So. I'm divorced.
As I sat in the courtroom today, listening as Maggie asked Nick if he agreed that we were no longer compatible as marriage partners, I looked at the judge, who was this kindly, grandfatherly gentleman, who has the privilege of watching as people disintegrate their marriage in front of him, and wondered what he thought of us.
Of two people who were married 13 years ago, who had 2 children, and who were now sitting in his courtroom attesting that they wish to undo it.
Of course, he doesn't know the rest. He doesn't know that Nick served a year in Iraq. He doesn't know that they had 3 dogs, one of whom died as Joy watched, waiting in the vet's office because their computer system wasn't working (yes, Zoe would have died anyway, she was sick-it was still hard). He doesn't know that these 2 people in front of him met in November of 2000, while Joy was still in college, while Nick had a full time job but lived at home. He doesn't know that they fell in love, besotted, fireworks and passion and the whole bit. He doesn't know that they worked together, raising these children, struggling to get by on one paycheck. He doesn't know that they had so many trials during this 15 years that they have been together, that they fought so hard through so many valleys to reach the peaks. And there were peaks. Lots of them. There were dark valleys too. But he doesn't know that. He knows that they are here today, asking for their marriage to be dissolved. Like acid.
At church on Sunday, Pastor Karen read from II Corinthians 13, the love passage. Which of course was central to the message in our wedding, as it is nearly all weddings. I wrote our ceremony out, top to bottom, and put many verses into it that mattered, that meant something to us. But smack in the middle was, of course, "Love is patient, love is kind..." And I ended it with "Love never ends." Because that was why I wanted to include it. Because I knew that love is not always patient, or kind, or just, but I did know that love never ends.
I feel like today that love was supposed to end.
It didn't. I sat in that courtroom today, and said yes, I want to end this marriage, because I love Nicholas Ryan Johnson. And I want him to be happy. And even though it hurts, I can accept that his path with me beside him as his wife has ended.
I know that Nick will always be a part of my life. We have children. We will have grandchildren. Not too terribly long ago, Nick considered me to be his best friend. I don't doubt that he no longer considers me that, but I do hope that he considers me a friend, and a close one at that. We may no longer be those young kids, so excited by the life that stretched out in front of us, but we can be old friends whose paths sometimes cross.
So today I know for certain that love never ends. Flowers and romance and all of that, yes, they end. But love, at its core, is rooted within us. Or at least, it is for me. I hope and pray that eventually I will meet someone who would like to walk beside me, who would reignite that consuming, mind altering experience that is falling in love. Oh, I pray so hard for that. But love, genuine, grounded, to the marrow of my bones love-that is still there and always will be.