I know this is going to sound insane but here goes. I found out today that my divorce attorney passed away from cancer on 8/27/16. I know many of you are thinking, Ok…..?
Well, let me tell you. She was a kind and gentle human being. She was caring, considerate and full of knowledge. She had a great sense of humor and laugh to match it. She also loved frogs. I made sure to gift her one from Lenox when my divorce was over. I always thought she was so pretty. Her down-to-earth nature combined with her humanitarian spirit and strawberry-blonde hair made her beam with light.
In late 2011 my separation became very nasty. By January 2012, I needed an attorney. Already a single mother, I was sitting at work one Saturday morning and a customer walked into the bank. It was my attorney’s son. He too is a lawyer. So I was picking his brain a bit and he told me to call his mother and come by the office. I called her and she was in on Saturday. She told me to come by after work that day. That she would wait for me. After work, I went, sat down at her desk, and explained my situation to her. She intently listened. She went on to explain to me what we needed to do and how I was going to get everything I needed accomplished. I asked her about her fees and she brushed me off. She said we will worry about that later. At the time I didn’t know what that meant and quite frankly it gave me a little anxiety because I didn’t know if I would be able to afford her services down the line. Well that was in late January, by late September my divorce was final.
She taught me how to navigate the legal system. Giving me step by step instructions on what to do and how to do it. Really invaluable information was passed onto me. I would leave work at 4pm most days, pick Juli up from daycare and walk over to her office. (I didn’t have a car) Juli would play next to me while I sat at my attorney’s desk. My attorney would be typing paperwork and working to get me the things I needed. Some nights she stayed until 7pm. Taking away time from her husband and home life. I know this because her husband would occasionally call her cellphone to make sure she was ok. She would say, yes, I’m fine. I’m working with a client and I’ll be a little late tonight. I would bring up payment and she would say, what for? You’re doing all the leg work.
When it came time to go to court, she was right there representing me. Fighting for me and the rights of my daughter. Her kindness carried over into the courtroom. I can remember being so flaming mad at my ex-husband and she would say, pity him. He’s lost his way in life. Just because he’s acting stupid and putting you through hell, doesn’t mean you should be spiteful. Just keep doing what you’re doing. You and Juli are going to be fine! She taught me how to be a bit of a nicer person during a time when people usually aren’t so kind to each other. She never let my ex get away with anything but she taught me how to handle myself better. To preserve my own sanity.
On September 18, 2012 we sat in court for hours! The judge didn’t get to our case in the morning so we had to wait until after lunch. She sat with me until 1pm. She bought me coffee and we basically sat around talking and joking until we were called in. That day my divorce was final. I had a car by then and on our way out to the parking lot I brought up payment again. She said, come by my office next week and we will talk. Finally! I thought to myself. She is going to let me pay her!
I went into her office the following week and she told me to pay her whatever I could afford. So I made monthly payments to her for some time until she stopped me. Her help and overall presence in my life was something I couldn’t put a price tag on. The amount I did pay her was far less than what she was worth.
Not only did she get me out of a marriage I needed out of but she gave me the tools I needed to protect my daughter. She taught me how to be a better woman and mother. She herself had children and grandchildren. She would tell me what colors looked good on me and which dresses to wear to court. I sent her flowers just because, gifted her a frog figurine that sat in her office and tried to remember her during the holidays. I even brought Justin in to meet her before we got married. She was so happy that I was able to find someone who loved Julianne as much as he loved me.
She was a well-rounded human being and I have never been so proud to be in the presence of someone as I was standing next to her. Words can’t express my grief right now. I don’t think I’ve been this upset about someone passing away in a very long time. I was touched by her for a very short period of time, I can only imagine the level of grief her family must be feeling right now.
I am better for having known her and I hope she lives on in all those that have been touched by her spirit. By the way, I am so pissed that such a wonderful person had to battle and eventually succumb to cancer. So pissed!!
I will get to say goodbye to her at her memorial ceremony. I feel very lucky to be able to do so.