Every religion or belief system that I have ever had any experience with has with it an element of retribution contained therein. Call it what you will – justice, judgment, karma, accountability or any thing else – it is unavoidable. I recently witnessed events that are irrefutably that intervention of justice in the life of someone I am fairly close to.
In February of 2004, my ex-wife decided that she would not allow me to see our children any more. Since I was not in a position to hire an attorney I was forced to accede to her wishes and stay away. It broke my heart to do. Recently I scraped up enough cash to hire help and my ex changed her mind and had allowed me to see the kids. I cannot express how overjoyed I was to be reunited with them.
The first Friday night that I kept them was like a dream. We hugged and talked and played and opened presents that had been accumulating in the closet. Late in the evening we all collapsed into bed. At 6:00 am my phone rang. It was the ring tone programmed for my ex-wife’s number.
When I answered all she said was, “If I die, tell the kids I love them,” and hung up. A call like that will wake you up faster than drinking espresso while soaking in ice water. I tried to call her back and could not reach her, each time I was sent to voice mail. Finally, thirty minutes later, I got her again. She said, “I’m on the phone with 911”, and hung up.
At t his point I was picturing her locked in the trunk of a Lincoln, headed out to Lake Norman to be fitted with concrete shoes. Thoughts of having to raise the kids myself, funeral arrangements, and possibly moving back to Tennessee to be closer to my parents stirred in my mind. I found myself trying to think of who may be that mad at her, other than me.
Finally, I staggered to the kitchen to start the first of several pots of coffee for that day. Around the time Mr. Coffee began his final gurgle her cell tone rang again. “I am upside down in the back seat of my truck.” To make a long story short she was driving too fast in the rain and flipped her Ford Ranger 4 times on Highway 110 in Cowpens, SC on her way to work. While she was not seriously injured, she was banged up enough spend the day in the emergency room. Somehow she only bruised her leg and her lung. I had to bite my tongue to keep from telling her it couldn’t have happened to a nicer person, but I had already vented my spleen when we talked about the kids the first time and told her that she would one day get what was coming to her and it would happen in such a way that no one could blame me. I didn’t feel the need to get that worked up again.
Since that morning she has offered no resistance to my requests to see the kids. She has almost been nice - something I am unused to. Perhaps spending a couple of hours upside down in the rain while waiting for the Rescue Squad to cut her free with their giant can opener she had time to reflect on a few things. Perhaps it will be the last time the balance of her life has to be evened out. Time will tell.