This week I drove up to Chicago again for another court hearing on my late father's loss of leg due to nursing home neglect lawsuit. When the judge's clerk opened my case on his computer, he immediately exclaimed to the judge, "Did you know there has been a judgment in this case?" The judge sourly gestured to him to shush, commenting with odd emotion, "That's just the prove-up judgment." I immediately asked whether or not there is something more that I need to do to finalize the "prove-up" judgment, but both of them clammed up and neither would not give me a clue. I will file for a time extension until I can research the internet on how to process judgments; I had planned to do that anyway as I want to get the judgments against both owners of the nursing home on same time schedule. After five years of prosecuting this case I have seen many, many judges and clerks tell young lawyers exactly what to do, but for me there has been almost no direction from the legal system, under the pretext that giving ordinary process directions to a pro se litigant is "illegal". Also, after years of demanding that I write out his orders, as the attorneys do, this year the judge has refused to let me do this. I suspect that he does not want me to summarize his rulings in hearing because I write what he actually says and he would rather mince or hide his words. Today his clerk wrote the hearing order for the judge that was so vague that I did not recognize it as relating to that hearing.
I have some strong feelings about that, but as I told the judge, "I am so angry about what they did to my father, I have to be quiet." I did not use more mature phrasing so as to avoid appearing presumptuous. Modesty, decorum, and good manners have been the way that I made it through this legal process. Even when provoked, discretion has the better part of valor for me. Caution has served me better than bravery would have. Also, I am so ill that I do not have the strength for foolish bluster anyway.
I returned home from Chicago around three in the afternoon. I unpacked the car, washed up, had a protein drink, and laid down to rest but slept eight hours straight through. When I awoke at midnight, the lids of my eyes were terribly swollen, so much so that it was hard to see. And the entire back of my right hand was deeply bruised, I do not know how or why. I wonder about the condition of my aging internals. My blood vessels appear to be very frail. I fear an aneurysm.
In the meanwhile, Look World, look what they did to my father! I never had the chance to confront the defendants. I have never met them. The two owners of the nursing home never made an appearance in this case. For five years they ignored my monthly filings, each of which I dutifully copied to them. I wanted to look the owners of the nursing home in the eyes. I wanted to tell them in my soft, strong woman's voice how much they hurt my father when his leg was amputated due to their neglect.
And me, they hurt me, his daughter. I learned to dance on those toes. Father held me loosely in his strong hands and let me stand on his toes to learn to dance. I could not cry before, my tasks were too difficult, but since judgment was rendered I have been crying.
Caption: A Daughter's Tears
by Annmarie Throckmorton 2019