Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Thursday, May 24, 2018

But What If It IS Your Monkey? [R, 5-24-18

CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith & Life in the Years of Winter…  But What If It Is Your Monkey?   [R, 5-24-18

One of the few good things about daughter Mary Beth’s recent chemotherapy and surgery and recovery, her third bout with cancer, is that we got to spend much more time with her than usual.

We shared many stories from her past, including her high school graduation. I was very proud of her, for the obvious reasons. She had been an outstanding student. But more so because she chose to march in with the boy nobody else wanted to walk beside.

Speaking of undesirable boys, another of the boys in her class did not march in with the class at all. He was sitting up real high in the bleachers, where apparently he was hoping that his parents would not see him. They were sitting down low, with the other parents, because they fully expected to see him graduate. I have forgotten now what he did or did not do that knocked him out of graduation, but I do remember his parents--who were my church members--with quizzical looks on their faces, sitting there looking at the grads sitting on the stage and wondering where their son was.

I understand his reluctance to tell his parents that he was not graduating, to explain to them what he had done or not done. But what in the world did he think was going to happen? Didn’t he realize they were going to find out? Didn’t he have the good sense to know it would be worse if he let them come to graduation expecting to see him in a cap and gown on stage instead of a t-shirt and jeans in the top row?

A whole lot of people can’t think, or can’t feel emotionally, beyond what feels best, easiest, least bothersome, at the moment. That gives other people problems. I know, “Not my circus, not my monkeys,” but it if is your child or your neighbor or your fellow, voting citizen, it IS your circus, and they are your monkeys, and you can’t avoid dealing with them.


I guess I’m thinking about boys and high school graduations because grandson Joe graduates from high school this weekend. I’ll be taking a few days off from CIW so I can concentrate on celebrating Joe, who was diagnosed with cancer at 15 months of age and died three times before he was two years old. Now he’s a tall, quiet, smart tennis letterman and tenor saxophonist, who starts college next fall at the University of Iowa, where he was a patient in Children’s Hospital throughout most of his second year of life. He’ll be a pre-med student.

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