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  • Dr. Ted Klontz

Random Thoughts - October 2023

I just learned that I have a parasite by the name of Chris Vuick (rhymes with Yuck?) who has wrapped himself around my messages to you on Facebook, selling weight loss junk. Please know that I never endorse anything or anyone that I don’t know personally and would trust with my grandchildren. Obviously, Chris would not be on that list. You should feel sad for me if my life was reduced to that.

Regrets? I have a few, and I’ve added another to the list. My grandson and I were playing basketball. H.O.R.S.E. We were interrupted by lunch. He went back to the court and began shooting baskets without me. I went to say goodbye, and when he saw me coming his eyes lit up in anticipation of continuing our game. Those eyes quickly went dark when I said, “I have to go.” I could have and should have stayed.

Another? 23 years ago, my father died. The last bit of his life was spent in a rehabilitation center. He had undergone brain surgery and the surgeon told me that they expected a full recovery. The surgeon said that he would like permission to put in a feeding tube to help Dad, because it was going to take a little long than normal for him to recover. I agreed, after asking and being assured that Dad would get better.

I found out later the doctor had lied to me and knew when he spoke to me that my Dad was not going to get better and that he would live the last days, months, and years of his life in a semi-conscious, mute stupor.

Over the next months when I went to visit, and when he was conscious, he would look at me and tug at the tubes. Since he couldn’t talk and was semi-conscious, I thought he was asking what was going on. I would tell him they were feeding tubes and that they were there to help him get better.

I’ll never forget him shaking his head from side to side, in what I now recognize as despair at not being understood. It was only recently that I recognized he was asking me to take the tubes out. To have them stop. I’m sorry I failed your last request, Dad. I’m not sure why it took me more than two decades to hear you. My own denial of death?

Regrets, for me are powerful teachers of what not to do.

“A child not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth.” African Proverb. I read this and wonder to what degree this is what we see when we hear of those (usually young males) who murder innocents.

I was driving through the vast expanses of the plains of Wyoming. I saw a storm approaching. I then ran into, drove through, and survived the driven rain and buffeting winds of a hellacious thunderstorm that stretched from north to south as far as I could see. At one point I looked in my rearview mirror and saw the deepest, most densely colored rainbow I have ever witnessed. A good reminder that it might serve me well to look behind every once in a while and see the beauty of things past.

I’m curious what would happen if we de-pathologized human behavior. I wonder what would happen if we saw what we call pathological behaviors as normal reactions to non-human experiences? The only mammals that display what could be called pathological behaviors are lab animals, zoo animals, pets, and human beings. Subjugation is a common denominator.

I wonder why it is called mid-night, when it would only be that if we went to bed at 8:00 and woke at 4:00, or 7:00 and 5:00 or ……

Part of what I think “It’s” all about? Being with people who can help me see the world and how it all works with a little fuller and bigger perspective than the world I’ve made up.

The more emotional I am, the greater my motivation to do something.

I like the Bertrand Russell quote, “If you are happy you will do good.” So often folks look for happiness by doing good.

The greatest gift I can give the world, my family, my loved ones, and my descendants is making peace with ALL aspects of what it means to be a human being.


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