A woman I know is going through a particularly painful divorce. She is one of several I know up close and personally who are in various stages of undressing of a marriage. She is having the toughest go of it. Her children, you can be damn sure, are having an even tougher time.
I sometimes feel as if I am her only friend, the only person she can talk endlessly to about the various egregious acts inflicted upon her. Of course, I'm not the only person. She talks to my husband endlessly about it as well. And, having encountered my sister twice, she is always telling me how much she's sure my sister will appreciate this anecdote or that anecdote.
The "funny" thing is that we were friendly but certainly not friends before her world collapsed beneath her feet. Perhaps if we had been friends, I would have been a real friend by now and told her to SHUT THE HELL UP ABOUT IT! Surely, the others have done this, which is perhaps why I am the only one she has left.
And this is where I show my true self. It'll take a moment to get to. It is probably not worth the wait. But.
Some years ago, a firefighter died in the line of duty. He left behind a wife and two young children. In the years since, I have become quite familiar with the three of them. The dead man's children and my children cross paths. I cross paths with the children to a much greater degree than I cross the widow's path. I do hear of her many escapades, though.
They are a dysfunctional lot. Knowing a bit of their history before the firefighter's heroic death, I realize the dysfunction runs quite deep and existed long before his death. And when I hear of her latest run-in with name-any-entity, I wonder if he might have just taken the easy way out. I think I can even see why he might want to.
This woman going through the divorce right now? For all the blame I'd heap upon her someday-to-be-ex-husband, I'm starting to see why he chose the proverbial fire.