The world today is scary and confusing and so it is not surprising that in the midst of those horrible gut-wrenching stories, there may be times we think or say, ” Well Thank God it’s not me.”
I often wonder with doubt if that type of thought process will get us any far.
But let me give you another perspective …Let me tell you a story.
Around the time we had been introduced to the world of autism and still in the throes of the running around for the right support. I was relatively new to Mumbai and had very few friends. One day, I must have been very stressed or worried about the next steps for the boy or just maybe needed a listening ear and spoke to a lady who I thought of as a friend. But what I got was a rude awakening. She in her own limited understanding of what my family was going through, made a quick but devastating statement. “Thank God my son has none one these problems”.
At that moment, I felt a hot rush of emotion…something like a mix of anger, shame, despair, humiliation, and sadness. Great sadness. It took me all my inner strength to walk away without reacting. It took me a very long time to forgive her. No, I lie, I am still learning to do that.
But if I can be honest, it took me some time to see the positive in that situation, I am now grateful for that lesson. I am more guarded in who I bring close to me. I am selective who I want to spend time with or open up to. I am also surprised by how wonderful people are in general.
I am grateful to each friend who has made an effort to be involved in our life on a consistent basis. Friends who call or message or walk in and those who have gone above and beyond in learning about autism, just so that they understand our boy.
There are friends who make sure we and our children are included and feel the pride in his progress. They ask questions and find out stuff. There are his teachers from previous years, who pray for him. There are friends who send me videos and pictures and books of things that interest my kids. There are people who watch out for them.
I am grateful for those on this journey with me. These women have become sisters.
I am grateful for the children who come in our lives with total acceptance. Children in his class who I don’t know personally, but I have seen holding his hands on stage and coaxing into the right steps or words.
I am grateful to this experience that has opened my mind and my eyes to a world so much richer than my past.
I am grateful to God for considering me worthy of this beautiful boy, this beautiful journey, these amazing experiences, these exhilarating friendships and the love of my family.
I thank God it’s me. I would not give up anything for anything.
But yes, I need to work on forgiveness.