I don’t know why God does some things. But there are times I know He’s served me the ball, and now I need to return it.
Kiddo#1 was diagnosed with Asperger’s about 18 months ago. I finally — after a boot in the butt by my spiritual director — arranged to take the introduction to Asperger’s lecture offered by the local Asperger’s group. One is offered every month. (As I suspected, by the way, I could have taught it myself.)
And I arrived to find I was in the room with a woman who despises me.
Back in 2000, about two months after Emily died, this person left my child’s playgroup. The kids had been together since birth, and once a week we’d all meet at one another’s houses. She sent all of us a “Dear Jane” letter stating that she couldn’t continue on in our group, for reasons that pretty much don’t matter. She’d never brought them up to us before.
I was already grieving losing Emily, so this was hard, losing a friend. But I also got angry. This was a person who had called me one week after Emily died — not to ask how I was coping, but to rant at me for an hour about her son’s special education program and how she was upset about this little infraction and that tiny omission and that therapist’s mistake and some easily-misinterpreted thing some classroom aide had said.
I remember sitting, back to the wall, phone to my ear, looking at Emily’s photo over the mantle and not hearing her at all. And then, I realized she’d stopped talking, and I played back the conversation in my head until I remembered, “So what do you think I should do?”
Time to fake it. I said, “I think you should follow your instincts.”
She said, “Oh, THANK YOU! I knew you’d say that!” and then proceeded to talk ten more minutes.
Two months later, she dumped me.
Her son never had Asperger’s-like symptoms, so I found it ironic that she’d dump me over my crappy parenting techniques and then her son had the same issues as mine.
But with God as my witness, I felt maybe I should forgive her. It’s not that I nurture anger against her. More like, I’d put her into a room in my mind that I never intended to enter again. Only here she was.
I positioned myself in the room so she couldn’t see me. But the instructor wanted us to go around the room and introduce ourselves, and when I said my name, I saw her head jerk up.
I left right after it was done, while she cornered the instructor to talk her ear off. It’s just as well. I had nothing to say to her for nine years, and now it’s no different. But I’m wondering why God let this happen, why we both got motivated to attend this lecture at the same time, and whether the unresolved past is a previously-unknown spiritual roadblock that God wants me to root out.