She Laughs

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Tragedy or comedy. Given a choice who wouldn’t pick the latter? But, we don’t always get to choose and when we get that big dose of suck, it can sometimes be impossible to even manage a smile. Yet, so many who have little reason to be amused, show us light every day. “Life would be tragic if it wasn’t so funny” said Stephen Hawking, a genius trapped in a wheel chair forever. Now, if he can find humor in what we would readily describe as a really dismal poker hand, we have every reason to create our own smiley face.

“ From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.” Dr. Suess.

People with the best senses of humor are life’s pied pipers. They are the ones who help us recognize and cope with life’s absurdities. Humor can be just what the doctor ordered, especially when the diagnosis is something we want to mark return to sender. A good laugh recharges your batteries. A sense of humor can improve your immune system, lower stress hormones, relax muscles and lower blood pressure. (Note to self: Remember that a good joke helps the brain on days when I walk upstairs three times before I remembering what I went there for.)  Who knew humor did such a heavy lift?

“The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.” Mark Twain

There are many things that are funny; but these days, even when grief doesn’t make a personal call, there are many very unfunny things that fill our world, too.  In fact, a whole lot is downright scary. These are times we need a little humor, or a lot, but when we are smack in the middle of the scary, a smile is mile away.  Even when the problems of the world take a day off, the negative noise from the Beltway, can snuff out the fragile sprouts of humor. Continue reading

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“You Are You. Now isn’t that pleasant.”

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Dr. Seuss always nails it.

You are YOU — just a wee bit different than you were ‘before’.  The first time you check  the “widow” status on a form, have to change your emergency contact or start to say ‘honey, I’m home’ and realized no one is there, you are a different you. And it sucks. But it’s life now. Whether it happened with no warning or after months of dread, the title ‘widow’ is as foreign as if you shucked your identity for the Witness Protection Program. You feel  like you woke up on another planet — without rocket re-entry to your old life. This is it.

My husband is gone almost 10 months. I should be used to the title but ‘widow’ still doesn’t compute. To totally absorb it, means I need to accept the basic fact that my husband died and is never coming back. Before you think I’ve lost it entirely, of course I know he’s gone. I know he’s not just on a business trip; he’s not on a road trip. I get it.  I’m the one who found him that fateful night.

Cancer perched on the sidelines of every facet of our lives for years. Often sneaky, even silent, sometimes we ‘almost’ forgot it was even there. There were more emergent battles to fight. Debilitating treatment side-effects that dogged him constantly that we both knew would never leave. But sometimes even the most upsetting can be business as usual when you’re immersed in the day to day and you almost forget the gorilla waiting to pounce.  Continue reading

Where are you, Dr. Suess?

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“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”                         Dr. Suess

You are not on a trip. You are not on a ship. You are not at work or having a quirk. You’re not with your hobby or alone in a lobby. You, my love, are nowhere.

When I really absorb that fact, it’s like the elevator doors opened and I am in freefall. I’d much rather live in lala land, thinking my other half is at Shoprite getting his chocolate ice cream. Instead, I have to literally catch myself from thinking that his car, which is no longer even in existence, will be pulling into the driveway.

Dr. Suess said ‘Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.” Blech.  The fact is, when I think about a funny story I want to relate about the grandboys or about a something that made me laugh,  I can’t. Not much to smile about there.  I will never see his face, or crack up at his crazy voices. I won’t pain for his lessened quality of life or be scared all the time about what’s coming next. And of course, I won’t be frightened that one day there will be a medical dead end to what the doctors were able to ‘fix’.  But then, ‘dead end’ is just a really bad pun now, isn’t it?

I don’t like green eggs. Not even that crazy about ham. But the man I loved, the one who more than shared my weirdness, will always be part of who I am.

“To the world, you maybe me one person. To one person, you are the world.     Dr. Seuss