January 20, 2007

Twenty Years, It's Breaking You Down
Now That You Understand There's No One Around

Going to court Thursday and speaking about how much it has hurt to lose my grandmother was probably the single hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life.

I walked to the stand with an 8 x 10 of my family, the notes I had prepared, my memento of grandma, and a handful of tissues. I had already been crying in court so I don't think I got one dry word out. My voice wavered, my face flushed with emotion, and my whole body trembled uncontrollably. Honestly, I have no idea if the judge could understand a word I said.

I stood up there and explained how I was not prepared for a middle of the night phone call that meant my grandmother had instantly disappeared from my life and that we had no more time for all of the things I had been putting off.

I told the judge how an important professional support and "colleague" was now missing with such a savvy world traveler and explorer taken from me.

I showed him the photo and sobbed to him how I had lost not just one of the four relatives pictured, but three ... that my brother won't speak to me or my mother and that my dad and I only speak to fight, despite no one bickering over her estate, and my grandma forever gone.

I asked the judge not to punish but to protect and do whatever it was in his power to do to keep anyone else from feeling the pain that I do now.

I returned to my seat and did my best to calm myself as we sat through the other side telling their story. My father sat in the back of the court room with his wife while my aunt and I sat in the front with the MADD representative. My mother wasn't there because she feared being broken by the pain. My brother I can't account for, but I have my suspicions.

The defendant apologized for this "accident" and told us that he had found Jesus while in jail these last 11 months. He recognized my grandmother as a loving, beautiful person, "accepted her gift" as a turning point in his life, and hoped for our forgiveness. His lawyer asked for treatment and pointed to his client's recent sobriety, his first in 25 yrs.

I don't know if the judge had his mind made up before he walked into the courtroom that day or not, but he handed down two maximum sentences - 15 yrs on one count and 4 yrs on the other, to be served consecutively.

It was a very bittersweet, painful, and hollow "victory". Grammy will never come back to make our family behave again. Many years beyond this last with my father are gone now that our trust is so far broken. And I walked away with more love from the MADD woman than anyone else.

I am glad to be away from my family but my heart is breaking to know we are each becoming individuals, alone in the world. It won't be long before what was once a family is a total shattered mess. I may have been the first to be broken off, but my father is hardly surrounded by love and my brother believes "love" is someone that tells you what to wear and how to spend your money.

I am building a cocoon. I am protecting myself. I am re-building me. Alone.

Posted by Princess Cat at January 20, 2007 01:23 PM @ 01:23 PM in Drama // Permalink | TrackBack

oof. you break my heart, cat. trauma is hard on families. i'm sure as bad as you hurt, they do too. i wish you all the best.

it may be horribly cynical but i don't believe you can fix a drunk. not totally.
i'm sure the jesus thing was just about trying to show he'd cleaned up his act, but i would have scoffed out loud. sounds like you handled all of it with dignity and grace. you're in my thoughts.

Posted by: shoe at January 20, 2007 04:56 PM

and not alone.

Posted by: RSM at January 20, 2007 11:22 PM

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