Tag Archives: laugh

Last Christmas: A Tale Of Hilarity and Woe

Last Christmas: A Tale Of Hilarity and Woe:

“I found this gem in my files and I thought I’d share…I realize its “Out of season”, but hopefully you find entertaining anyway!”….

“You’ll shoot your eye out”took on a whole new meaning for us last Christmas….’Cuz we did…shoot an eye out!

Well, sort of. It all started innocent enough. A few days before Christmas I wrapped and counted presents for each kid and had a sinking feeling it just wasn’t enough. The kids are grown, so there weren’t ANY toys…which REALLY bummed me out. So I headed out to poke around a store…any store…to see what I could find to fill the gluttonous Christmas void. And then it came to me, right there in the middle of the K-Mart toy aisle.

As I stood peering at the answer to my greed filled prayers, I fought the urge to offer the guy next to me with a Typhoid-like cough a cough drop and said an extra prayer he wouldn’t touch the glorious fruits of my desperate search for fulfillment….the last three of the exact same NERF gun, which happened to be how many I needed to make Christmas PERFECT.

My vision of a grand and playful NERF war in the front yard between the 3 children as I
watched lovingly from inside with a warm cup of cocoa was coming to life! Typhoid guy left, and they were mine!

Fast forward to Christmas day..the three children opened them up at the same time, delighted, and charged with a competitive energy that could only come with a plastic weapon filled with spongy bullets….but it was dinner time, and 2 out of 3 children had to leave for a few hours.

However, promises of a turf war were scheduled upon their return and soon enough they were back, they found the youngest boy completely distracted by his video games, and took the
opportunity for a sneak attack.

And that’s when it happened….with the door flung open to deliver the extra element of
surprise, the youngest boy looked up just in time to receive a foam bullet shot from the hip of the oldest boy, straight to his right eye!

I mean, the dude couldn’t have done it again if he tried, it was a helluva shot, really, but that little boy’s blue eye was red in an instant as he howled in pain. Mild panic ensued as we all gathered around the sobbing child trying to assess the severity of his brand new Christmas injury.

Deciding a trip to a clinic would be best, we hopped in the car with him and began our trek. But apparently, NO ONE gets hurt on Christmas, because every walk- in clinic within a 20 mile radius was closed. As we made circles trying to decide which direction to try next, the boy
announced that it wasn’t hurting as bad, and when we pulled over to reassess, it actually looked better, so we forewent the ER at the local ‘Park-N-Die’ and went home instead.

As of 10pm last night, his blue eye was a perfect blue again, and the pain had subsided. He wasn’t gonna go blind after all. Today, the NERF guns lay strewn about,barely used.

Sad, really.

My vision of a playful afternoon on the front lawn has died, but boy do we have a story to tell for years to come! If I ever see Typhoid guy again, I will give him 3 barely used NERF gun….for free…..


Laughter Through Tears

There is a line from the movie Steel Magnolias every woman my age knows.  It’s at Shelby’s grave when Sally Field, the strong maternal character of the movie, finally breaks down with her girlfriends after losing her daughter (Julia Roberts).  One of the women friends breaks up the melt down by encouraging her to hit Weezer, the raunchy, sarcastic woman in the group, to make herself feel better.  After a few tense moments, they all start laughing.  Dolly Parton’s character then says, in the sweetness that can only come from Dolly’s voice, “laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”

My friend Tasha knew the day she would die.  I’ll elaborate of course, but that sentence standing alone is hellacious.  She woke up in the hospital one morning after battling cancer for months while her family was in the midst of trying to coordinate hospice, to learn they wouldn’t be getting that far.  That morning, her doctor said to her – today is it, you will die today.  We all knew it was coming, but not like that.  Who has ever heard of a doctor announcing, while you were awake and cognizant, that this would be your final day?  To a young woman.  Imagine that.  This is your last day, we’ll pump you up with as many drugs as we can, but this is it.  You simply have too much fluid in your lungs to make it more than 24 hours.

Her hospital room was already full of flowers, balloons, photographs and countless kids’ drawings.  She was a beloved young mother, teacher, daughter, wife, cousin, niece and friend.  And when I say friend, I mean friend as in she was the kind of friend every woman cherishes.  Funny, quick-witted, snarky and would rip the shirt off her back for you and stand there naked if she needed to to help you.  She was like one of the women in that band of friends from Steel Magnolias as I think about it now – she was a small piece of all of them.  And I had the honor of being in that band with her.

The level of conversations a young woman has with her best friend in the months she’s battling what everyone knows (even if they won’t acknowledge) is terminal cancer are profound, but to then concise that down to a day, to hours…. well, there’s no pretense of propriety left, no words that can be held back, no reason to soften the blow or dance around where we are.  This is it.  All of life, death and everything in between punched into hours.  Those moments, those conversations, those pieces of insights or tiny intervals where life rips out your soul become who we are.  And when one of the people in the world you’ve loved the most asks people to leave the room, grabs your hand, and says “I don’t want this to happen….” the foundation of everything around you is rocked.

