October is a month of beauty, saving remnants of summer charms while teasing with the winds of change. October sunshine has a softer warmth, a bit of protection from winter to come.
On a particular October day a woman stood before a judge. On her right was the lawyer. After a few questions, the judge reached for a pen and granted the request.
Numb with fear, regret, sorrow, shame the woman stood on the court-house steps doubled over and choking. October’s beauty could not reach through her tears.
Her children. Her home. Her love. Her work. Her life. Her trust in her vows. All these poured over her as she struggled with sickness, tears and realization of what she had done. The marriage was over. The judge’s pen sealed the divorce.
This woman had no memory of anyone passing, of any offer of help, of any look of concern. October beauty was the darkest night. Light was gone.
Divorce has no real definition. Legally it is the end of a contract. Religiously it is the breaking of a vow. For children , it is a hollow place in their security. In the scope of consequences, there is no honest way to sort responsibilities. Everything gets lost in the whirlpool of debilitating pain.
Statistically, at least half of all marriages end in divorce. Contracts broken, vows discredited, children damaged and lives tossed into turmoil. If it were not for a sense of hope, the heart would dissolve in tears. Finding that hope is the challenge.
We live in a time of just enlightenment when considering medical help for the depression that can destroy. The situation will eventually change, though it feels like the sun is a black hole. The woman on the court-house steps struggled with grief and guilt, as do most who experience divorce. All her self promises of protecting the children seemed lost in the depression that muted rational thought.
Eventually, the woman of this story cried enough to wash her spirit. She looked at the faces of her children, saw the pain in their eyes. She made her decision. She had to live with this. It was not going away.
Letting go of things that cannot be changed is something we label “not easy but very simple’. I am reminded of a favorite anonymous quotation. “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”