wings and things

The delicious taste of laughter

on April 22, 2014

If I were at a restaurant and was offered a choice of my favourite foods – oysters, fillet steak, pizza, Caesar salad, a cheese platter, a doner kebab, or laughter – I would choose the latter.

If I were at a pub and was offered a choice of my favourite drinks – beer, shiraz, a pink gin, or laughter – I would choose the latter.

If you were to ask me what I would rather do – go for a walk, sleep in, read a book, visit a friend, do a good day’s work, or five minutes of laughter – I would choose the latter.

And, if you were to ask me if I preferred love over laughter, I would have to say no.

Today Ming and I picked Anthony up at around 10am and then proceeded to do a few errands in town before getting burgers and fries and eating them at a park overlooking the beachfront. Ants was very wobbly so we had to eat in the car. I’d given him his 11am pill a bit late so he wasn’t able to eat very well and kept mistaking his fries for strawers (you know for a drink). In the end I had to pretty much feed him half of my burger, but he had a lot of trouble biting, chewing and swallowing, and was dribbling terribly (Parkinson’s disease often affects the swallowing reflex).

On the way home to the farm, as the pill kicked its magic in, Ants began to recover but everything he said was so incoherent, quiet or nonsensical, that Ming and I had to eventually just respond with ‘yes.’ Once home, Anthony became extremely mobile and walked around the farm with and without his walker and at one stage he somehow took his shirt off to get a bit of sun, before coming inside for a cup of tea. But, just as suddenly (about 2.30pm), he became totally immobile and it took me an age to get him from house to car, by which time he was panting from exhaustion (and so was I!)

By then Ming had left us and gone to his shed to do a cleanup so I drove Ants over to say goodbye (it was now 3pm with next pill due at 4pm) and Ming was surprised.

Ming: Are you going already, Dad?”
Anthony: Yes, she just wants to get rid of me.
Me: I don’t know why I bother!

I was very hurt by Ants’ remark (especially by the fact that it was the first coherent thing he’d said all day), and I told him so on the way back to the nursing home. We put the car radio on to drown out the mutual misery until Ants actually whispered something in his new, soft voice. I turned the radio off.

Ants: I’m sorry, Jules.
Me: I can’t believe you said I wanted to get rid of you!
Ants (taking my hand and kissing it): I didn’t mean it.
Me: What do you and Ming want – my blood? I am doing my best!
Ants: I know, beautiful girl. I love you.
Me: I love you too so don’t ever think I want to get rid of you – please!
Ants: Glad I got a bit of work done today and Ming was a great help.
Me: Me too – thank you – I don’t know what I’d do without you, baby cheeks!

[He thought that he and Ming had done some jobs around the farm].

By this time we had reached the nursing home and Ants was totally incapable of walking so I raced in and grabbed a wheelchair and eventually got him into his room, then grabbed two nurses to help him into the toilet, and said a much quicker goodbye than usual.

Why didn’t I just respond to Anthony’s “she wants to get rid of me” comment with laughter? Why did I let myself be hurt? I am such an idiot! He and I have always bantered, so why didn’t I just turn his comment into an excuse for laughter? Well, I will next time, for sure, because these hurtful comments are becoming more regular, so I have to find a way of transforming these faltering conversations into some coherent laughter – yes!

Laughter is a gift that everyone is capable of doing, giving and receiving and it is my favourite thing in the world so, from now on, no matter what, laughter will be my/our medicine.


26 responses to “The delicious taste of laughter

  1. mimijk says:

    Maybe next time you will be a little bit easier on yourself and just give yourself a figurative hug? Are all our comebacks always the right ones? xox

  2. What a great resolution Julie. Though your hurt makes sense, and it’s very real, I appreciate your wanting to turn it in to something more positive and ‘normal’ for Anthony. And dear Anthony loves you, and I think it beautiful that at some point he recognized he hurt you and apologized-which is surely part of your on going love affair with him. I know it’s not why you write this, but I truly respect the life and love of your marriage and your parenting.

  3. susanpoozan says:

    Try to take your own good advice even if it’s hard.

