Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Life's weird coincidences

My sister, who is new to the internet, has a habit of sending me forwards. Most of them I've seen before, sometimes not. Seems like anytime someone gets a a computer this happens, so I'm used to it. It's happened a lot over the 18 years since I first got online (remember Prodigy? I was BRKN98A, lol). If it's something that's relevant, I clean up all the junk and send the forward along. I used to go hard on the newbie, now I realize that it must be a stage of getting comfortable with the internet and emailing.

Last week, she sent one of those forwards that spoke to me. It was about religion, church and inviting God into our busy lives. No, I don't have a church home, but would like one. That said, I believe that we do not have to have be at a church to have a relationship with God. The church home we'd found in Maryland-it was probably a once in a lifetime deal.

I did clean that email up and sent it along to a few people in the netscape email address book that I thought would appreciate it. One of those was my ex husband's sister. We have emailed off and on since she's been online (around '00 or so). She's good people, far better than most of her family. She was very supportive of me when her brother was a jerk.

I've thought about her a lot over the past year and a half. Her older brother passed away last May, then six weeks later, her dad. As my ex is not the type to pitch in and help, I was sure she was burdened with all the work that's involved in having a schizophrenic mother who denies she's anything more than depressed. Last month, I'd dropped her a line when I'd found her mom's name on NY's unclaimed funds registry. She popped one back, telling me that the family home was up for sale, her mom was in a nursing home and the two kids are in college and doing well.

After sending this forwarded mail, I got an email back. "Do you believe? Do you attend church?" She was/is born again, so I responded with the truth, that I DO believe, but haven't found a church home since moving to Florida. I haven't taken the time to visit the MCC in Tampa yet-it's not high on the priority list.

I got another response. She had a mental break, heck a life break. Who wouldn't after dealing with all she's had to: two deaths in six weeks and tangling with red tape in getting Medicaid to cover her mom's nursing home care. She lost her job (at her church) over it and left her husband for a couple of months due to stress. She also hasn't attended church since December.

She also reveal something quite interesting. Her husband of 20 years was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome last year. This makes a lot of sense to me. I know from being around him for 9 years that yeah, he definitely could be on the spectrum. Not to the degree that my son is, though. Amazing to have something pointed out to you when you now have intimate knowledge of it and see something you never did before. Much like looking at an MC Escher painting and having someone else tell you what they see-and it's different from your interpretation.

In the past year, she's been through what we have, the whole grief process. She's finally reached acceptance of it. Mary appears to have the same mantra we do "you can't change it, so you just work with it." Hearing this news gives me more hope-this man has worked hard and provided for his family for many years without help or knowing what it is that made him different. My son knows and has the tools to do something about it. Someday, he'll choose to use them.

Once again, Mary has been a support for me-and this time, she didn't even know it. No, you don't have to pass this one on to ten people you know.

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