Recently I traveled to NY to take care of my granddaughter, Julia, who had broken her arm. Upon arrival, I found her on the couch, looking sad, perhaps contemplating all the end-of-school-year activities that she was missing. While I usually find her laughing, but not today. I couldn’t help but wonder if she had broken her “funny bone”. Julia was in pain following her surgery, and I couldn’t imagine how I could help her feel better. I knew I could help her get dressed, give her medicine, and get things for her, but how could I help her feel better, get her back to adding laughter to our world?
I looked for signs of “the old Julia” returning, the happy Julia whose delight about life is contagious . Throughout the week, every once in a while as a friend came to visit, she would smile. And occasionally something on TV would make her chuckle, telling me hope was around the corner– pretty soon she would return to the little girl who could laugh from somewhere deep inside.
I searched for a quote I had read a few months ago and found it:
“A smile starts on the lips, a grin spreads to the eyes, and a chuckle comes from the belly; But a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, overflows, and bubbles all around. “ (Carolyn Birmingham)
I wanted her to laugh from the soul. I tried to make her laugh by telling a story, but got little reaction. I tried to con her into doing a jig-saw puzzle, but to no avail. I seemed unable to make her feel better. What seemed like a simple task, wasn’t. A few days passed, and fortunately in spite of my lame efforts, each new day looked more promising. And then on the last day of the visit, Julia said wanted to show me a UTube video and I noted a slight grin spreading to her eyes. The short video was about a substitute teacher who mispronounced the students first names, and it was hilarious. And there she was: Julia!!!! She chuckled and then was laughing out loud, from someplace deep inside her. And I laughed hard, as did her sister and brothers as they entered the room. Oh my goodness, we laughed till we cried. Julia found the the most effective pain reliever, laughter!
Perhaps the doctor should have prescribed laughter for Julia instead of pain medication! As a matter of fact, that dull pain in my strained meniscus seemed less annoying after Julia and I laughed out loud, reminding me of the impact of laughter on our mental and physical well-being.
Women with high SUCCESSTROGEN levels easily find laughter in their every day. Their laughter is contagious, adding to their physical and mental well-being and that of others around them.
I called Julia today to see how she was feeling, and I heard the energy in her voice that I had missed last week. She attended her graduation from Middle School and now was excited that she had just one more half day of school, and summer, and hopefully a lot more laughter, would begin.
I took Julia’s UTube video to a friend last night remembering to share one of our greatest gifts, laughter. And I will add “laughing out loud” to my to-do list today. And what about you? Have you laughed out loud recently? If so, do it again today. If not, do yourself a big favor and LAUGH!