Victory


On April 12th, I win

Victory | A Practical Wedding

by Sarah Siering

I will marry my love on April 12, 2014. People keep asking if that date means anything, and I tell them it does not. We selected April 12th for very practical reasons. Mark is a teacher, and while spring break, winter break, and the whole flippin’ summer are the awesome side effects of educating America’s teenagers, the job comes with one minor hiccup: the inability to take days off during any other time of the year. So, April 12, 2014, the first Saturday of Mark’s spring break. Save the date.

But something about the question kept gnawing at the corners of my memory. A quick rummage through a pile of embarrassingly girly diaries reveals the forgotten truth: I am getting married on one of the most significant dates in my history. On April 12th I will be wearing a white dress. I will be carrying spring flowers and holding back happy tears. My friends and family will be watching as I march down the aisle to greet my bright future. On April 12th, it will be exactly six years since a toxic partnership ended with an explosion of white light behind my eyes. My head smack against the wall, an egg-sized lump already forming. A landscape of black and blue where my body hit the floor. Terror, and pain. And nobody calling the cops.

It’s not the enlightened thing to say. I know this isn’t a contest. But here it is. Two words: I win.

I say “I win” and not “you lose” because loss is something I stopped wanting for you a long time ago. I didn’t think that would ever happen. I win, because I didn’t think I could ever love again, and I do. I didn’t expect happiness to come, and it did.

I won’t pretend to wish you well, because I’m not that nice a person (or maybe I’m just too honest). There was a time when I thought my healing was contingent on something horrible happening to you. Today it finally occurs to me that your fate is irrelevant. I win, even if you’re doing great.

I have a love now who meets me at the foot of the stairs to carry my bags when I can’t anymore. A love who keeps dinner warm when I’m home late from work. A love who shares pride at my successes, and sorrow at my defeats. There’s room enough here for us both to breathe and grow and change. I have finally found the freedom that I couldn’t have imagined six years ago. On April 12th, the walk down that aisle will be my victory march at last.

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  • 50Peach

    Beautifully written and though I don’t know you, I’m happy for you! Lovely piece.

  • http://www.frugalbeautiful.com Shannyn @frugalbeautiful.com

    I got a bit choked up when I read this. I am walking down the aisle on 6/6/2015 (the date does have significance for us) and it feels like a victory march. My upbringing could have beaten the ability to love and be happy right out of me, but I feel blessed that this day will signify I’m not a statistic and celebrate a happy, healthy relationship that I will work to share for a lifetime. :)

    Congratulations to you- wishing you all the luck and happiness in the world!

  • http://heartsvsbrains.tumblr.com/ HeartvsBrain

    “It’s not the enlightened thing to say. I know this isn’t a contest. But here it is. Two words: I win.”

    THIS. This exactly. When you survive something traumatic – when you not just survive, but triumph? You win. Congratulations on your upcoming marriage and thank you for sharing your victory.

  • Violet

    Sarah, thank you so much for sharing. I loved this part especially, “Today it finally occurs to me that your fate is irrelevant,” because I think it applies to so many of life’s experiences. I don’t think you need to be able to wish someone who hurt you “well” to move on. But apathy, or at least a realization that the connection is severed and your lives are in different spheres? Yeah, I think that’s do-able. And for realizing that? You WIN!

  • Jacki

    This is a lovely way to look at it, and to “take back” that date. You HAVE won! You DO win! Congratulations on your victory, and your upcoming marriage :)

  • nikki

    Congratulations! So happy for you and your victory!

  • Ann

    Beautifully written. I am also getting married on 4/12/14 – also to a teacher, also his spring break.

  • Amanda L

    “On April 12th, the walk down that aisle will be my victory march at last.”
    Clearly, OP, you have earned it. Enjoy every glorious second of it, and the marriage that follows!

  • Kayjayoh

    Best wishes to you on your impending nuptials, and biggest congratulations on having reached a place of personal peace.

  • http://alithompsonart.com/ Ali

    YES!!!!

  • Jo

    So grateful for this!!

    I was moved by these words: “I have a love now who meets me at the foot of the stairs to carry my bags when I can’t anymore. A love who keeps dinner warm when I’m home late from work. A love who shares pride at my successes, and sorrow at my defeats. There’s room enough here for us both to breathe and grow and change. I have finally found the freedom that I couldn’t have imagined”

    Not only am I lucky enough to also know that kind of love in my husband, but I have also been in a relationship that made me think that maybe it wasn’t possible. Bless you!

  • Daniella

    Speechless. Beautiful. Tears. Scary. Proud (even though I don’t know you, I am still identifying so strongly with feeling proud of you). Best of wishes with your victory march down the aisle. Sending you hugs and love.

  • Allie

    So beautiful. You win!

  • anon

    I also really identify with this. I woke up on my three-year anniversary of ending my terrible relationship having gotten engaged to my sweet fiance the night before :) I absolutely feel like I won, and had the same feelings of his life, good or bad, being totally irrelevant.

  • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

    Makes me want to jump up and run around the room Rocky style for you.

    You go girl!!!

  • http://thinkweirdthoughts.blogspot.com Phira

    I am in tears reading this. I don’t know you, but I’ll celebrate your victory with you in April!

  • Sarah S.

    What a supportive community. Thank you all for reading!

  • Amy Nicolaisen

    Congratulations, you are an inspiration and I wish you all the happiness in the world.

  • AmyN17

    Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing.

  • http://theartofhintz.blogspot.com/ Jenniferjuniper

    beautifully written and congratulations on your hard fought win :)

    also 4/12/14 is a palindrome… but your reason is much much more powerful.

  • FiveSevenFive

    I would like APW to bring back the “exactly” button so I can “exactly” every comment on this page.

  • HannahESmith

    Thank you for being so brave and sharing this piece. I am so happy for you.

  • Erin DeBooy

    great outlook on what life has handed to you, you are very inspiring. Congrats on finding true love :)

  • Erin

    So eloquently written! I want to hug you and hi-five you and congratulate you a million times on getting married to someone who sounds so wonderful, and in perfect contrast to your past. Congratulations on finding someone amazing, on moving on, on being able to do it at all. Congratulations, congratulations, congratulations!