Karl H. Timmerman M.A.J.D. 2004
All Rights Reserved

JUNE 11, 2004

These are the Ramblings of a small town, (Holden, population 2,700), Missouri, country lawyer. They contain my random thoughts and observations on current events and my life and experiences in the Solo Practice of law.
Compiled here are the Ramblings for 2002 - 2004. 
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In Memorium:
September 11, 2001
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Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of  June 11, 2004. President Ronald Reagan died last Saturday.   Almost immediately, here and in the press, there were those who commented about his failures. To paraphrase Hermann Hesse, in "Steppenwolf":  " ... today we burn as heretics and hang as criminals, those to whom we erect monuments tomorrow".  Like all other lives that have been well and faithfully lived ... history will judge whether monuments are in order. I think in this case, they will be: not for his failures, (we all have many), but for the impact of his successes.   In God's eyes, he was a person, no greater, no less, than you and I. God does not care about "monuments".  "Monuments", like funerals, are for men, built by men. 

On the Tuesday evening news, as President Reagan lay in State in California, (he was the
State's Governor, from 1967 - 1975)  ....  I watched Nancy Reagan approach her husband's coffin  ...  place her hands slowly, lovingly on it ... then bend slowly down and put her cheek on her husband's coffin ... Susan and I watched ... and cried with her.  For her, it has indeed been a long goodbye.

On Wednesday night ... the coffin was moved up Constitution Avenue ... and as the
Battle Hymn of the Republic played, and Mrs. Reagan watched ... the coffin was moved from the caisson which had transported it to the Capitol Rotunda, by representatives of each of our armed services and slowly, slowly carried up the 99 steps of the Rotunda ... I saw the look on her face ... and cried with her.  And as the coffin was walked past her ... she reached out her hand and brushed it ... as if to say, "Dutch/Ronnie, I'm here with you".  Frail ... walking slowly ... she followed the coffin into the Rotunda and with each step, I watched her heart bleed.  Susan, like you and I,  bled with her. At the end of the ceremony, she walked up to the coffin and ran her hands over the flag, straitening a crease ... and patted the coffin. As I watched, the chorus of Collin Raye's song, "Love, Me", ran through my mind:

"If you get there before I do, don't give up on me.
I'll meet you when my chores are through;
I don't know how long I'll be.
But I'm not gonna let you down, darling wait and see.
And between now and then, till I see you again,
I'll be loving you. Love, me."

This morning Susan and I watched Nancy Reagan again, as they moved the coffin from the Rotunda ... she stood, a small frail woman, amidst an honor guard of the finest and best of our men in uniform, carrying her loss with quiet dignity, while a Nation watched. While the world mourned ... and a gentle rain fell.  I watched the service: attended by so many "great men", the giants of our time.  For me, the "giant" in attendance, was a small, frail woman, sharing her goodbye, her loss. Funerals are not for the dead ... they are for the living. An opportunity for the living to celebrate a life, to mourn a loss and say goodbye. In this case, to say goodbye to a "kind and gentle man". I, like you, celebrate President Ronald Reagan's life and mourn his passing.

Ray Charles also passed this week.  Quietly, without much fanfare, surrounded by his friends and family.  Ray Charles was a National Treasure: "The name Ray Charles is on a Star on Hollywood Boulevard's Walk of Fame. His bronze bust is enshrined in the Playboy Hall of Fame. There is the bronze medallion cast and presented to him by the French Republic on behalf of its people. There are the Halls of Fame: Rhythm & Blues, Jazz, Rock & Roll. There are the many gold records and the 12 Grammys..."  We will not need to build a monument to Ray Charles, through his music, he built his own. A glorious monument indeed, crafted over 73 years, by a master, built from suffering and cemented by his faith in God.  I, like you, will also celebrate his life, (he is also remembered as a "kind and gentle man") and mourn his passing.

  In other news, a
study released last week by the National Institute of Mental Health, (NIMH), tracked the development of the human brain, from ages 4 to 21.  Seems the extreme front and back of the brain mature first, the part of the grain governing basic functions like smell, hearing and sight.  Next to mature, the upper-middle part of the brain:  the part governing movement and touch. Then the parietal lobes: the parts governing language, spatial orientation and the integration and contextualization of the senses.   The last to mature, (at ages 18 -21), the prefrontal cortex:  the part of the brain which controls reasoning, decision making and impulse control.  Now you know the scientific bases for drafting 18 year olds..

Attended a "training" sponsored by the Family Court Division of Jackson County on Wednesday, "Parenting Plans and Child Development", presented by
UMKC, School of Law Professor Mary Kay Kisthardt, B.A., J.D., LL.M.  Best law related presentation I have attended in the last 10 years.  She reviewed the latest studies about the effect of divorce on children, (with the emphasis being on studies contrasting the long term effects of sole and joint custody on children).  It is apparently a very contentious issue among social scientists, with research supporting both positions.  However, ALL research suggests that children do better if they have a mom and dad active in their lives, PROVIDED, mom and dad are not in conflict. Unfortunately, 8 - 12% of divorced couples remain in conflict 3 years after their divorce. Research consistently shows that 20 - 25% of the children whose parents divorce have serious problems with intimacy and relationships later in life, (compared to 10% of their non-divorced parent, peers).  Duh!!!  Where do you think little girls learn about non-sexual male love, if not from their dad? Where do you think little boys learn to respect women if not from their moms?  I suppose the good news is:  75% of the children whose parents divorce do fine and the other 25% are job security for divorce lawyers.

Sitting here now editing these Ramblings, sipping on some Tawny Port over crushed ice, listening to the news and thinking about the lives of Ronald Reagan and Ray Charles.  Such different lives but with one common denominator:  they were both "kind and gentle men".   I pray that when my time comes, that will be my epitaph as well.  I know it is selfish, but I hope I pass before Susan ... she is so much stronger than I.  I do not have the strength to wake up each morning and face a day without hearing her laugh.  I do not have the strength to face a night without feeling her next to me.  As close as Ronnie and Nancy were ... I marvel at her ability to do so.  How do you survive losing that which makes your life worth living?   When asked about taking care of Ronnie, Nancy said, "... you put one foot in front of another ... and you love." She loved for 52 years.  Tonight, I will hold Susan extra close and as we drift off to sleep, sharing another night together, I will say a prayer for Nancy, our men and women in uniform, our America and you.  Be and sleep well, (and to those who have found a life to share ... cherish it ... there will be a period of time when you can't).  Think about and say a prayer for our men and women in uniform on duty, in harms way ... separated from all they love ... the persons they love ... so you can sleep safely tonight.  All is well.  If my post offends, I apologize ... that is not my intent ... these are just the Ramblings of a dumb ole country lawyer.