The following has been copied and pasted from my journal. Oh yes, folks, I'm taking notes.
January 25, 2015
7:11 am: Ate six chalky Tums to quell nervous stomach.
7:13 am: Woke up boys. Groans emerged from the darkness. A pillow launched across the room landed with amazing accuracy, right in my face.
7:20 am: Let dog out for a steamy pee in 32 degree weather. Discovered a caterpillar. A live caterpillar, sitting serenely on a teeny, tiny, concrete oasis surrounded by inches of snow.
7:22 am: Found an old pickle jar in a cabinet above the fridge. Quickly threw together a cozy home for her with a stick, boxwood leaves, two marbles and little piece of Eggo waffle.
7:30 am: Made the boys lunches. Made the boys put on deodorant. Made the boys brush teeth.
7:53 am: Drove boys to school in my sheared beaver.
8:15 am: Returned home. Ate four more Tums. Drank a Slimfast. Breakfast of Champion Basketcases.
8:30 am: Laid on floor with dog and wished for time travel capabilities. May have dozed off.
10:30 am: Dressed and headed for coffee with newly sober friend for 12-step program talk- character defects. Unfortunately only had an hour. Not nearly enough time for me on that topic.
1:00 pm: Returned home and combed closet for subdued outfit. Dug into new container of Tums. Showered. Shaved front of calves. After all, it was a big day.
2:30 pm: Chose gray dress for court hearing against ex-husband.
3:45 pm: Entered courtroom with attorney, one friend, one advocate, and my father who made a special trip for the occasion. XO
4:00 pm: While my attorney unpacked 27 pounds of paper, I opened my lone file folder, empty with the exception of two photos of my children. Took a deep breath. Reminded myself repeatedly the outcome is beyond my control. Once again wished for the ability to time travel.
4:30 pm: Overwhelmed with sadness for how things might have been,yet aware I could not cry in a courtroom, ate three more Tums, focused on my photos, and wiped my dripping nose. Tears were actually coming out my nose.
5:15 pm: When the hearing ended, I closed my file folder with the tear-splattered photos, and felt a sense of weightlessness. I hugged my attorney, hugged my father, and friends. Finally I felt I could exhale in the safe arms of supporters.
5:45 pm: Called a special someone to express my gratitude for good advice, loyalty and persistence.
6:00 pm: Picked up boys at Mother's house. Gratefully accepted a meal she had prepared and packed for us. XO Took a moment to sit on her sofa and hugged my boys without letting on anything out of the ordinary had just occurred.
7:00 pm: Boys and I met Dad/Grandpa for pizza and talked about the stuff that really matters: W's loose tooth, Grandpa's first date at that very pizza parlor, the key to a great golf swing, and the perfect balance of salty anchovies on sweet tomato sauce.
9:30 pm: Tucked the boys in bed. Held back tears of relief they could not possibly understand. Lingered longer than usual and it felt good not to have a crowded head.
9:45 pm: A friend checked in on me by phone. How awesome is that?
10:15 pm: The close of long day. A long month. A long battle. Alone in the quiet, with the exception of the comforting sound of my snoring dog, I realized justice doesn't necessarily bring joy. Instead, likely due to the compassionate nature of most of humanity, justice results in quiet relief and mixed emotions about the consequences.
10:30 pm: Suddenly remembered to check on caterpillar which I assumed had died due to the severe treatment it had already sustained, or my lame attempt to save it. To my surprise, seemingly surrounded by all the caterpillar needed, she was trudging a path slowly around the pickle jar. I headed to bed with one of those well-I'll-be-damned smiles on my face.
11:30 pm: Climbed into bed, and using my phone, I looked up online: brown and black fuzzy caterpillar. I learned the following: "The banded Woolly Bear larva emerges from the egg in the fall and overwinters in its caterpillar form, when it literally freezes solid. It survives being frozen by producing a cryoprotectant in its tissues. In the spring it thaws out and emerges to pupate."
11:33 pm: Got out of bed. Walked back to the kitchen and emptied all the contents of the pickle jar back onto the cold, concrete patio. With certitude I felt this tough, yet delicate, gift from God will make it through the rest of her unknown journey, despite any threatening elements she may encounter. Now she knows she's a survivor.
Then I had my first good night of sleep in weeks.