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The Power of Laughter in Tough Times

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

It was the fall of 2017. The older boys were juniors in high school. One of them played on the high school varsity football team. Our scheduled game that Saturday afternoon was played against a town that had the coxsaxkievirus run rampant through their school the Monday following the game. Ughhhhh!

By this point Kevin was unable to leave our bedroom as this awful terminal illness, ALS, had taken away his ability to climb stairs and speak. Because he was unable to speak, my sister bought him a little bell. Not the type of bell that you ring gracefully when dinner is ready. The type of bell that at times may feel obnoxious. You know the bell. The one that sits on counters to get the attention of a desk clerk. The correct name I believe is a call bell. Anyway, Kevin had one so he always had a way of getting my attention when he needed something and I was in another part of the house. So back to coxsackie. Kevin needed care and now….you guessed it, my son got coxsackie! This virus is highly contagious. I had three others boys living in the house and keeping them virus free was a high priority. Our family doctor mentioned that my son was the worst coxsackie case she had ever seen. Lovely🤦🏻‍♀️.

My attempt to keep the other three virus free was unsuccessful. Of course it was. I didn’t stand a chance. One by one they all began to show symptoms. All four boys now had coxsackie and Kevin had a bell.

It happened one day while I was in the boys rooms caring for one of them that I heard a “Bing!! Bing!!Bing!!Bing!!Bing!Bing!!Bing!!Bing!!Bing!!Bing!!” I dropped everything in my hands and ran to Kevin’s aid. After all everyone knows that ten quick “Bings!!” means there is a serious problem, perhaps an emergency and to come quick! I entered the room with a certain amount of concern and anxiety when Kevin motioned the need for a drink of water. Well…..after a pause, calming my nervous system and taking a moment to remember the importance of a sense of humor, I sat down next to him on the bed. I shared, “clearly this bell was given to you without a guide. You see Kevin, I am thirsty is a one, maybe a two ‘Bing’ alert. Those two ‘Bings’ need not be rung with a heavy hand but with light to moderate force. Ten quick, heavy ‘Bings’ means there is an emergency! I have a lot of sick people that I am caring for and I need you to get the ‘bings’ right!” We both laughed pretty hard and got quite a chuckle out of the craziness going on. Laughing when appropriate was an important part of this journey. We needed laughter. It was a release of some pretty tense moments.

No matter what you’re going through, please remember this: Appropriate humor in even the most serious of settings, can positively influence and generate hope. Sprinkle it everywhere♥️



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