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Florence not the place in Italy. A real person, an essentially good person but flawed nonetheless. I cannot say what prompted me to write today of Florence although I had been thinking about her for a while and I wanted to share with all the beauty of a soul who suffered more than words can say, and who dwelt each day in turmoil. You see Florence was a victim of domestic violence. And Florence came to believe that that was all she deserved. She did not know how, could not know how, was unable to show the scars, the tears, her fears, instead wearing these garments like a beautiful gown thrown carefully about her person. She paid attention to this outward show: the fashion show of the broken.

Others looked but could not see her pain for she wore those garments well. Tears like a brooch pinned to her heart, covering the sorrow. Fears, a multi-coloured scarf tossed about her neck so those finger-marks a cruel necklace, red and raw were concealed a good deal of the time, even when it was not cold. Florence’s smile beguiled even those of a perspicacious nature. Even they were fooled by that smile, a smile which said all is well, but belied the sadness coiled tightly, so unsightly for the world to see.

Misfortune was the realm in which she lived, a place which foiled her every plan to escape the brutality of domestic violence. Attacks were the nature of the cruel game played out in this particular domain. Florence played the game but the rules were skewed. Skewed in favour of her husband. Her husband who she had taken for better or for worse, but it would have been better had the worse been better, but the worse was worse and featured strongly in this union if you could call it that.

Personally, I would not call it a union, but for Florence her wedding vows were sacred and she had promised and promises were not made to be broken. But her bones could be. Surely she had not promised that?

~ MEW

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