"Snippet" -- a small piece or brief extract
Proverbs 17: 22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
My parents have had a difficult couple of weeks.
Daddy is one of the most loving, kind, patient, and dear men I've ever known (and no, I'm not biased -- but, even if I were, the truth of it remains :-) He tends to get a little down in the dumps when things are continually hard. There's a situation that really tears at him, and he had a couple of extra-challenging days recently, so he's been a little grumpy and negative lately. This is hard for us to watch when he has been the positive-thinking guru of our family for my whole life.
Today, my family sat down to a game of Mexican Train (dominos game). It was light-hearted from the get-go. My niece, who is 9, pushed the train whistle every time she played a double and did a little dance. Pretty soon, we were all doing it, including the little dance -- even my husband, who is super-tired from tons of home renovations and day after day of long, hard work -- even my mom who is 74 with COPD and congestive heart failure and is on oxygen 24-7 -- even my dad who is 77 and feeling extra grumpy. . . we all danced and listened to the train whistle and "chugga, chugga, choo, choo" as we played. Laughter rang out in the dining room of my parents' home.
We got into a conversation about how my mom is a bit obsessed with killing mosquitoes (or other insects) and were joking about how Mama will look at you with a very serious expression and say, "Don't move" and we all hold our breath because we know she is getting ready to smack us to kill whatever beastly insect is nipping and nibbling at us. We all dread the look, the tone -- and if she ever gets the fly swatter? Look out! Daddy was laughing and teasing her about how he thinks sometimes she just pretends there's a mosquito so she can smack us :-O A few minutes later, we look at my daddy and he is just snickering big-time. We looked at him quizzically and he explained that the conversation got him thinking about his favorite movie -- HOME ALONE. (We watch it every Christmas -- but really we watch my daddy watch it because he laughs so hard and it brings us such joy!) If you've seen it, you know the scene where the spider is loose in the house and is perched on "Marv"'s chest. and Harry says, "Don't move. . . " just before he whacks his chest with a crowbar to kill the spider. . . .well, Daddy made the comparison with my mom and her, "Don't move" and it turned his giggle box completely upside down! He laughed until tears were streaming down his face, and he could only get out a few words here and there because he was laughing so hard. My niece made out a reference to Home Alone in the chaos, and Daddy laughed harder. We made out "spider" and "Marv" and "don't move" and pretty soon we were all laughing uproariously. . . .. This isn't really that unusual for my sister and me -- or for the kids. Even Shane (hubby) and I have moments. But for my whole family (minus one) to be sitting around the table laughing so hard is such a precious moment. Mama laughed so hard she could barely breathe even with her oxygen pumping. . .she declared, "No more laughing. I'm going to be so sore now . . . ." and we tried to comply, but it just ended with more giggles, more giggles, and more giggles. Eventually, we settled back into a mode of fun, but not TOO much fun. The laughter subsided for the most part.
Hard days will come. Grumpiness won't go away forever. Grief will visit -- unwanted. Life will intervene -- unwelcome. Satan will throw darts -- uninvited. But laughter is both weapon and balm.
Days are tenuous. Mama's health is tenuous. Life is tenuous. Age is tenuous. Laughter is so, so good for the soul. I am incredibly thankful for today, and I pray that when grief comes and hard days knock on the door of my heart, that I can think back on this day and remember a day of laughter and utter joy -- to extreme. What an incredible blessing today was, and I hope that God will call it back to my memory as often as I need to be reminded:
22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
I've been a teacher of K-3 students for over 20 years; I'm also a writer of poems, short stories, devotionals and picture books. I'm wife to an amazing husband and mom to Sparkles the kitty. I love reading, writing, singing and listening to music. I enjoy nature, Bible study and spending time with friends and family!