Friday, April 04, 2014

Three lawyers and a writer go into a bar...

Appetizers and drinks with three lawyers tonight.

This is not normally on my social calendar, but duty called. The one lawyer is legal counsel for my work. The other two are the guys our insurance company hired to defend us in the wrongful death civil suit. Lawyer Number 1 felt obligated to treat Lawyers 2 and 3 to a happy hour to thank them for all their hard work. I really have no idea why I was invited, except that I was there every day of the trial and therefore we have this shared, albeit terrible, experience.

I think I am healing. I don't think about the trial every day any more, and I can talk about it without crying. Tonight the four of us were able to dissect the case, and I learned a lot of background information I did not know, mainly because it wasn't allowed to be discussed during the trial. For instance, I learned that the day of the accident, at the hospital, the boy's mother had a melt down similar to the one in the courtroom. She screamed and wailed, and blamed herself for letting her son go to school that day.

I asked a lot of questions, and they graciously and patiently answered every single one. They asked for my opinions on various aspects, and I told them what I thought. I'm still trying to sort it all out in my own mind, and it was nice to be able to talk through some of my observations and conjectures. We spent some time trying to figure out the motive behind bringing the civil suit. The family does not need the money. One does not start expensive litigation because of a miscommunication (as was stated at one point in this whole debacle). It wasn't for an apology; we had already apologized. I realized that what they wanted, what the mother wanted, was for us to say, "It was all our fault." She didn't need it for money or for public humiliation. She needed it so she could stop blaming herself. I said that out loud, before I even really gave it a lot of thought; we were all just chatting and I was using the conversation to get my head wrapped around it. I barely got the words out and the eyes of all three lawyers went wide. Two of them pointed at me, and one said, "YES! That's it. That's exactly what she wanted. She needs a way to stop blaming herself." I was glad I had said something that was intelligent.

Despite the topic of conversation, it was a lovely evening. We were at the Three Sixty Rooftop Bar in downtown St. Louis, and I watched the sky darken and the city lights start to twinkle while we talked. I love my city, and I love that even though our judicial system is so messed up in so many regards, it is still the best in the world.

I realized tonight on the drive home that for the first time in a long time, everything feels okay. The world feels at rights again.

My kid and my husband are sick as shit, but at least they are here and I get to take care of them. Work is humming along at its usual frenetic pace. I helped out the mothers' club this morning and they rewarded me with a Starbucks gift card (apparently they know the way to my heart). I had lunch with my cousin and feel reconnected. I got my mother scheduled for her second round of neurology tests. Tomorrow I take all my paperwork into my tax lady, and make some more meals for my folks.

This little life of mine isn't dazzling or perfect, and it probably makes for some pretty boring reading, but man is it good.



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