Friday, March 13, 2015

Lunch: A Great Divorce Story

A client from years ago recently hired me again.  A Southern matriarch forever stretching the bounds of goodness, she made the decision, after widowhood, to downsize and move closer to children/grandchildren.
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There is a template of living in her realm, in addition to goodness.  Hospitality and courtesy.  Elegance & comfort too, she's an interior decorator.  Unpleasantness is not ignored, merely hit head on with clear eyes, thinking, action, moving forward to joy.
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Community activist, one charitable group she formed, decades ago, has raised significant funds, all plowed back into her community.  Book club, bible study group, & more......she's active

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Of course our Garden Design work begins with lunch in the sunroom overlooking the garden.  Homemade chicken salad over lettuce, designer chips, crisp saltines marinated overnite in Tabasco/red pepper flakes/powdered ranch dressing, and iced tea.
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Conversation.
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Life lessons arrive to each, I've been fortunate, having many arrive in exactly this manner.
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With a wicked smile she said, "Hope you don't mind I shared your divorce story with a friend."  She knew I wouldn't mind.  My story needs to be shared.  Victim of alcoholic excesses with 30 year spouse, blah-ti-boring-blah, it is the pivot from victim to survivor, which is a terrible location to be stuck too, to thriver, and how it was achieved that must be told.  But not here today.  I have a new story from her.
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Her friend, long married, had finally reached a court date for divorce.  Wealthy, her husband was armed with Atlanta's best lawyer, and she was about to tank financially.  An amazing choice was made, from the bible.  She chose 10 of her closest friends who knew she, and her soon to be divorced husband, long and well.  She wanted her best girlfriends to stand with her, in court, to give her strength & love, and more importantly, bear witness.
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As all of these ladies, matriarchs all, filed into the court room, to sit with their friend, and look her husband in the eyes, he was vanquished.  He became flushed, and fidgety.  A jury of his peers, indeed.  Hushed words with his lawyer.
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The divorce settled equitably that day.  No one was taken advantage of, no one harmed financially.
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This woman used precepts of her longtime bible study, her only ammunition, and Providence smiled.  She chose not to be afraid, and put her faith in G*d.      

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If this were a tv movie of the week, the script would be stupid.
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Instead, passing along the story, is strength.  Victim hood is a choice.  Hope is not foolish.  Bearing witness is a tool.  Do not be afraid to ask for help.
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After lunch we had desert, vanilla ice cream with Hershey's chocolate, 2 little cubes of homemade brownies, and a large red ripe strawberry with dollop of chocolate on top.
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Then I designed her backyard, and left with a check.
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Love my job.
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Garden & Be Well,     XO Tara
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Top pic, Bassett Furniture, bottom pic Ralph Lauren.

11 comments:

Jules said...

a fabulous lunch with food for the soul!
testify!

LPC said...

Wow. Just wow.

What an amazing story. Or stories.

And if you feel like discussing your own divorce, I would like to know when it happened, just so I have the context for your writings and your work. Thank you.

Sandra Walker said...

That divorce story is amusing. That just proves that friends are effective witnesses, that even a great lawyer or lots of money can't beat. Of course, if both of your close friends had your sympathy and defend you, it means that you are at the side of the truth and light. Anyway, thanks for sharing that, Tara! I wish you all the best!

Sandra Walker @ Eric Risk

Sandra Walker said...

That divorce story is amusing. That just proves that friends are effective witnesses, that even a great lawyer or lots of money can't beat. Of course, if both of your close friends had your sympathy and defend you, it means that you are at the side of the truth and light. Anyway, thanks for sharing that, Tara! I wish you all the best!

Sandra Walker @ Eric Risk

Carolyn said...

I can see why you love your job ~ nice post!

Have a good weekend,
Carolyn

Dewena said...

She chose not to be afraid. Love that! Life lessons indeed in your lunch conversation. And so it is passed from friend to friend to friend.

I'm so glad that you were a thriver too, and not a victim. So much of life can be a choice, can't it?

Hartwood Roses said...

... and we love hearing the lessons and stories from you while you are doing your job.

Cindy Hattersley said...

Tara you always spin a good tale...

Anonymous said...

That's a great story, not as bittersweet as I expected. Such a level of support she had is rare, and I'm just glad I had the support I did!

And a new garden design for you, and starting my two. Wish I could have designed each on the spot...the measuring insane on both!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

AWESOMELY told story Tara....and like you, yes, I love a gorgeous enfilade that welcomes my imagination first THEN my body....and your language and voice here is superb. Whatever the topic, a great writer can make the subject sing, even divorce. Yes, I too love my job (French teacher!)

Thank you so much for coming over to see my photos. Our city is rife with beautiful flowers in spring!

KILL LI said...
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