The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


As she walked back from meeting him at the notary she called with tears in her eyes. We positioned the car and opened the door so she wouldn't have to face anyone she knew. She said "it's just hard." We knew it would be a hard day. All we could do was be there to pick her up when she broke down.

We drove her to the courthouse so that she could file papers to divorce her husband. I sat outside in the car and waited for her. I could not begin to fathom how she felt. I imagined the recent hurt I felt walking away from a relationship of only six months. I tried multiplying that by sixteen and adding some sacred vows. I still could not fathom. I knew it was only a matter of time before she broke down.

As she returned to the car, I tried to gague her. I couldn't tell. I asked if she was okay and she looked straight at me. In that instant I could see so much hurt. But the hurt I saw was slowly fading into the background as the relief took center stage. "Yes, I am okay." She wasn't smiling, but she wasn't broken.

We stopped at my place to pop open some champagne and toast to new beginnings. We brought out gifts we had bought for her to attempt to rebuild some of what was "lost" in the divorce. We tried to do anything we could to lessen her pain, as we waited for the moment when she would just break down.

Five hours later, she took a call from her mom to tell her how today went. As she left the room, I reflected on the strength of my friend. I have always been a strong woman, but I would have broken down hours ago. She was still standing. Beautiful and kind and strong and inspirational...she was still standing. Whole. Unbroken.

I am pretty sure that when the lights go out and the room is empty and silent she will finally break down. But I can only hope that she knows how much she is truly loved and that helps her get though those moments.