Yesterday I arrived at the small county courthouse by 9:15 am. I was called into the courtroom to testify around 4:30 pm. I read a paperback, it was good.
I was nervous.
I told the truth; I answered the questions.
"She said, if her daughter moved away she wouldn't be able to keep the house."
"Someone at a housewarming party said,
'Nice house Patricia.' she replied,'it isn't mine- yet'."
Yes, Ratricia had a plan and she worked it.
Pete came in during her fourteen year old daughter's pregnancy. When the baby was four months old, his teen aged mother was in an auto accident which placed her in a temporary coma and left her paralyzed from the waist down.
Pete and his friends built an addition onto Patricia's decaying and already cramped little house to accommodate the wheelchair, they also built a ramp.
They charged her nothing.
Patricia was unable to work for months; she had to take care of the baby and her recovering daughter. She was threatened with foreclosure.
Pete gave her money and bailed her out of debt.
He paid for a semester of one of her children's college tuition, while they were dating.
Pete's parents both passed away, he inherited some money.
Pete renovated and sold his home in Richmond.
Pete bought a beautiful piece of land with his money. Pete built a custom home with the most spectacular views, it is currently appraised at 400,000.
He finished his house and everyone moved into it, Pete, Patricia, and her four children and her 5year old grandson.
Pete spent four months renovating Patricia's old "dump" of a house in order to make it saleable.
Before that house hit the market, she made the earlier statements, she was getting Pete's house too.
She had a ring too, but she realized she didn't really need that anymore.
Everybody had warned him, me included.
He put her name on the deed to his new house that he built with his own two hands and she knew that the marriage license was no longer necessary. She owned all of hers and half of his and that's what she got.
Patricia makes Anna Nicole look like the patron saint of ethics in relationships.
The Judge could find some truth to the precedent in the argument, but he refused to rescind the deed. It's a contract and Pete was stupid. He had been warned.
I woke up in the middle of the night, still furious and in disbelief.
I hugged Tate close and felt his warm chest with my nose.
I inhaled the scent of him and felt all of the tension in my neck and shoulders relax.
I am so lucky, I reminded myself.
Instead of making myself miserable obsessively running this distasteful tragedy through my head over and over again, I could choose to focus on just how blessed and thankful I am for all of the love and happiness in my life. Here and now.