Gotta Keep Laughing


Gotta Keep Laughing

samuel-67198_640I've been browsing this site and just came across Denise's tongue-in-cheek cheat sheets. While reading them this morning, I was laughing so hard--Denise, you totally cracked me up. If you haven't checked these out yet, it's worth the time. But I think whether or not you find them funny might depend on your current state of mind.

As it is with caregiving, at least for me, I frequently teetered from tears to hysterical laughter. That's where I have been the last couple days in dealing with my sister's frustrating situation. Maybe that is why I was laughing so hard at the cheat sheets.

It got me to thinking about a few of the situations during different times in my caregiving journey.

There was the true life "help I fell and I cannot get up" when my mother-in-law was stuck under her husband (with bone cancer) in the tiny bathroom. Luckily, she had decided to take the phone with and she called us laughing, saying they were both okay, no injuries, but "you have to come home to untangle us."

The one that still makes me laugh was when my four sisters and I were sitting on the dining room chairs surrounding my dad on the morning he died. His hospital bed had replaced the table. He wanted it located there because he would be able to see out windows in three directions and into the kitchen which was always the center of activity. This was in the new house he had built a couple years earlier, 1/4 mile down the road from the farmhouse I grew up in.

To understand my laughter, you have to know this: In the farmhouse, Dad's place at the kitchen table enabled him to see out South, East, West (and North if he stood up). Whenever a car was coming down the road, he had to look to see who it was and then there was always a comment, "Shorty must be going to ____." Everyone knew everyone and their vehicles, so if a strange vehicle drove by, that was really examined closely, including which direction it turned at the crossroad. My sisters and I would secretly make fun of dad for doing this.

So, a couple nights earlier, P (my spouse) had come for a visit. I had moved to the farm to help out with dad. P & I were driving around the very small nearby town looking at Christmas decorations. He commented how people were coming to look out the window at us driving by. It reminded me of the difference of living in a large city versus the country.

So back to the vigil around my dad's bed. We are all sitting there, weary from lack of sleep, faces red from tears, no contacts lenses and instead we all had our glasses on. One of my brother-in-laws makes a tongue-in-cheek comment about how he never realized we looked anything alike until seeing us like that. I'm starting to giggle a bit about what a sight we all were, snot, kleenex and all. Then I heard the familiar sound of tires in the gravel driveway. In unison, my four sisters turned their heads, stretching their necks around to look out to see who had driven up--the very thing we made fun of dad for doing. There I was, sitting with both feet on the edge of the chair seat, my arms wrapped around my legs and I started laughing, harder and harder, and then farted quit loudly. We all became hysterical. By then, someone else had come to the door, and it was weeks before I remembered that moment, and finally told my sisters why I was laughing to begin with.

Gotta keep laughing…… whenever we can.

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