It came to an end, unfortunately.
It is a long and complicated story, of interest to no one at this point.
Because the friendship had been for so many years, I could not let it go casually. I looked at the relationship and at the friend long and hard. I looked at her many good qualities and at the traits -- we all have them -- that are less admirable. She's bright, she's funny, she's witty; she has many talents involving floss and fiber. She is generous; she feeds the hungry, visits the sick, all of those kinds of things.
We had a difference of opinion. It escalated. This happened and then that. Finally she was very rude and hurtful to me when we were with a group of people. Rather than drawing further attention to her behavior by addressing it then and there, I waited until later, imagining that she would look back on what happened and apologize. When she didn't, I told her how hurt I had been by her behavior.
She did not care. That was the deal breaker for me.
There will be those who will read this who will know who and what I am talking about. Heck, for all I know, the woman I write about may read this. And to all of them, I want to be perfectly clear: This woman is not a bad person. Far from it. She is basically a very good person. She just lacks a quality that I find essential after so many years.