Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bad things come in 3's

My husband and I went back and forth yesterday about the temporary divorce agreement, but were never able to agree on anything. I told him I would not budge about letting the kids spend the night with him and that was non-negotiable.

I found out about 4pm I needed to be in court the next day. I still have no attorney. I can not afford one.

I think I now know why my husband was playing the I want to work things out game. If I had sold my rings, I would have had the money to pay for at least some representation. And had his story been told in court today, it would have resulted in a different outcome.

In any case, the kids and I had agreed to go to my ex-husband's house for dinner last night and I'm glad we did. My former husband is still out of the country. His wife made a very hearty Lebanese meal and I left well-fortified in mind, body and spirit.

I was able to see some of their pictures from their recent trip to Lebanon and she gave me copies of my favorite ones. It meant so much to me because my old photo album was stolen years ago and I have very few pictures of my former father-in-law, who I adore.

I stashed the pictures in my purse and took them to court with me today for good luck. I also wore the ring his sister bought for me when I went to Lebanon. It is traditional to buy the bride gold. In times of financial hardship, the woman then has her gold to sell, so it is considered a sort of financial security. (And gold is very easy to buy and sell in Lebanon.) I have never been able to bring myself to sell the gold from his family. It is very sentimental to me. I know that was money that did not come easy for them. I remember going with them to pick out what I liked and feeling very guilty about their purchases. They were gifts that involved sacrifice.

That said, I wish I had more of a Lebanese attitude towards my own jewelry. I am extremely sentimental. It has always been hard for me to let go.

While I was visiting with L, I noticed I had a missed call from my dad. I knew he was away on business so I figured it was urgent. I checked my message and it was vague, asking me to call him right away.

As it turns out, his mother is not doing well. Her heart is very bad.

L offered to keep my kids for me so I could go be with her. I decided to call first because my Nano loves my kids. She wanted to see them, so we all rushed over.

She told me she was so hungry for some fried chicken and that I am the only person who can make it the way she likes it. I have my great, great-grandmother's recipe and she taught me to make it as a teenager. I really didn't master it until a few years ago. You'd think fried chicken would be easy, but it's really an art.

We stopped on the way home to 2 markets to find the kind of chicken she likes. I soaked it in buttermilk overnight and woke up at 5:30 this morning to fry it all. I figured I would make some bacon too for my kids while I was up and also made some for my Nano because she had said a few weeks ago she missed that too.

My son woke up with a double ear infection and I decided he probably needed to go to the doctor for antibiotics. I called and made him a 10am appointment to see my pediatrician since birth. It was nice to get a hug from him this morning. My mom joined us at the visit to take him so I could make it to work and court.

Prior to that, we visited my Nano and got a key so she wouldn't have to get out of bed to open the door for us. She was really thrilled with the fried chicken - and I made her some coffee and toast to go with her bacon for breakfast.

I'm really glad we got that visit in. Last night was very difficult with both children there. My daughter was very restless and unruly. I felt like we got a good visit in this morning. I don't know how much time is left, so today meant a lot to me.

We had all asked her to come home with us last night but she wanted to stay in her own bed. She commented again about how sad it was that J's aunt had died alone. That is still unbelievable in our family. I hope that my Nano realizes how much we all love her and never feels alone in her death.

I really got upset with my husband last night around all of this. I feel like because of his relapse I have not been able to be there for my family in the way that I would like to be. I told him I am always working and with the kids and there is no time left for my grandmas. I really resent it.

My Nano was always there for me and I hope to be there for her til the end.

At 1pm I met my husband and his attorney at the courthouse. I do not feel happy about the financial agreement at all, but I felt like I did not have other options. I told the judge I could not afford an attorney. His attorney told me this is temporary, but somehow I feel like this is very unfair.

But the most important thing to me was that I do not want my children spending the night with their dad until their is a proven, long-term track record of sobriety. And that was accomplished.

I had prepared a statement to read to the judge if I needed to, and perhaps I should have. But I will wait to see how the mediation goes and pray for the best.

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