A sense of humor… 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.
My son & I make it a point to visit my Grandpa once a week, he is in a home across town and usually we go on Friday mornings. I really wish we could see him more. He is so different from the vibrant, hilarious man I used to know; he doesn’t talk very much, he has the beginning of Alzheimer’s, and he’s often asleep at first when we come to see him… but when he sees us, he smiles again.
This last week we had to come on Saturday in the morning, and I was surprised to see how despondent he looked – maybe he thought we weren’t able to come that week at all, or maybe Alzheimer’s was confusing him again…. Whatever it was, nothing we could do could cheer him up or keep his attention, until I found an old book on his dresser Let Me Tell You a Tale by J. Frank Dobie, curious I showed it to my Grandpa and he immediately broke into a smile. I asked him if he’d like me to read it and he nodded.
I read to him with animation, “Bigfoot Wallace and The Hickory Nuts,” it was ridiculous Texas folktale that had me laughing after the first page. Grandpa started to fall asleep, as my 3-year-old pointed out gleefully, but I kept reading enthusiastically anyway, hoping he was just resting his eyes. He suddenly let out such a loud snore I jumped & almost dropped the book! My son started it – he burst into laughter at the ridiculous scene of his mother trying to read an animated story to a sleeping & snoring man, that I couldn’t help but join him.
My Grandpa woke up, saw us laughing (I tried to hide it and stop, it just wasn’t happening), and he broke into the biggest smile I’ve seen on his face for long time and asked me if he snored. I told him Yes, and we all laughed for a long time. I kept reading the rest of the story to him, teasing him periodically about not sleeping when I’m reading.
Humor, I’m so grateful for it – and blessed are the people who make us laugh, they are the ones who really have found something of value in life.
(To read it for yourself along with other Bigfoot stories, click here.)