Thursday, December 17, 2009

(I Hope) The Kids are Alright

I am, once again, grateful for the feedback I've received on the posts I've published thus far...and, as I mentioned previously, there's been no embellishment - hell, this story doesn't NEED it.

I think, though, that a little backstory might be in order. Although I am, indeed, a convicted felon, it's doubtful that, upon meeting me in, say, a grocery store or at a school function, I'd be the one you'd look at and say, "Oh, she must be the felon in the room." Nonetheless, what was described in the "Redux" post was one of 3 such events. Being caught red-handed during the last one, I confessed to the other two and was charged with 3 counts of burglary (felony 2s, because of the fact that this was someone's house; an "inhabited structure", in legalese), and 3 counts of theft (felony 4s). I did serve a period of incarceration, but it was in what's euphemistically known as an "alternative facility", not a prison, per se; however, should I have been subjected to the maximum penalty associated with each charge, the penalty would have been - get this - twenty-seven years in prison. If THAT isn't deserving of bold italics, then I don't know what is. The even-more-unbelievable thing is that the actions that could potentially have taken me to that place for that length of time amounted to a TOTAL of six minutes. Six. Minutes. Of my life. And, for all that my infant daughter was with me on that last and most fateful of trips, I wasn't charged with child endangerment or anything like that, because, despite the fact that I left her in the car while I broke the law, the amount of time she was left alone and the location of the car actually made this part of things less severe than, say, leaving your child locked in the car while you ran into the store to pay for your gas.

So. Before the legal situation had even begun to play itself out, my husband sued for divorce, custody of the kids, and for me to "vacate the marital residence" which, in all fairness, had been HIS residence prior to us getting together. I will never forget the day the papers were served: We were coming back from a trip to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, where we had taken our tiny daughter for a checkup, of sorts - she had undergone some evaluation due to a potential issue that arose from her newborn bloodwork. As we were turning into what was still our driveway, a sheriff's cruiser was pulling out. They pulled up to our vehicle, handed in the paperwork to him, and he simply handed it over to me. I opened it up, read it, looked up, and said, incongruously, "Oh. This is from you," almost as though it were a gift, or a letter - and not the beginning of the end of the marriage that I had treasured so much.

I contested NOTHING. He got the kids. I have a good relationship with him, and see my kids frequently...we don't abide by the formality of the court order, and still do things as a "family", like go to the fair and birthday parties. But it will never be the same, of course. And I mourn the fact that my small daughter, who was not quite one when I moved out, will never know a home with two parents. Or, is it worse for my now-ten-year-old boy, who DID know it, and mourns the loss? Worst of all, perhaps, is the fact that they are in the care, while my ex and I work, of my evil nemesis, HIS MOTHER, about whom there will be many a forthcoming post. I've often wondered about how to handle HER in the memoir-to-be...she's the type that wouldn't even be grateful to be made famous (hah...infamous is more like it)!


Pearl said...

Wow, Epy! (See how familiar I've become already?! Read a couple days of blogging and suddenly I think I know you!)

I've caught up with your posts. Love how you write, and love the honesty with which you say it.


p.s. Would like to add you to my blogroll. Let me know how you feel about that.

Eponymous said...

Pearl: I am so glad to hear from you...I've enjoyed reading you, too, and thank you for the kind comment. I would be honored to be on your blogroll...I need, sometime soon, to do some blog "maintenance", and add the gadget that shows my blogroll...yours will appear, since I am a follower...hope that's okay with you, too!