Today started out well. I got to court in plenty of time, to find out that the hotly contested hearing I was going to have all day would be settling and the other two hearings I would have that day were simple case closings. I spent the time after the morning docket sitting in the sunshine and knitting the beginnings of a baby blanket (try number three, LOL:). Once I got home, I had some lunch and sat down to do some more knitting only to find myself out like a light. I have had somewhat short nights this week in the sleep department in an attempt to be sure to be to court early every time. It has worked out well, but by Friday I feel it. I was too tired to even go out and walk this afternoon despite the beautiful weather.
Despite the beautiful breezes, sunny skies and warm temperatures, there were dark clouds brewing on the horizon. As I walked into court, I saw a couple of colleagues and learned they were going to the sentencing of those parents who had starved their youngest to death. I couldn't even get righteously indignant about those people. All that's left in terms of emotion is the deepest sadness. I cannot imagine what it must be like to practice criminal law of that kind on a regular basis. I really respect the judge in that case. He's a thoughtful, observant, highly intelligent and hard-working judge who takes better notes than anyone I've ever met, so I'm sure his sentence will be appropriate. But even though I was done early today, I had no desire to sit in on that sentencing!
Also headed for the sentencing were two representatives from CASA (court-appointed special advocates). One of them - the director in our area - told me she had gotten a call from a former foster parent of a former client of mine. This client had left care at 18 with her baby. The foster parent now has the baby. My poor client died of complications from HIV/AIDS and the foster parent remembered I had been the young lady's attorney. However, the CASA director did not have the name handy, so I spent the better part of the afternoon wondering who it was. By the time I got home, I had an e-mail from her, identifying the client's child's name and immediately remembered his mother. I had no idea of her HIV status when I worked with her, which made me incredibly sad. It wouldn't have mattered an iota to me. I suspect the client didn't even know-or was in tremendous denial, because she didn't get treatment. She had left the state, but when she became ill, she came to Merlin to stay with her former foster mom and died here.
All she wanted in this world was someone to really love her - and she died trying to find it.
I have changed a number of details in this story. I cannot identify clients. Ever. But her foster mom and I will remember her. No one should leave this earth without someone to miss them.
This post is in memory of her - a memorial that will live on in cyberspace - for a good kid who did not deserve the blows life dealt her.
Please don't comment on this post. I am not looking for comfort. I don't feel responsible for her death, because I'm not, except perhaps in the collective sense that we are all responsible for all of our children and how they are cared for.
But at the end of the day, I go home, gratefully look at my own children and their children and again ask God the question that will not go away: Why were we so lucky?
Well, you whose name I cannot print here: God be with you 'til we meet again.