Arleen Phyllis Hogan (Hickey)

Ronnie Milsap sang, I Wouldn’t Have Missed It For The World. Don Williams sang a country gold song called Some Hearts Never Mend. George Jones sang, He Stopped Loving Her Today. God Only Knows (what I’d do without you), as written by the Beach Boys and fulfilled in my life after you left me?

Psychologists say that baby boys and young boys can react to feelings of abandonment by their mother by becoming mommy. Can being betrayed and abandoned by one’s romantic soul mate have a similar effect? You become the woman you cannot have? Famous transsexual Charles/Samantha Kane spoke of having such a psychological experience when his wife left him. He felt like he was psychologically comforted by becoming like the most important person in his life who was a source of security and emotional attachment. After some years as living very successfully as Samantha he transitioned again to live as male once more for a short period where he realized the difference of what skin he lived in felt more correct and he returned to living as female.

The first thing I want to say, Phyllis, is that I’m sorry for all the hurt and pain your abusive husband Patrick Hickey has ever caused you that I wasn’t there to prevent from ever happening. If I’d had sex with you before marriage like you wanted we would of eventually gotten married, probably within 24 hours of the act if my guilt and faith had anything to do with it. If I would have not been so stupid I would have married you long before my mother moved my family to Florida in 1979. All those years of abuse with Patrick Hickey would have never happened to you and all the abuse from him that is yet to come. It’s like the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life–what could have been if you and would of had the smarts to take action against the event of my mother’s new marriage after the death of my stepfather and the plan to move us all to Florida. My life would not have taken the wayward yet enlightening path it took. I’d call it the the road less traveled, but that would be an understatement. It’s been hell, but as with all things no regrets because all things happen for a reason.

After all these years and better understanding of you and what you did to me I have to wonder if you every actually loved me, or were just missing a male figure in your life since you father had passed not too many years before we met. Was it that? Could you have just been looking to get out of your mother’s house on your own? I don’t know if you ever loved me, but that doesn’t matter because you made me feel like I was loved. For the first time in my life I felt loved and felt like I was worth something to someone and I thank you for that experience. It’s held in my heart forever.

I was a good boy of 17 years of age when you first asked me to make love to in your bedroom of your mother’s home. Your mother had just excused herself to run to the grocery store and we were home alone. As I write this I’m thinking for the first time, “Had Phyllis and her mother planned this opportune moment for me to get Phyllis pregnant to secure our marriage?” If I hadn’t been such a good boy (or such a stupid boy) you would have become my wife and we would have had our first child together. I wonder if it was all planned from her end to get pregnant. Was her mother in on the plan–it makes me curious because she never left us alone in the house together before. I remember you showing me how really well how you kept perfect track of your monthly cycle on a calendar.

My plan would be that we could have married when I turned 18 and we would have both finished school and gone to University and then gotten 5 years into our careers before starting a family. That was the big plan in my head. I do not say this in a mean way, but when you told me of a medical issue that developed later on that prevented you from having children I was glad that Patrick Hickey didn’t put any children in the womb that was meant for my children. So many times over the years I wondered about the children we could have had and what a happy family we would have had. I imagine my grandmother would have embraced you and we might have taken over working the farm. Even now, my imagine thrusts itself into my thoughts and I see you feeding the chickens with the kids trailing behind you as tend to the cattle. Those will be some of the dream sequences I’ll write into my book about us. I’m sure it will all make a great movie some day.

Now, that I realize that this is the scenario that could have worked out I want to kick myself in the head for being so stupid and not just having sex with you when you asked me to. I guess it feels like stupidity now in hindsight, but in reality I was just a good boy who wanted to do things right and wait for marriage and you asking me to make love to you before marriage greatly disappointed me because to me it felt like it was a total disregard for special event that would be our first time that was supposed to be saved for our wedding night. Now, it’s with sadness that I realize that maybe you loved me so much and knew no other way to hold onto me unless you became pregnant. If this indeed was the plan then you could have just told me and I would have said, “Genius! But I still want to do things right! Let’s get married today and get you pregnant tonight!” And so goes an alternate version of, It’s A Wonderful Life.

I wonder Phyllis, if ever when you lived on Washburn Avenue that you knew that was the last name of my grandparents and did you ever wonder if that was the Universe was telling you that you should have married me instead of Patrick J. Hickey who has been an abusive bastard to you the whole time you’ve been married?

