The Cost of the Call (Part One):
Reflections in Conjunction with the 5th Anniversary of the Wendland Victory
“Call” is defined as:
1. To order or request to undertake a particular activity or work; summon. He was called to the priesthood.
2. A claim on a person’s time or life: the call of duty.
3. A strong inner urge or prompting; a vocation: a call to the priesthood.
Among the various definitions I have found for “calling” are:
1. An inner urge or a strong impulse, especially one believed to be divinely inspired to accept the Gospels as truth and Jesus as one’s personal savior.
2. An occupation, profession, or career.
3. The particular occupation for which you are trained.
4. A profession, or as we usually say, a vocation (1 Cor. 7:20). The “hope of your calling” in Ephesians 4:4 is the hope resulting from your being called into the kingdom of God.
People ask me (I may have mentioned this before) if and when I am going to write a book detailing my recollections, advice, and feelings about the six years I spent litigating Conservatorship of Wendland. I have no plans for a book . . . just this blog. To write a book, I would have to focus all my energy on that endeavor to the exclusion of other activities, which would be impossible. It would require an intense emotional and psychological commitment. I would have to really “hunker down” and relive the events that took place in a concentrated, intentional manner over a specific time interval. I’m not ready to do that and don’t know that I ever will be. Blogging allows me to comment about bits and pieces, here and there.
The cost was too high.
You don’t usually hear lawyers say things like that, do you? Especially the lawyer who wins the case.
But it’s true.
I graduated from McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento in 1993 and immediately began practicing law in Stockton with a small firm, handling a wide variety of cases. In the summer of 1995, the managing partner called me into his office about 6:30 p.m. one evening, handed me two file boxes and a videotape, and said, “Here’s your new case.” He informed me that he had that day obtained a temporary restraining order preventing Rose Wendland from directing that Robert’s feeding tube be removed, pending further proceedings. The boxes contained mostly medical records, the pleadings he had filed that day, and the scant research one of the summer law clerks had hastily performed.
I decided to head home and watch the videotape there. My husband came into the living room just as I was popping the tape into the vcr. “What are you going to watch?” he asked. “My new case,” I said. “Want to check it out with me?”
Neither of us was prepared for the images that tape contained of Robert Wendland working with his therapist at Lodi Memorial Hospital.
Neither could we have known that I would be consumed by the case — for the next six years. And we certainly couldn’t have guessed the toll it would take on everyone involved.
What I didn’t know on that summer evening — and only came to realize gradually over the next few years — was that everything in my life had deliberately led up to that evening. Slowly, I began to comprehend the concept of a “call” or “calling,” realized that I had discovered one of mine, learned much more about the way the Holy Spirit works, and was eventually forced to accept that you can’t escape your destiny, no matter how hard you try or how high the cost.
Click here to read Part Two.