By Scott Linscott
There’s been an escape! Call the zoo! Someone left the door to the monkey cage open.
I’m pretty sure these are howler monkeys because they are LOUD.
I think they came here because they heard someone say “Nana” and they thought they said “banana.”
These little monkeys are calling me “Grampa” and laughing at my headphone ear protection. They like to rush me all at once and beat on my belly. It must be a strange jungle ritual of worship for the alpha male in the troop.
I asked them who they are and why they are in my house. I told them that all my children grew up and moved away but they claim they are related to me somehow. I asked the oldest one, “are you my little boy’s little boy?” He thought that sounded silly.
The smallest male in the troop appears to be called “Ethan.” He is telling me that this chaos is something called a “cousin sweep over.” However, I see no brooms or any sign of “sweeping.”
The youngest female wants to climb to the highest point on my chair where I normally sit in quiet reflection while drinking my morning coffee. She tells me she is called “CoCo Loco” but the others appear to call her “Coco-zilla.”
The one they call Nana instructed to me to set up a movie on the lawn last night. I complied. No one messes with the one called Nana. This attracted other yellow-haired monkeys to our lawn. Winnie the Pooh kept them transfixed for 75 minutes.
Nana tells me this troop of monkeys is mine. I am apparently the patriarch of this troop. Another is due to arrive in February.
9 years ago I made no plans for a future because my survival depended on my getting a liver transplant. As my MELD score increased and I spent more and more time being managed in the hospital, I gave up hope for my future here on Earth and started focusing on moving to Heaven. Others told me “God is not finished with you here yet. You have more to do.” I just nodded and smiled.
Life can and does turn around even when we can’t see it coming. When we sit in total darkness, our friends tell us that dim light in the distance is “the end of the tunnel.” We don’t share their optimism because we are certain that, if we even see any light at all, it’s a train. I was at that point.
If you’re at that point, sitting in hopeless darkness, I want you to sit up for a second and look at me. Listen closely.
I was where you are. After being taken off the transplant list, too sick to survive, everything changed. It’s a long story … but the short story is that today, 8 years after having my transplant, I have a full and very blessed life.
Keep fighting. Hang on. I know how dark it is. Keep praying. Keep doing what the docs tell you to do. That phone will ring eventually and your second chance at life will begin.
Every day, even my toughest day, is a bonus day now. I couldn’t have even imagined being where I am now, when I was back there in the dark.
It turns out that this troop of monkeys is indeed my troop. This “cousin sweep over” is one of many to come.
Today, I plan for the future. I never thought I would be able to do that again. But, my friends were right. God, had more for me to do right here on Earth.
I’m glad he did.
I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten …Joel 2:25