Although I wish Patrick no ill will I do hope that fate would have things work out so that he passes away before you do so that you and I can finally have the chance to know each other once again. I feel like there has been some kind of painful karma that is being worked out between us that both our lives were so happy when we were together and then they became painful when we were not together. Look at all the horrible turns both our lives took since we didn’t marry. So many times over the years I caught myself unpurposely wondering what if. It only takes two seconds of “what if” thinking to imagine the children and happy family we would have had together. I remember walking home from the gym years ago and as I passed as baseball lot attached to a school there were some young little league boys dressed in their uniforms having a practice game. I paused and held onto the chainlink fence and it didn’t take 2 seconds for me to zone in on a little red-headed boy and imagine him as our boy and tears begin to well up in my eyes for our unborn children and I told myself, “Keep walking you fool”. Phyllis, you are the only love for me and as I say, “The mother of my unborn children”. I never had children and neither did you.

I wish I had saved all the letters you had written me since my family moved away from Kentucky in 1979. If I had, those letters would have now painted a clear picture of what you were trying to do by writing to about me some guy that used to come into the Dairy Queen and talk to you. You were trying to make me jealous to get me to return to Kentucky and marry you. I wish you could have just told me what was up instead of being manipulative and deceptive. You see, I loved you and love doesn’t suspect deceit. I simply believe everything you told me because I loved you that much. I was too stupid to think you might be trying to make me jealous. So, now it’s taken me 40 years to figure all this out. Maybe I’m wrong, but maybe I’m not. I’d like to believe I’m not wrong because I never stopped loving you.

One day when Patrick is gone you send me an email to the email address here on the home page of this website and let’s begin again. You don’t have to ever worry that I’m upset over the past because I’m not that kind of person. I believe that all things happen for a reason in this life and perhaps us not getting married at age 17 was not part of the eternal plan for our lives this time around. Like I said before, maybe it all happened because some karma needed to be worked out between us. When I see you again one day it will be as if no time has passed at all. Our bodies may have gotten older, our hair gray, but one thing for sure, the blue eyes I used to look into will have not changed and through them I’ll look into your soul once more and see the one true love of my life. Remember, love is so much more than physical. It’s about becoming loving family.

As you may or may not know I corresponded with your sister Joan in 2019. She was rather nasty to me. I told her about my autobiographical novel that I’d been writing for years that included all that transpired between us. I told her about the book because I wanted your permission for the things I’m writing about you. She got real nasty with me and told me, “Leave Phyllis out of your book”. After that she blocked me from emailing her on I know she is only trying to protect you and we both know it isn’t me she is trying to protect you from so let Joan know I already have forgiven her. I had broached the subject of Patrick’s abusiveness and obviously she was well aware of his abusive and controlling behavior as she told me, “She [Phyllis] said to let you know things are much better with Pat”. I don’t know if Joan ever talked to you or not about our correspondence.

I have a haunting recurring memory from when you worked for Grover and Geneva. One day wanted to come see you at work and I was early and went in anyway and Old 95 knowing who I was said, “Phyllis won’t be here for a few minutes yet. Your early! heh, heh, heh!” I returned, “I won’t be a minute, on my way home and just wanted to stop by to blow her a kiss”. Geneva said, “You know I’ve done some match-making in my day and I see your two aura’s reach towards each other seeking mergence. That is a sign of your once in a lifetime truest romantic soul mate. All, I could do is say, “Wow!” in response the jaw dropper Geneva just laid on me as my pretty redhead was walking into the parking lot and as I opened the door to exit I said thank you to Geneva. I never told Phyllis about it because I had silly visions of the graveyard match-maker scene from Fiddler on the Roof. It was gone from thoughts almost instantly, but not my subconscious thoughts as I became aware of many times over the years.

There is this series I’ve been watching for a few years called Outlander. It’s my favorite genre, time travel romance, reincarnation. Every time I’ve watched an episode I have imagined that the story of Jamie and Claire in this series is also the story of Phyllis and I in another lifetime, yet still locked away into subconscious wherever it resides. I don’t know all her family history, but I believe both her parents had ancestors who were immigrants from Ireland and my ancestor’s are Irish and Scottish immigrants. Only thing remarkable is that our hair color’s are reversed from those of the male and female Outlander characters. If it’s a case of love across reincarnations then perhaps we switched places many times over the millenia, with me as husband and her as wife, sometime the opposite. I know it’s not possible for her to be watching the same broadcast of the show at the same time I’m watching or visa versa, but more than once I entertained that Phyllis might be watching at the same time and having the same thoughts I do about the show and us. I have a great imagination 🙂

I hope I get to see you again one day before either one of us leaves this world. I don’t want to imagine it to turn out like the words of the great hit song of George Jones, He Stopped Loving Her Today. You became family to me and that feeling never left. I’m not looking for us to pick up where we left off before we separated, but I can’t help feeling this lifetime’s story is not finished for us yet.

Thank you for reading this blog post. If you have comments the email for correspondence is on the home page of this website.