Yesterday, September 13, 2003 has to be the worst day in my life to date. As I was watching UGA playing South Carolina, I got a phone call from my mother. She was in a panic; she confused me for my brother-in-law; she was having the hardest time trying to explain what had happened. I knew something was wrong, seriously wrong. Then, my mom told me bluntly what was going on. She said, “Kim was in a car wreck. Kim’s dead. Maddie is going to be okay.” Kim was my sister-in-law. She married my older brother, Brian. Maddie, Madison is my youngest niece. She was born on May 14, 2003. Mom told me that Maddie was at Egleston Hospital in Atlanta. After a few minutes of confusion (that felt like hours), I went to Egleston with my sister and her husband. While I was sad that Kim was dead, and the grief that my brother was going through, my heartache was only beginning.
Once I got to Egleston, I found my brother. He was with my parents. Brian said that there was no hope for her. Against my instincts, I hoped that he was not talking about Maddie. My instincts were right. The doctor that was treating Maddie came in and told my sister, her husband and me that Maddie was brain dead. Afterwards, I went to see Maddie. She was filled with tubes, sensors, and her head is in a brace. Her eyes were closed. While her body was still warm, she did not respond when I touched her. She was gone. My little niece was gone. I have not seen Kim. She is at the crime lab for an autopsy. Maddie was not five months old. Kim was 25. Apparently, a driver going to Atlanta on Ga. Hwy 316 came across the median and struck the car that Maddie and Kim were in at the time. I have seen the TV news footage of the wreck. Kim’s car is a mangled and twisted piece of fiberglass and metal.
As an attorney, I have seen a great deal of the pain and suffering man can inflict on his fellow man. However, what I have seen today is too much to bear. I would rather be disemboweled than to see again what I saw yesterday. It is too much for me to comprehend right now. I am a whirlwind of emotions. Words cannot accurately describe the sorrow that I feel, the anger that swirls through my heart, the hatred that I have for the driver of the other car, the confusion as to why this had to happen at all. I am living a nightmare, and I do not know when or if I can wake up from it.
I just got finished playing poker with some lawyer buddies of mine. Some observations:
1. Most young white criminal defense lawyers think just because they know every NWA song by heart that some how they can relate to their African-American clients;
2. Lawyers talk trash about each other in ways that you cannot imagine;
3. Lawyers covet what other lawyers have, such as their wives;
4. Not every lawyer is rich;
5. Jameson Irish Whiskey is okay, but I prefer Jack Daniels
6. I won $32.50.
I kept my three month old niece, Madison last night. After spending a night of listening to her coo, spit up her formula, and stare at me with her big blue eyes, I realized that I have a good life, and that I need to get my head out of my ass. Thank you, Madison. I love you with all my heart.
Life is not good for our hero. He has a trial on Monday with a client that is prototypical jailhouse lawyer. He complains about each and every aspect of our hero’s representation. The client saps our hero’s patience and desire to do good. Also, our hero is beset by judges that are more concerned with efficiency and consistency than seeking justice. The constant nipping from these judicial rattlesnakes into our hero also drains our hero of his resolve to be public defender. In fact, they make our hero wonder why did not he become a greedy corporate lawyer or real estate attorney. Will our hero leave the public defender’s office? Will our hero sell his soul for more money, more prestige, and less aggravation? Only time will tell.
- The four and one-half hour drive from Atlanta gives a person time to think and regain his perspective in life.
- No signs of suburbia for miles and miles.
- Seeing freighters, shrimp boats, fishing boats, and ships in general out on the open sea.
- Getting some decent seafood at a decent price.
- Time appears to move slower.
- The ability to sit on the beach and watch the tide come in and not have to say word to anyone, unless you want to talk to them.
- Watching people that should not be in either bikinis or Speedos gallivanting down the beach without a care in the world.
- Realizing that I am not the person with the palest skin on the beach.
While I did take some pictures, most of them are of Fort Pulaski, a Civil War fort right outside of Tybee Island. I am a dork. Plus, I don’t have a digital camera, and I take black and white photos. I won’t get these pictures back until next week.
Vacation time at last! I am heading to Tybee Island. To be honest, I have to go to a Seminar for Public Defenders in the State of Georgia. However, I do not have to pay dime for anything. Close to three years fighting the man is starting to pay off.
The illness of the day is brainfart. Brainfart – an affliction of unknown origin that causes an individual to temporarily forget the training and experience that he or she has obtained. While an individual is suffering from this terrible affliction, the likelihood of looking like a complete idiot or doing something stupid is high.
Case in point – Donzell. Donzell is an attorney charged with the representation of indigent clients in criminal matters. Our subject practices in a county that is in the metropolitan Atlanta area. After a long day in court, our subject has only one matter left before he can go back to his office, a motion to suppress. To our subject, this is a routine matter. He has done the research. He knows what he must ask of the cop. He has his questions before him. However, at the critical moment of cross-examining the officer, our subject hit with this terrible disorder. Our subject appeared to be confused, to be lost, and unsure of what do with himself. Because of this ill-opportune attack of brainfart, our subject lost his motion to suppress and reaffirmed the stereotype that attorneys that represent indigent clients are not competent.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for brainfart. We are only in the early stages of researching this dreadful aliment. The known symptoms of a person suffering a brainfart is confusion, a bewildered look on the subject’s face, the subject is unable to understand a basic conversation, the subject will repeat statements, and the subject is easily irritable. The preferred course of treatment is to isolate the subject, speak in a patronizing tone, and to reassure the subject that everything will be okay. If you know anyone that suffers from chronic attacks of brainfart, it is imperative that you contact your local mental health professional because it is sign that the subject may a more serious problem.