The Hillhouse

The Journey of a Mother and Son

Graduation Day January 17, 2012

Oh would that I could end this. Some tell me to fight, some say get angry, some say take him for all he’s worth. Trouble is, ‘taking’ him for anything at all costs money. I simply don’t have the money to keep up the fight. Justice costs money. Plain and simple. And anyway I don’t like fighting. But I haven’t given up on my quest for equity – not quite yet.

Today I spent money I don’t even have on one round-trip ticket to Chicago in order to conclude this exhausting process. Also today, a pipe in my house burst, filling bucket after bucket and taking the ceiling down with it, yet there’s nothing I can do about it. Insane timing, huh. I shake my head in disbelief and try not to feel sorrier for myself than I do already. I admit I’m slipping a bit today. Here I go, spending more money than I have, stepping out onto the precipice of a frightening life ledge, and my house is springing a leak. Man. Really? Are you kidding? Thankfully, in the end, I do indeed have a good sense of humor. And I know that I’m in a far better place today than I was one year ago today. All in its time and place. Just breathe…

Am I not a good person, with the best, most loving intentions for all? I believe I am. How is it that Fareed can treat me as he does? In November we arrived at a settlement agreement, one in which he agreed to pay me back the money I’d invested in our first home nearly fifteen years ago. At the eleventh hour his father intervened, literally showing up in the courthouse lobby after having consulted his own private attorney, demanding Fareed not sign his own agreement. Perhaps in fear of his father, of the possibility of being disinherited (I can’t believe his father would do that, but then again I can’t believe that Fareed gives his daughter in London more he does Elihu, but there it is) Fareed ended up declining to sign his own offer. Minutes before going before the judge. My attorney said in his some thirty years in this profession he has never seen anyone so ballsy, so crass as Fareed. Wow.

His father insists that I owe him thousands – never mind there’s nothing on paper to that effect, never mind that he gifted Fareed and me money through the years resulting in tax benefits to him. Never mind that he offered his support without hesitation, that he knew intimately how we needed his help to maintain our home, our illusory middle-class life. His son’s lifestyle was a great source of pride for the man; he was able to show his Pakistani family how successful his son had become. A famous jazz guitarist, yes, but look! He has a fine home and a beautiful wife and a son! (Make that three sons…) His father was well pleased with our ‘progress’ and did not hide it. I guess it’s because I left Illinois that the patriarch is so up in arms. He told his son “there has to be a limit to her audacity”. My audacity was a request to receive enough money such that we might afford to heat our house and have enough food to eat. I’ve got balls too, huh.

Ok. I’ve ranted. I’ve indulged and given way to the crap that I so long to share with supportive ears. I really want to be done with this song. I’m so friggin tired of this story. Are we not all outraged? Good! Then let’s finish this thing and move fucking on already. I and many, many others see the blatant inequity. Let’s hope the judge does too. Let’s hope my over-priced airfare pays off tomorrow. Oh friends, really, if you can just think one tiny, kind thought for my progress and success tomorrow, I believe it will help. I mean to end this phase of my life. On Wednesday, as you finish your lunches and head back into your day, I hope you can send a wisp of a kind thought my way. I will be so very grateful.

My divorce is now in its fourth year. I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve worked hard. I’m ready to receive my diploma.

 

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