Today was the latest step in the process of closing out Jesse's life. It's hard not to feel like I've violated him somehow, during the process of reading through his mail and his files, finding his accounts and debts, having myself made essentially the executor of his estate. Sitting in the administration office in Surrogate Court crying my eyes out filling out forms. Crying as I called and visited the banks and loan companies. Crying in the office of the notary public, of the bank officers, in line at the customer service desk. Crying when the checks came. But this morning I had to put the checks in my bank account so I can pay off his debts. It wasn't till after I was done, sitting on a park bench with my husband, sobbing, that I realized the sun was warm on the melting snow, that Jesse loved to walk outdoors, that he and I were too far apart when he died, that everything he planned so well is nothing now.
I hope there's some money left to put in his his fund at Fordham. At least that dream of his will live on a little. If the lectures and seminars sponsored by that fund inspire just a few of the next generation of lawyers and judges to rethink how children are treated in the judicial system, maybe something will change. Maybe in the audience, Jesse's spiritual heirs will gather, and his real legacy will begin.