Have you ever noticed that when somebody in the family is sick, to some degree everyone else is, too? And when a member “brings home the bacon”, there is joy and pride in everyone’s eyes? We dismiss it as “normal”, so nobody notices beyond the phenomenon. If we examine closely, however, the level of “disturbance“ in the emotional balance is in direct proportion to the square of the emotional distance between the affected person who we shall call, just for this discussion, the origin. That is to say, when the bond or relationship, whether by blood, or by affinity or what else, is closer (often we describe it as, stronger), the scale is tipped more for that person than for another who is just in a casual relationship with the origin. It’s a convoluted explanation but I think you know what I mean and where I’m getting at.
When the origin is a parent, the effect is much more pronounced on the children, who are the most vulnerable, following my argument.
That’s just what happened to Mona Gray, a vivacious math whiz kid and high school track star, who early in life, has experienced how it was to live with a hero who has slowly withdrawn from life after a bout with a mysterious illness.
To Mona, her father was her highest ideal and source of inspiration, and she adored him as much as Daddy loved her. Daily, they would run the oval together while working out her math homework right there on the track, and everywhere else when they were together. Mona just loved math and numbers were her toys. And she learned it all from Dad. Now she is losing him. Slowly she is gripped by infantile depression. Her fear that he may die takes her down the path Daddy took. She begins to lose interest in the activities she once excitedly looked forward to: family outings, running, piano lessons, dancing, and even her new boyfriend. She develops an annoying habit of knocking on wood, which according to superstition can avert disaster. Everyone in this story seems unaware of her condition.
Mr. Jones, Mona’s former high school math teacher, wore numbers around his neck to indicate his mood. Mona wore Watch “An Invisible Sign of My Own” Online to display her fears.
When she was twenty, Mona was hired to teach math in the local school where she finds out she could be a very good teacher. She invented a practical method of teaching numbers through games using the children themselves to represent numbers and other math symbols, and the children enjoyed it. One day Lisa, a 7-year old, brought a Zero formed from an old IV tube from her dying mother’s room at the hospital, and Mona suddenly saw herself in the child and longed to help her but she realized she needed to be strong herself. This was the moment when she came full circle, and it was beautiful.
The tears you’ll cry will be tears of relief and joy and make you wish her Watch An Invisible Sign Online were yours, too.