I’m an estates and trusts attorney and have attended actual, literal legal education seminars on what they call “dying with dignity.”  I get such a kick out of that phrase.  We toss phrases around like that, write it in legal brochures, without thinking, goddamn, do you know what that means?  Do you know what it means to be told – you will die today and because of that, all of your family members and friends are going to stand around you in a tacky poorly lit hospital room while machines beep and they will awkwardly stare at you while you lay in one of those god-awful gowns, struggle to breath, wondering what to say.  Do you know what it means to want to share some fanciful, picture-perfect, meaningful, beautiful, profound moment with your pre-school aged daughter on this, your last day, but frankly she’d rather be in the other room coloring and playing with her cousins and friends than be surrounded by the weirdness that is a tense hospital room with your mom gasping a bit, teary, drugged up and formidably hiding any signs of what could only be described by any human as terror of the unknown while everyone looks at you all day long (as they have been for months….) with deeply, unabashed, sad longing eyes?  Dying with dignity.  Most people are fortunate to have no idea what that actually means.

It was transcendental.  My conversations with her that day were transcendental.  The room itself was transcendental.  Watching her mother selflessly take on the day like a warrior was transcendental.  Transcendental is defined by a google search as:  relating to a spiritual or nonphysical realm.  And the look in her eyes that day was raw transcendentalism.  She had the most incredible eyes anyway, and I won’t belie that the morphine was a factor too, but they were clear blue to the core.  You could see her soul at moments in those huge, blue, slightly teary eyes.  We all plan days that we know are days that will shape our lives, change our futures, that we will remember forever….. but none like that day.  And there is no plan for that.

So many of those I care about will carry that day forever.  And I hope with all that I am that someday, there is a day, that I am having a glass of wine (several) with her daughter, who is my goddaughter, and perhaps Tasha’s mother and incredible sister with us too, and I can let it all out.  Into those same blue eyes staring at me from another young woman who I love beyond all measure.  But for me until then, I will live knowing that I saw the closest thing to God I’ll ever see, right as this angel was heading to meet him, on that transcendental day.  The look in her eyes.  The powerful resonance of our fleeting, quick conversations and comments on faith in those hours.  All that is good, pure, holy, gracious and real was present that day, that worst of all days.  In that awful room.

And you already know reading this what happened there, in that room, between two friends on that final day.  It was laughter through tears.  I have no idea how many times Tasha and I watched Steel Magnolias together – surely ten times, but if I add late nights, laying around on couches, flipping through channels that we’d catch clips or just scenes, ten is not even close.  I loved the Sally Field character because her strength reminded me of my mother.  For Tasha it was always Weezer (of course it was).  I could hear Dolly Parton’s sweet voice running through my head in that hospital room, almost singing – “laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”  That transcendental day was the best and worst of all emotions and while I’d never wish it on anyone, maybe in some ways it was the closest I’ve ever felt to anyone.  While laughing through the most harrowing kind of tears.


Laughter Makes Everything Better

Laughter makes everything better….

When was the last time you belly-laughed?  I’m talking laughed so hard that a few hours later your belly muscles hurt?  Laughed so hard you cried and you didn’t even care how your makeup was being affected?   Laughed so hard that your own laughter made others laugh along?

THAT makes everything better.  It’s like a cup of hot cocoa on a cold day or like a glass of milk and a delicious home-made cookie.  Or better yet…like a new pair of shoes that hug you like a glove. Laughter just makes everything better.

Stress does not help, burdens do not help, long to-do lists do not help.  But if you can stop in the middle of all that ‘stuff’ and find something to laugh about….heck how about something to smile about even!  That really truly could make everything better.  

When you are authentic in your search for humor in the chaos, joy in the sadness, peace in the crazy that is all around you….there… in that truth, in that space of uncertainty… you just may find that right there in that place…. Aside from the one thing that matters most, the one thing that has you baffled, the one thing that your thoughts keep going back to in anguish…. you can release all the ‘stuff’ that gets in your way of finding the laughter, and just for a moment, stop and giggle.

Was there a time awhile back that a friend said something silly that make you laugh, or a cousin reminded you of a memory that caused you two to crack up with stinging cheeks, or maybe you yourself laughed at your own ridiculousness while crossing your legs tight so you didn’t pee your pants.  Remember that, give yourself permission and laugh out loud. It really can make everything better.


Your God girl


Be Her

Be her….

Do you have girlfriends you can call who will support you in your greatness? Girlfriends who will send you love over the phone or be with you to give you hugs? Girlfriends who understand no justification is necessary and love you even in the mess you may find yourself in?

Girlfriends know what to say and how to be and what to do. They sit when times are tough, they lend an ear when your words won’t stop, they hug when you’re falling down. They laugh from the belly when you do something Crazy. They watch your kids when the sitter leaves you high & dry. They bring a meal when you can’t get out of bed. They cry with you, giggle with you and rant on & on with you. Girlfriends know what to do.

Are you that kind of girlfriend? Do you stop your nonsense to lend a hand? Do you reach out when you’re tired because you know your bestie is having the worst day of her life? Do you care and love and give and hold? It takes a lot to step up and be that kind of friend. It takes courage and compassion and selflessness.

Be the one who someone calls because she knows she can count on you. All Day.

 Be the one who puts smiles on faces, sends birthday wishes & opens her arms to others.

 Be the one who at the end of the day puts her head on her pillow, down right knowing that she stepped out and gave of herself to another with nothing but honest, authentic giving.

Be Her all day long. Truth. Real. Raw. Your giving opens up space & gives permission for your girlfriends to Be Her too.


Your God Girl,