Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Oakland County Family Circuit Court in Pontiac, Michigan is...

...quite intimidating in it's size and grandeur, especially to a 12-year-old kid.  As I fidget impatiently in the hallway with my "Guardian Ad Litem" I distinctly remember becoming cognizant of how fragile my living situation was...

At the end of the game, the King and
the Pawn go back into the same box.

It's 1990, and in the previous six months both of my "King" grandparents died.  First my grandfather: after decades of battling poliomyelitis, the disease finally spread to his major organs, causing respiratory failure.  (Note from S.D.: This was around 30 years beyond what the physicians that first diagnosed him predicted.)

Precisely 8 weeks later my grandmother died from a massive myocardial infarction.  This was in no way a surprise, as she had suffered from severe cardiomegaly for years.  In fact, when I was about 10 I remember her having severe angina during an IRS audit.  I later learned that she had faked it to postpone the audit until her client could get his shit together.

Are they gone yet?

As for my grandfather, I cried so damn hard at his funeral I thought I'd never stop.  I still miss him terribly.

Now a warning: If you are related to me you may want to skip the next paragraph.

I didn't shed a single tear at my grandmothers funeral.  It wasn't because I was in shock or emotionally's because she was a horrible fucking person who manipulated everyone she came into contact with for personal gain.  She cheated on my grandfather and her clients, lied to the IRS and last but not least, called my father a couple times a year to come over and go a few rounds with me.  This isn't even going into how she used narcotics as a motivational tool.

My lack of grief didn't go unnoticed.  As I greeted people at her funeral with: "Hey! We really need to stop meeting under these circumstances." I didn't notice the effect it was having on others.  Later at the wake (Yup - Irish), the youngest of my mom's sisters decided she would call me out on this - with fists.

I'm going to stop for a second and point out that I was still 12-fucking-years-old and had just buried what was effectively my parents.

She was so drunk that I didn't even need to defend myself.  I just let her swing wild while trying to talk her down.  All this while my family watched.

While my family watched.

I'd say more, but we have rules...

Two years later back at the courthouse, it's my turn in front of the Hon. Judge Young.  She asks a few questions concerning my mental health of my Guardian Ad-Litem, then asks me to step into her chambers alone.

The judge explains that Mark and Cheryl have offered to legally adopt me in their family.  I say legally because by this time, I had lived with them for almost a year.  She went on to explain that the reason for all the lawyers and court dates is that my sister and I have a substantial trust fund setup from our biological mom on top of receiving monthly social security benefits, and that it, and we, needed protecting.

Judge Young continued: "This is your decision and as such, you take as long as you need to make it.  I'll even adjourn for another date if that will help".  I went on to express how Cheryl had already filled the parental role of mother over the last several years and that was where home was.  Literally.  Cheryl had purchased my grandparents home from her other surviving sisters.

So we returned to the courtroom together and she announced we would be waiting for my biological father to show up, as was his legal right.

I remember Judge Young flashing me a knowing smile as she approved Cheryl's petition for adoption five minutes later.

Next time - we'll get to that romance and possible auto-erotic asphyxiation.  Exciting no?

Semper Anticus - SD

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