The other day I was lucky enough to hang out at the local courthouse waiting to be a character witness at a particularly ugly divorce proceeding. And by lucky enough I mean I spent about three hours fantasizing about putting a quicker end to the whole sordid affair by shoving the plaintiff over the second-floor banister. Yeah. This is why I worry about my karma.
When I wasn't indulging that little daydream, I was watching the defendant's 80+ year-old grandparents. I never knew my maternal grandfather, and my paternal grandparents died when I was very young, so the whole idea of still having your grandparents at 40-some years old enthralls me. Plus, Peter's grandparents are just so cool!
I can't imagine that they were looking forward to hearing all the dirty details of their grandson's divorce -- but they were there. In full support mode. I wonder sometimes if Peter realizes how lucky he is to have them.
I got such a kick out of watching Peter's grandpa fuss because the wood floor of the hallway was squeaky. I half expected him to run out to his car to grab the tools and supplies needed to fix the annoying squeak. I am in awe of Peter's grandmother. She takes care of her two great-grandchildren at least once a week, works at the local blood bank, is an amazing cook and baker and still has time to make everyone in her family (kids, grandkids, great grandkids and all their significant others) homemade Christmas gifts. I'm half her age and yet I have about half her energy.
I loved watching as they kept it classy in spite of circumstances that would make it pretty easy to not do so. It's a true life lesson to watch how you can be FOR one side without being AGAINST the other. It's a lesson that those people on the other side of the hallway haven't learned yet.
As it ends up, I wasn't called to testify in the trial since, for the most part, a lot of things were settled while we were waiting in that hallway together. And, while I can't say there weren't about a dozen things I would have preferred doing, I don't view those hours to be wasted.
You see, there's something special about being in the presence of true, honest-to-goodness, love. Peter's grandparents have been married over 60 years. They've raised five children together, with all the ups and downs that that brings. And yet, when Peter's grandma left to go to work at the blood bank, she bent down, patted her husband on the cheek, and gave him a kiss goodbye. Sixty years together and that was the kiss of someone who still loves her husband, maybe more than she did on her wedding day.
Sitting there, in courthouse hallway, watching the ugly end to a miserable marriage, I had a glimpse of what true love looks like. And had my faith in it restored. That, my friends, was worth a "wasted" day.