Lessons from Nana…Keep your sense of humor

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing

My mom always said, “You can laugh or cry so you mind as well laugh.” Mom and my MIL share this perspective.

Nana calls herself Silly Salli for a reason. She CHOOSES to stay silly. Fun. Lighthearted. She CHOOSES to laugh instead of cry. In fact, since the angiosarcoma struck in June of 2018, I have yet to see her cry about it. She’s gotten teary over the prospect of leaving family and friends, but not over having this disease.

People process life in different ways. The other night, my family had a great convo about cathartic vices. Some of our tribe cry, some listen to music, some go for a run and others veg in front of the tv. Processing is different for everyone because we are uniquely made…and that’s okay as long as the measures are healthy and safe.

So for Nana, on a bleak winter day, when it took mustering a lot of strength for her doctor’s appt, she still CHOSE to have some fun with it as seen in the pic below. I call it her “Elfie,” lol.

She didn’t want to be there. She didn’t want to have to talk at nauseam again about the angio and show yet another doctor its devastation. But she did, and she did so without complaint.

She CHOSE to smile through her weariness. She’s not of the mindset to “fake it till you make it.” She really does believe humor is her superpower. I agree.

I truly admire her ability to frame the bad and sadness with a spirit of gladness. She looks at her cup half full and believes in her core that no matter what happens to her body, humor is a CHOICE which nothing can take from her.

As she scooted her walker toward the exit, doing a little two-step soft-shoe along the way, she caught the eyes of a few nurses watching her with quizzical glances. Nana smiled at them and said, “Hey! I’m Silly Salli! It’s who I am!” Then they all started laughing with Nana’s contagious cheer.

If Nana can hang onto her humor in the battle for her life, I am challenged to unearth my sense of humor that layers of stress and hurt, emotion and angst have slowly buried in my heart over far less critical matters.

In this new year, let’s CHOOSE to find joy and happiness, laughter and lightheartedness, which are the fibers of our heart that God wove together to hold life’s ups and downs.
Let optimism and positivity shine through the darkness just like Nana did on that grey, cold day.

Even when the issue isn’t happy, we can be joyful. As believers, we’re not faking it either. After all, it’s not in our humanness that we find this power. The joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh. 8:10). It’s our CHOICE to look for and welcome the sunshine.

I pray that today, where God is shining a smile into the dark things of life, you will have eyes to see, ears to hear, a mind to process and a heart to accept that even in the midst of the hard, we can lean on humor to lend us a hand out of the pit.

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