A Simple Act With Big Impact

May 8, 2017

Today is a hard day.  It is the five year anniversary of the death of our sweet boy Jenson.

Two words … Monkeys and Montenegro … are helping me remember what we leave behind can far outlive our time on this earth.

Last week multiple requests for Monkey Grins* came in.

*For those new to the blog, you may be wondering what is a Monkey Grin?  It’s a care package for Histiocytosis families battling the awful disease that took Jenson’s life.  Inside this care package are stuffed monkeys for Histio Warriors & their siblings and lolli-pops for the entire family.  You can read more at www.monkeygrins.org or see more pictures on our Monkey Grins Facebook page.

I wish I could claim credit for this brilliant idea of sending smiles, but it wasn’t mine.  While in the hospital recovering from a bone marrow transplant and having just lost all his hair, Jenson felt sad.  I showed him a picture of another little boy named Marcus who also was recovering from a transplant.  That’s when Jenson said six simple words that have brought smiles across the world to families in need.

“I need send him a monkey,” Jenson declared.

“You want to send Marcus a stuffed monkey?” I asked curiously.

“Yes!” he replied with a rare smile during his transplant recovery period.

The next day I brought three stuffed monkey options and a box for his care package for Marcus to the hospital.  Jenson hugged all three monkeys and then picked the one he wanted to send.

Jenson Aaron with monkeys for Monkey Grins

Sister Sydney wanted in on the action too adding monkeys for siblings to the care packages and lolli-pops because “kids love lollies”.  And the rest is history.

monkey grins - sydney and jenson with monkeys

For over five years now, requests have come from Histio families all over the US and across the world.  And last week one came in from Montenegro (a small country in Southeastern Europe with an estimated population of 622,358).

I had my husband Doug look it up on the map so I could see exactly where Montenegro is located.  And then I started to cry.

“Why are you crying babe?”  Doug asked curiously.

“Because Jenson’s impact is being felt all over the world … all the way to Montenegro.  It blows me away how something so small can make such a big impact.  Jenson’s memory lives on with each Monkey Grin sent,”  I replied.

While we can’t cure the world of all it’s troubles, we can be a bright spot in people’s lives through simple acts of generosity.

So today I ask you:  What simple act can you do to brighten someone’s day?  Maybe it’s a phone call.  Or flowers.  Or a prayer.  Or a donation.  Or a monkey :-).  Whatever it is, simple acts can have big impacts both today and in the future.  Give generously.


Categories: Family Inspiring kindness Light
Tags: histio, kindness, monkey, monkey grins, simple act, simple acts of kindness,

One Response to “A Simple Act With Big Impact”

  1. Rebecca Armerding says:

    I’ve been thinking of you three today. So sorry I never got to meet Jenson’s, but will someday. Just know that others remember and that you are not alone. Rebecca

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