Thursday, June 26, 2014

Licking My Wounds and Moving On

Lost a case this week.  It hurts, but have to move on.  I will be going through a pseudo-grieving process.  I looked it up and the last loss I had was in 2003, to one of the lawyers in this last case.   I grieved for six months over that.  However, I know that the cases are not about me, but about my clients.  I hate to think about what losing a trial is like for the people I represent.   He is a good man.

I saw Hillary Clinton when she came on her book tour. She never gives up and I admire that about her.  It takes a special person to be through what she has undergone publicly, and still keep at it.  I think politics can be a nasty business, but I admire her perseverance.  She is an inspiration.  As Winston Churchill said, or someone did, "Never give up."  We can all learn a few lessons from Hillary and Winston.  Churchill never gave up and did such incredible thinks while being a raging alcohol. What cajones.

If Hillary is elected, she appears to be focused on women and girls. It's about time we explore what is happening to women and girls not only in this country, but in the world.  I read an article in Missouri Lawyers Weekly about how female lawyers are generally paid less than male lawyers in Kansas City.  But, women lawyers have it much better than women in poverty, especially in cultures where women are second-class citizens.

I am on a plane watching a documentary on Anita Hill. She is another woman I admire. The Senate treated her so badly.  She made it so much easier for other women to stand against sexual harassment. Plus, the Civil Rights Act was amended in 1991, the same year Hill testified in the Clarence Thomas hearings in the Senate and finally Congress put some bite in the law - allowing jury trials, compensatory damages and punitive damages. I am sure that the amendment emboldened the Missouri Supreme Court to declare that Missourians get jury trials in discrimination cases - that and the hard work of Marty Meyers in the Diehl case in 2003. I know I am rambling here, just reflecting on the changes in discrimination laws since the first jury trial I had in a sexual harassment case in 1994.  The employment world is better now than it was then, and I believe it will get better still.

I am so grateful for all of the courage of all of  those unlawfully subjected to discrimination who come forward. Someday we may consider the "content of people's character" instead of the color of their skin," or their sex, age, religion, disability.  Things are better, but we still have a long way to go. Where would society be if it were not for the courage of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Mahatma Gandhi, and others. People can make a difference.

I am going to forget about law fora few days and rejoice in my niece's graduation.  So long for now.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Lovely Mimi, Our Beautiful Boston

I love  my dog. Her name is Mimi and she is about 3 years old, a Boston Terrier. My daughter works with animal rescue places and she thought Mimi (then called Pepper) would be perfect for us.

Mimi was scared when we first met her. She had lived with two other families, but when she started having seizures, the first family just gave her to some kids in the woods. Although the second family wanted her, the parents could not afford the treatment for the seizures. They reported to the vet that Mimi had 18 seizures in a three hour period.

It was about a week after Mimi came to us that she had her first seizure. It was horrible. Her back arched, she convulsed uncontrollably, her muscles jerked, and she pooped all over herself and on us. When the convulsions abated, she lay still in our arms until the cycle started again, just minutes later. By her third or fourth seizure, she has barking,growling, and appeared to have gone blind.  Not knowing what to do, I held her.and whispered,"I love you, Mimi. You're my best girl." (With all apologies to my grown daughter Lisa who truly is, and knows she is, my best girl.)

Thus began our treks every two to three weeks to the animal emergency room, where they keep Mimi, knock her out, and experiment with new medication cocktails. A few months ago, the vets wanted us to put Mimi down, and we refused. She had just been taken off the phenolbarbitol and her seizures seemed severe, frequent and uncontrollable. In retrospect, the vets may have been concerned we would not pay the mounting bills. We paid them, and with dedicated veterinarians reworking her meds, she is much more stable.

Every couple of months, Mimi still seizes and the seizures are still awful. We have spent a lot if money on this sweet little dog, but we are determined to help her as long as she has a good quality of life. The vets say Mimi is on the downside of her seizure struggles. The meds are helping and we love her. The prediction now is that Mimi can expect a normal lifespan.

Why have we spent so much money and time on Mimi? Because she is such a wonderful creature and we love her as if she was a person. Mimi is always excited to be with us. When I come home from a day of work, she rushes to greet me, then to my chair, where she spends a considerable length of time covering me with her dog kisses. Mimi wants to befriend everyone, human and non-human alike. When I hold her like a baby, she sleeps in my arms. She sleeps on my lap as I cuddle, kiss and love on her. She loves tossing squeaky toys so that she can catch them herself.  Her game of choice is tug of war with a toy squeaky blue octopus.

Mimi is loving, adoring, forgiving, playful and a pure joy. She relishes the life she lives.  I cannot describe the joy Mimi gives me.  When she begins to seize, I scoop her little 18 pounds in my arms, and whisper words of love to her. When she has to go to the emergency hospital we anxiously await the time when she rejoins us and enriches our lives.

I cannot describe the joy Mimi brings my husband and me.  Holding her, hugging her, whispering to her, are times I cherish.

Guileless, loving and playful, Mimi is so easy to love. I wish more humans were as sweet and tough as Mimi. To many more years with our little girl.