Sunday Post 35: Long Lost Humor

My parents were at the Cape Fear Regional Theater in Fayetteville, my hometown, to see a musical.  They were with a group and ran into another good friend before the show began.  This friend is a very tall man who spends his life laughing.  He sees humor in almost every situation.  And when he doesn’t see it, it makes it.

As he walked down the sloped aisle toward his seat, he noticed that my mother was sitting right in front of him.  At least he thought it was my mother.  The woman had a similar hairdo to my mom (and yes, my mother goes to the beauty shop every week to get her do!) and was petite like Jean.  He quickly walked down the row of chairs and took his seat.  As soon as he was settled, he took his oversized leg and draped it across “my mother’s” shoulder. 

This woman was caught off guard.  She turned and looked at this man who had invaded her privacy.  Realizing it was not my mom, he said, “Oh, I thought you were someone else”, as if that made it OK for a grown man to throw his leg across a seventy-year-old woman’s shoulder in a public setting.

I work with a woman who has the best laugh on this planet.  You just feel good when she’s around.  I pick at her mercilessly.  She tells me I’m evil – she tells anyone who will listen that I’m evil.  But I love her to death!  She’s like a walking laugh track.

I have spent most of my life looking at the world through a humorous lens.  My kids and I can change the words to a song and entertain ourselves for the entire ride to school. 

Lisa had a great sense of humor too.  One day at Duke we decided to make a list of positive things that we saw during her illness.  We sat in the freezing cold waiting room ready to begin the brainstorming.  I wrote the heading at the top of the page on my notepad:  Good Stuff We See.  We sat for 30 minutes, unable to find an ounce of positive.  They called us back to the examining room, still nothing.

Finally Lisa said, “You know what, this room is warmer than the waiting room.  Throw that on the list to get the ball rolling.”

“Pathetic!” I replied.  I still have the pad and that’s the only entry.

My parent’s friend, with his leg tossed across a stranger, knows how to enjoy life.  My colleague at work who lifts the spirits of every single person who crosses her path with her generous smile and laughter, sees the fun in the little things.  And yes, my always optimistic wife could find the positive in a three degree shift of air temperature.  

There have been times over the past two years that I thought I would never laugh again.  In October of 2009, the month after Lisa was diagnosed, I told a friend, “We’ve lost the humor in our house.  And I don’t know if will come back.”  However, even in sadness it pokes its head out.  But only if you let it.

Leave a comment


  1. I think a life without laughter would be my greatest fear in this world. You’re right, though, that it’s always there just waiting for you to notice it!

  2. Mom

     /  September 19, 2011

    You have a lot of Papa in you and a bit of Jim J. also. A pretty good blend. You always make me smile.


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