Never Woulda Guessed

I’m excited about this. I have to post it.

I went to court earlier this week. I was so nervous. It was against my ex; I was suing him for full custody, back support, and to raise the child support that I’m supposed to be getting. I was afraid of the things he could say; even though I knew I had the advantage I was afraid he would lie about something. Or exaggerate. Anything. I was afraid. Nervous to a worrisome extent.

Then I got to the courthouse with my fiance and a couple friends, meeting my lawyer there 30 minutes before everything started. My lawyer and I discussed everything while my friends kept a look out for my ex, who hadn’t arrived yet. Occasionally they were asked questions too, but that wasn’t a big deal.

The big deal was that by the time court was due to start my ex had not shown up. We deduced that he wasn’t going to.

After vigorous questioning by my lawyer, since it was a fill-in judge in place of the original judge on the case so we had to bring him up-to-date, and giving the judge the “evidence” from the past couple of months, I was astounded by what was decided. I didn’t know it could go the way that it did since my ex wasn’t present.

I was awarded full custody with visitation only when arranged prior with me, with my permission and supervision only. Child support was raised to the maximum per week, which totals to over $1000 per month. And I was awarded all the back support my ex owes me for the past year, which is quite a lot.

Now, if I ever get any of the money that’s owed me is another story. :-/

I’m uber excited about the full custody thing, though! That was my main goal. Sure, the child support thing is going to help out a LOT, but I wanted my children in my care and mine alone. Joint custody obviously wasn’t working out between us and we needed something more steady, especially for the children. I just want the best for them and that’s all I’ve ever wanted. It’s not spite or hate for my ex, even though I do dislike him with a passion; it’s love for my children. I believe in father’s rights… when they deserve it. If he hadn’t done some unforgiveable things to the children, I would have more faith and trust in him. Until he can prove otherwise, though, this is how it will be.

I don’t know why my ex didn’t show up though. He knew about the trial that day. He’d been served a notice that he had to sign for which said what we were going to court about – custody, child support, and everything. He hasn’t tried to contact me or even replied to any of the times I’ve tried to contact him via phone or other modes of communication. And that is part of why I wanted full custody: because I think he’s just dropping out of my children’s lives completely. To make a point: we actually had to search to find his address as he’d moved without giving the courts, or myself (which, legally he should have done), any sort of notification. It only took a couple of days since there were multiple people searching, but the fact of the matter is that we actually had to search for it!

I don’t know, and I’m not sure if I care or not. I do know that despite my anxiety I do believe that I would have felt better if he had come because I believe in a fair trial and without him there to defend himself, then… gah, I don’t know. I guess I just feel that it was a bit unfair, even though I got everything I wanted. Is that weird?

A Sad Realization

I was in town doing some grocery shopping today with my fiance and children and we passed one of the funeral homes in my town. I told my fiance as we passed it that I wonder who important died and because there was so many people in attendance. Literally. The funeral home itself is very large and has a large parking lot and has a large parking lot. What shocked me about it was that the two stores on either side of it, Walgreens and CVS, and the learning center behind it parking lots were all full, plus there were several cars parked alongside the road. There was a line several people long, fifty or more, to get into the funeral home. I was amazed at the amount of people who had shown up. The last time I had seen a funeral procession that large was when one of my friends died in a car crash in high school several years ago.

After we got home from our two-hour shopping trip and putting away groceries (my fiance volunteered to cook dinner tonight), I got online and did a search on the local newspaper in the obituaries; there were no visitations or funerals scheduled for today in the paper. It took some time, but I eventually remembered the name of the funeral home and searched it on google, finding the web address. I went to the site and went through the “current services” and when I found the service for today I wanted to throw up. I just started crying.

Today’s service was a visitation for a little boy only two and a half years old, six months older than my youngest child.

I cried for several minutes. It could have been five; it could have been ten. All I know is that I sat at the computer screen staring at the little boy, the image of his innocent face staring back with eyes that will never see again.

Thoughts kept running through my head: “It could have been my child” “What if it had been my child?”

And then I felt callous for the way I originally reacted; I thought that it was an important person in the community that had died – someone older, wiser, more known in the area. I felt like a horrible person and more tears flowed.

My realization is this: you don’t have to be old and wise to be well-known and loved in a community. I realize that the majority of the people at the visitation were more than likely there to comfort the child’s parents and family, but it’s not that. The child died. He died before his parents. He was only two years old.

No parent should have to feel the pain of their child dying before them.

As I read the obituary for the little boy, it sounded as if he was well-loved and very smart. He was and had been attending an early learning preschool and was a very active child, both with other children and his parents and family.

Just because a child is young doesn’t mean that he’s not well-known and it most definitely does not mean that he’s not well-loved. In fact, it probably means the very opposite. Children are a community’s backbone; it’s who we become in the future. Every child lost is something to mourn.

I cry for the loss of the child. I cry for everyone, including myself, who didn’t have the chance to know this little life before it was taken from him. I cry for the life that he could’ve lived.

Tonight, when I go to bed, I will light a candle for this little life in honor of his soul’s passing. May he be blessed wherever he may be.