Jews (as if you didn’t already know), tend to survive the harsh realities of life with humor, so we can stop crying and shed some light in dark places.
Last weekend, I saw my oldest and funniest friend, from faraway Toronto, for a few precious laughs. Glory (her make-believe name) and I stood on a busy street corner trying to say goodbye, but kept talking about her mother Esther, who, at this point in her life has fairly advanced Alzheimer’s. Drum roll.
As Glory tells it, just the day before, her mom’s best friend Aunty Rose came to visit the family home, and a raucous time was had by all. Rose (the loudness of her voice belies the softness of her name) gave Glory’s dad shit for not taking care of himself, yanked open the drapes in the tomb-like house and took everyone out for chocolate. Bitter-sweet. I asked how Rose was dealing with the fact that Esther, her friend of too many years to count, was no longer the woman she knew. As Glory tells it, she ‘talks to her the same because you never know what’s going on inside her head.’ Apparently, Rose’s sister Rochel (who suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease), was talked down-to by her gerontologist, and, on day, unable to speak- she spelled out the words: “Get off your high horse, doc, I may be atrophied, but I’m not brain-dead. I still do the New York Times crossword puzzle… in pen!”
At this point in the story, Glory and I made it to our parting embrace (we now had to run and pee) when the punch-line hit, and we burst out laughing. The more I laughed, the more she laughed. Our shuddering hug felt so damn good, neither one of us could let go. I was aware of the odd couple we made on that busy street, but there was no way we would stop. The vibrations of our laughter came together, and it was, well… a real high.
Here’s a tip: hug someone you love, and laugh. Life, after all, is a belly-full.
FAN THE FLAMES
Today’s GOOD NEWS FLASH is not new or news, but I can’t resist sharing the words sung by Mary Poppins and her posse, taken from: I Love to Laugh by Robert and Richard Sherman (Jews, natch) :
The more you laugh
The more you fill with glee
And the more the glee
The more we’re a merrier we!
Check out the original 1964 Disney video. Singalong!