Charlotte passed away about a week ago now, last Sunday. She was kind enough to officiate at our wedding in 1998 and for that gift, I will always be grateful because my marriage is the best thing I have. For a long time, I felt like Charlotte was Bob and Katherine’s friend mostly (they’ve known each other for a lifetime before I met Charlotte), but, over the years, I felt like I could count Charlotte as my own friend as well. She showed up in Singapore immediately after Edda’s diagnosis when I really was in no position to interact with the outside world and she held my hand. I was so young then, I did not understand many things, including what was happening to my little family, but I think Charlotte kind of understood and helped me through that terrible time. One of my fondest memories of her was in 2017 in NYC where I spend a whole afternoon with her by myself on the High Line and then I went to dinner with her and friends and I had the best time! Like the best time! We laughed and gossiped and ate good food and luxuriated in each other’s company.
Edda’s guardianship is done! We went to court on Thursday and it was NBD. The school system, every year, has a series of presentations for special needs parents about navigating the transition to adulthood. One of them was the guardianship presentation. The transition person at Edda’s school gave me great advice and said – try to go to them every year and kind of pay attention and by the time you need it, you’ll have heard it a few times over. So I listened to the same presentation every year and when it came to file the paperwork, I kind of knew what to do. The presenter was from the Family Law Self-Help Center and there was a particular point where the paperwork gets a little sticky, and he said in each presentation – come to the self-help center and we’ll help you. So I got to the sticky part and I went to see him and only upon registering did I realize that it was a low-income self-help center, but I was already there and so I waited and I saw the same lawyer who did the presentation and he helped me extensively (like 30 minutes) through the sticky part (which is what paperwork exactly needed to serve interested parties (which included Vince who when his friends asked what is your mom doing? he would answer cheekily, oh, my parents are suing my sister)), and I was kind of rushing him a little because I was self conscious that I was taking the spot of a low income person in need of legal aid, and he said, yes, it’s income based, but we help everyone who shows up once. So I got my one visit and filed all the paperwork and it went off without a hitch. On Thursday, there were about 4-5 families filing for guardianship at the same hearing and we were the only ones self-representing. (Edda had her own court appointed lawyer – Edda was home in the care of Eliana. I will have to pay Edda’s lawyer’s fees.) Huzzah! There was one young lady who had the hearing exactly on her 18th birthday, which was impressive to me – it was the only thing I could have done better, to have it actually on Edda’s birthday (Jeremy said – that’s what they paid the lawyer for, we escaped the lawyer fees, but it was three months delayed). The entire courtroom sang happy birthday to her and it was very, very sweet. It reminds me that I’m not alone on this path. I mean, I’m never alone, but sometimes it feels like I’m alone.