The people change, but love remains…
Your people. You collect them all along the way. Everyone serves a purpose in your life, good or bad.
For me, people are a huge part of how I survive. I need every single person in my life for a totally different reason.
So when divorce becomes a reality, you aren’t sure who will stay and who will go. Your circle goes from the size of a crop circle to the size of a grapefruit overnight. Or so it feels. And you aren’t even sure how it happens.
I choose to believe that the people who are “left” are the critical players. Some may say the “tribe”. They are a tiny group, but they are literally the only reason I am still upright. Some members of my tribe are obvious. Family. Those poor people are stuck with me come hell or high water.
Luckily for me, I have the greatest family a girl could ever dream of. They’ve spent my entire life showing me how to survive through their love and example. In my family we call it “Brenner Strong” and if you know us, you know we live those words as true as can be.
I could talk about my family forever. I probably will another day. For now…I digress.
I remember the day my oldest child was born. I lay in that hospital bed the following day surrounded by family and loved ones. And I remember processing the thought very vividly. This baby didn’t just happen to his father and I. This baby happened to every single person who loves us most.
The same is true for divorce. It doesn’t just happen to the couple that was married. It happens to every single person who loves them too. And every single person they love right back. Kind of the family version of a “circle of life” if you will.
For me, there is a group of people that have been part of my world for 20 years that no longer will be. Not because I love them any differently, it’s just another shitty part of the process.
I was a fire wife. A true tribe. The brotherhood. The group of men (and women) who run in when everyone else is running out.
I’ve watched things from a different perspective for the past 20 years because of that. Things that have impacted all of us in this world. 9/11. The Worcester 6. Fatal accidents. Fires that took him out of bed in the middle of the night with little more than “I’ve gotta go.”, and no knowledge of when he would return. A different lens is what a fire wife views the world through.
And the only people who know what it is like to also view the world through that lens…is another fire wife.
To be a part of that family for so long….and then to not be….feels just as counterintuitive as the rest of it.
These people aren’t any different. Nor is my lens. I will always honor them. I will always worry. My investment is ingrained forever, as he is the father of my children. And those people will always feel like family.