. I was finally able to pin him down on his issue of faith and his relationship with God. He broke my heart when he said he was going to Hell. When I shared with him that salvation was a choice and I started to explain God’s love and redemption, he said “are you preaching to me? Do not preach to me. Do talk to me about religion. When you come next week, I don’t want you talking religion.”
Arrogance Toward the Creator
Intellectually I knew he knew the gospel. I could not imagine he could be so arrogant toward the Creator of the Universe. But I did know him as the most hard-headed, hard-hearted man I had ever met. When I cried out to God about this, God showed me Jeremiah 17 where so many chose their own way and chose against God. I accepted that Yib Boney had made a choice and it seemed like such an immense waste of a life.
Our last week together was one of no words. No final thoughts, no regrets, no wondering “what if.” No sweet words, no “I’m sorry” and heaven forbid no “I love you.” I am a writer of final thoughts and emotions. They are vital to my existence. NOT sharing his final thoughts and emotions are vital to his existence. Since he is the one dying, I obliged him.
Made Him Furious One Last Time
I obliged him until I got home. He didn’t have to love me but it was vital to me that he explain why he was being so stupid about accepting the greatest gift of forgiveness from God. I called him, I made him furious, he swore he would hang up on me if I did not stop crying and then he said “I say my prayers every single night asking God to forgive me of my sins and there are many. I am sorry for every single one of them. I thank God for another day of letting me live. I pray for you too.”
Praise God I did not accept Yib Boney’s first proclamation of Hell. Guilt and carrying the fear of whether God would offer forgiveness and accept his regret are powerful fears. But our God says “Fear NOT.”
A Really Big Deal
And how he felt about seeing me one last time and wordlessly holding each other tight knowing it was the last time this side of heaven, “yeah it was a big deal. I was dern glad you came. I wouldn’t have traded it for anything in the world.”
And so now I can die happy. I will see him again. We can aggravate each other for eternity.
Polly Riddell writing as G. Polly Jordan loving a man who was impossible to love. I know he loved me, he just had never learned how to show it. I could surely make him mad and then the truth came out. His character is Yib Boney in all my writing. His choice.