Walking into a party celebrating the 50th wedding anniversary of a dear friend and her husband, I realized that if I had stayed married, this past June would have been my 48th wedding anniversary. Forty-eight years, oh my.

I felt a twinge of sadness followed by an intense wave of gratitude.

I had no idea that my divorce would save me.

As much as I don’t want to admit it, my ex-husband was one of the most important teachers in my life. During my divorce, I felt the foundation of my life crumbling beneath my feet and my dreams for the future being destroyed. The lessons I had to learn seemed overwhelming.

I did my best to become whole and to find my voice. I learned to face tremendous fear and uncertainty and how to have faith that all would be well.

Sometimes the people in our lives confuse kindness with weakness. Sometimes they feel the need to always win. Sometimes the connection and the trust between two people simply breaks so completely it can no longer be repaired.

But you know the power of kindness. You understand that a relationship is not a game to be won. You realize the connection you have with yourself is a gift to be treasured, to be nurtured and to be honored.

I walked into the party with a big smile and celebrated a couple who loved and respected each other for fifty years. And by the way, Elvis was there!