Yesterday, Tim and I made a presentation for a class at North Park Seminary, “Spiritual Issues in Chronic Pain and Disability.” We never really plan out these presentations, Tim shows slides of his work of Temma, he talks, I talk, and yesterday I read my post titled, “Oxford Temma.”
I shared about my own developmental change from wanting to run away from Temma or “put her away” to being her companion along the way. I’m still trying to understand and write about this change. I’m brooding over it. Is it a change akin to other parents?
When I talked about it in the class yesterday, I described this feeling of either wanting to run away or put Temma away, and then I said something like, “But Tim felt we could not put our daughter away and so I stuck with it.”
There were so many points along the way that I wondered whether I could still love her, still care for her. I was angry with Tim for not agreeing that we needed to put her away. Or I questioned running away.
I get back home, encounter Temma again after talking about her in these classes, and I wonder, “Is it you again?” “You’re still here, Temma?” “You’ve chosen to stick with me, with us?”
In her book “No Ordinary Time” Jan Phillips quotes:
An older monk tells a younger one, I’ve finally learned to accept people as they are. Whatever they are in the world, a prostitute, a prime minister, it is all the same to me. But sometimes I see a stranger coming up the road and I say, “Oh, Jesus Christ, is it you again?”
I like that.