Friday, August 3, 2012

Above all else: go out with a sense of humor. It is needed armor. Joy in one's heart and some laughter on one's lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life." ~Hugh Sidey

I have been blessed to have been born into a family full of some truly funny, and hilarious people.

 And I would venture to say that if you asked my closest of friends, that although I can be a no nonsense kind of girl, ever so slightly high strung from time to time, and all of them would tell you, hands down, that they prefer to stay way off my "bad list", they would also temper that statement with stating that I make them laugh. Hard, down to your belly laughs sometimes. Humor and laughter have seen us through some of our darkest times around here the last 5 1/2 years. And that funny gene has been passed on to our offspring as well. We are filled to the brim with a bunch of smart asses. Joe currently holds the title of resident quick witted contributor to our lives. The kid is funny. Truly is. And its a good thing that humor ranks right up there with our deep and abiding love for one another. Especially these days. 

 I would have to say that in the nearly 4 weeks since my mom died, I have only had a few really horrible, no good, very bad days. And even on those days, humor was present. Thank God. And sometimes, I do believe that our dark humor isn't always appreciated by all. Or maybe they are just not funny. Hard to say. I am fairly certain that the staff at Pierce Brothers Mortuary thinks we are certifiable. Especially 'Lonnie', who drove us around the grounds in a five rowed tram type vehicle, as we looked for my moms burial place. He knew he was in trouble when we piled in and I proceeded to go into my shtick as a tram driver at an amusement park asking for people to keep their hands and feet in at all times and so on and so forth. It was just the beginning. Trust me.

My point? My point is that even despite being dealt some pretty crappy hands over all of our lives, beginning with my parents who's upbringing resembled nothing even remotely close to the Cleaver Family, despite all of it, we laugh and smile. A lot. My mom, she LOVED to laugh and boy did she smile.

 And we cry. And we curse. Even my mom. who once thought "pissed" was a bad word. That is until she joined the workforce at nearly 50 and hung with a young crowd, every now and again, boy did she love a good swear word. But what we do equally as well as those things, is we persevere. Never saying why us. Just making the best of some of the worst and allowing the gifts to rise to the top. Ain't easy in some moments, but it's how we do it.

With all that said, the last several days have found me digging a bit deeper for that laughter.  I will hit a few of the high points and won't punish you with the remainder. For starters, the last 10 plus days has had me fighting, literally fighting off the fun side effect of being immune-compromised. Just 2 weeks shy of my next gamma globulin shot, the last month has caught up with me and I am on a double course of antibiotics for what started out as a tiny cold. I also have an oh so fun virus that has taken up resident on my corneas. Sounds fun, uh? And Zoey. What does Zoey decide to pull amidst it all? She decides to get all weird on us, drop her platelets by well over a hundred thousand,  and proceed to sleep away the days as well as the nights.

And that behavior bought us a quick unscheduled visit to the oncologist. Who said, "At this juncture, I think, nothing points to leukemia returning." That sentence was meant to give us some reassurance. I think. But as he also pointed out, given her history of leukemia, we can never forget where we started from. Like I could ever forget. Today,  I am thrilled to report, that Zoey seems back to her spunky self for the first time in over a week and my heart is racing just a tad bit slower.

So we move forward in our grieving and our living and we take our humor and laughter along for the ride. Somedays, I miss her more then I could ever convey to you all. I listen to her voicemails and I yearn to touch her face. This past week I needed my mom. I needed someone to take care of ME.

 And she would have you know. Just as she had done most all of my 47 years. Like this past April when I had that nasty MRSA infection on my foot and she showed up on a whim at the door with this pink gift back filled with brand new white socks to keep my feet covered. Or, how I found out after she passed, that she and Jess were in cahoots together. My mom trying to figure out how she could slyly pay for a monthly housecleaner and a monthly trip to this fabulous chiropractor/ massage therapist, without me knowing. I miss my mom. And every Thursday when I go and change the flowers at her grave, I sit and I talk and I cry a bit as I try to figure out how this day that I knew would come eventually, came so swiftly.

 The past three Thursdays, there has been this older groundskeeper that comes by and tends to the area around my mother's grave as I sit on the grass. He is not in the least bit intrusive, but oddly welcome company for the short time I am there. He tries to talk to me, and I struggle to understand him, as I speak only a few sorry words of Spanish. His eyes are warm and his attention to the grass and flowers meticulous. And each day, as I rise to leave, he calls over to me and says, " Hasta la vista, baby." And I laugh and I smile and I think how lucky I am to still see humanity at it's best in such a sorrowful place.  Lucky that my heart  can still laugh and smile and find humor in my days.

Even at the cemetery.


Elizabeth said...

What a beautiful person you are -- and all those little ones you've created are as well.

As for the groundskeeper -- I'm thinking boyfriend?

(in keeping with cracking jokes)

Bea, OT said...

I am really sorry for your loss. Your mother sounds so wonderful and beautiful! My heart aches for you and hopes that your body fights off the infection and Zoey stays her perky self.

The humor is definitely a good thing! I wish I were funny, so I could make you laugh...but I'm really terrible.

May you find a little laughter and a little warmth today.

Sending warm hugs and love your way.

The VW's said...

Keep laughing Heather! Wish I could be there to laugh with you, and to help you through the tough days! Oh, and tell Miss Zoey to behave herself! Her loving followers (and her Momma) don't need any more scares from our sweet girl! Love and Bug Hugs!

blogzilly said...

Good news that Zoey is more energetic, and who knew that the groundskeeper at the cemetery was actually a Terminator?


Bea Braun said...

Heather your love for your family is so evident in all that you do. Your beautiful memories and pictures are such treasures. Please take care of yourself. Sleep, eat well, try to delegate, and keep on laughing. Sooooo glad Zoey is doing better! Lots of strange bugs out there right now.

Stephanie said...

Crying....and so wishing we were close enough to have a chocolate ;)

Rochelle said...

Hugs my sweet friend. I am thinking and praying for you daily. Thankful Zoey perked back up. Now you do the same!
Wish I was closer so I could help out.

Peter Olson said...

I am thinking something about hope, promise, and a curtain:
Hebrews 6:13-20

Keep running the race with perseverance:
Hebrews 12:1-3
Our mom's are keeping an eye on us from heaven above.

I pray that the words of God will give you comfort, faith, peace, joy, hope, patience, and love (bubbling over the top of the rim, flowing down the sides and soaking everyone around you). Amen!
(1 Corinthians 13:13)

Kristin said...

Glad miss Zoey is feeling better. Love that picture of your mom near the top. What a stylin' lady!

Michelle said...

Humor is a great thing to have. I hope you're feeling better and glad to hear Zoey is back to herself.

I have one voicemail from my dad and trying to figure out how to save it, because I think it only saves for a certain time. I find myself wanting to go through old videos and find any of my dad so I can hear his voice again. I think that's one of the hardest things to accept - not being able to hear their voice again except on something recorded.

Laurie said...

Thank you for reminding me to talk to and love my Mom just a little bit more! She is 80 and I know our days are numbered.