Wednesday, June 15, 2005

A Milestone I Never Wanted to See

There are many milestones one reaches in life -- going off to Kindergarten, graduating from high school, graduating from college, getting a job, getting married, having children, watching them go off to school, etc. I've made it that far and I've watched my friends and family hit those milestones as well.

There are the exciting milestones that I love to hear that my friends have reached. In the first several years after college, it was exciting to watch many friends follow our lead and take the plunge into marriage. I still love hearing about the good things, like my friend who just wrote to announce the birth of his second son, another friend who is hoping to buy a house in the next year, or one who is hoping to be planning a wedding soon.

I don't keep up with most of my friends as well as I should, but when I do get together with old buddies, I enjoy the reminiscences and the chance to catch up on the news of who has heard from whom lately. This last time though -- not so much. Along with the usual talk came the gut punch that the first of my friends is getting divorced.

I suppose with so many divorces every year in this country, it was bound to happen that some one or other of my friends would fall into that statistic, but I wasn't ready for it. Especially not from someone who married a high school sweetheart after putting up with five years or so on opposite sides of the country for college. I heard about the person back home the first time I met this friend. Though we haven't talked in years, I always follow with interest the updates on successes and changes life had brought. Not this time.

It will be worse the first time I hear about the death of one of my peers, but this feels almost as bad. It makes me feel awful and yet I can't stop thinking about it. I don't know when things started to go wrong. I don't know the details. I don't want to know, but the divorce of a long ago friend still rips me apart. Naturally this brings pain to the couple, their kids, their families and the people they are closest to, but divorce sure is an ugly beast when it can make someone miles and years away from a couple so sad.

I'm sorry for the end of their marriage. I'm sorry for them. And I'm sorry that I've reached this milestone. It's not one that I ever wanted to reach.

1 comment:

Blair said...

This is somewhat like how I feel about having gone to more funerals than weddings... and too many funerals for young people...

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