Archive - Apr 14, 2011

Marley and Monique

Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week for many Christians. It is a time of remembering the triumphant entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem, followed by his betrayal and even his closest friends turning their backs on him, before he was crucified and rose again. It provides a framework for my thoughts about two messages I recently received.

R.I.P., Marley Francis Jones........You will be missed.
With all our love,
The Red House Gang (your second family)

I only met Marley a couple times, at my Uncle’s funeral and at my Aunt’s funeral. He was a dedicated Franciscan and was always incredibly kind.

The message went on to say,

Marley was always there to help us through our sad times as well as the happy ones. He will be greatly missed by all of his friends

Always there to help... I guess it is something we all look for. We all have difficult times. We all have joyous times, and through all of it, we all need people to be there to help us.

The second email was from a person that has had difficulty finding someone to be with her and her family during a difficult time. It was from Alexa McClain, the grandmother of Monique McClain. Monique had been so badly bullied in a Middletown, CT school, that her family pulled her out and has been battling with the school district to get them to properly enforce their zero tolerance of bullying policy and to provide a safe learning environment.

Unfortunately, those whose job it is to make sure that children are provided a safe learning environment seem to be making the problem worse.

Fortunately, the North End Action Team eventually found a Wesleyan student to tutor Monique, but even with that, the school district’s stonewalling continues to threaten Monique’s education.

I just wish Marley was around for Monique. Perhaps, he, together with St. Francis, and others will pray for Monique. Perhaps her struggles with being bullied and having almost no one around to stand up for her will be transformed in to a joyful new life where she is valued the way Marley was valued. May she will be valued the way St. Francis and Jesus valued all those that people in power have overlooked or turned their backs on.