  4. ksbeth says:

    laughter is as healing as any balm, salve, bandage or med. it will become more natural, even as things get more difficult. i already read an ease in your words, from where you began )

  5. That’s likely a good idea… I was first thinking when you said what he said…. that it’s almost something that would automatically come from someone… ‘Oh she’s trying to get rid of me’…. Maybe that’s what happens with Ants .. he remembers these quick cliches and uses them instead of something more appropriate that would not hurt you… I’m not trying to make light of it by any means because you expend so much energy and time that naturally you would ‘bristle’ at him saying that (hope bristle is used in Australia too) anyway.. as usual only my thoughts… Diane

  6. Colline says:

    Maybe you felt that at the time he said those words, they were not in jest. Sometimes it is good for others to know that they have hurt you with their words so that they may be more mindful of them.

  7. we all learn so much from your reflections–Julie quit being so hard on yourself–you are handling all you have to handle in a way most of us could not dream of–((((hugs))))

  8. A beautiful reflective post Julie.

    Oh. And while you’re transposing hurt for laughter…. how about changing “I am such an idiot!” to. Oh my aren’t I human! and then laugh! 🙂

    YOu are so human and beautiful and loving and kind! You inspire me.


  9. Hugs Julie. It’s hard not to be hurt by things that hurt us. I hope your plan to laugh it off works. You deserve some laughter!
    Diana xo

  10. bulldog says:

    Laugh and the world will laugh with you… cry and the world will laugh at you… so take your own advise and laugh… you gonna have to keep your sense of humour up there at the top… sterkte…

  11. Jules, the love and perspective you have on life and circumstance inspires and encourages me daily! Your strength and courage is because of the love you have for Ants and Ming now turn some of that around on yourself because you deserve it. hugs and love {{{xx}}}

  12. I think that it hurt you because you have guilt about things that you can’t control. So it is the worst kind of guilt because there isn’t anymore that you can do for Anthony besides love him which you do and so you have hurt feelings when Anthony says these “joking” comments. Laughter is wonderful. I wish that I could figure out how to not have guilt over things that we can’t control, so that I could tell it to you because I can empathize completely, but I would be reacting the exact same way. Big Hugs. 🙂

  13. Rhonda says:

    i’d venture to say, there is not an emotion known to mankind, that you are not feeling every day. today, this one. tomorrow, that one. the day after that…this one or that one or all of them.

    you could have laughed Jules, if you’d not been exhausted, or afraid, or mindful of all you’ll never share again…as we all would.

    you could have laughed if you didn’t feel guilty for being the healthy one, as is human.

    you could have laughed if you’d had one moment to close your eyes and picture the old ants making that crack as he might have done, once. where was that one peaceful moment?

    but your life forces you to live in the moment jules…and you do it like no other I know. But the last thing you need is another unjustifiable reason to kick yourself in the pants, my sweet friend.

    this may not be a popular comment because all who love you, and they all truly do, want nothing more than for you to feel that freeing, uplifting, lightness that comes with the music of laughter. And I do too. But, if you laugh when what you want to do is cry, it’s not laughter. it’s self defense.

    so…if you want that banter back my sweet, the banter that only two long married and deeply cherished mates can do…than get it back. take those emotional bullets and fire them right back. put the twinkle back in your eyes, and who knows, on a good day, the twinkle will be returned.

    the next time he cracks “she’s just trying to get rid of me”…with a wink at Ming and a smile in your voice….”yes Ants. how’m I doing?”

    then you can laugh because you just feel like laughing. and yes, it’s the best damned feeling in the world.

    you know I love you

  14. Oh man, Jules. If you can do that. If you can turn that pain, that deep hurt, into laughter, I’m moving to your parts and sitting at your feet! I can not think of a more brilliant solution for anything, whether it be laughing on the outside or if needed on the inside. It tops my list. My father was brilliant in that way and I’m lucky I grew up with someone with an amazingly funny personality. It sure did help with a lot of pain. ❤

  15. The trick is to come up with the laughter, even if you want to cry. Quite difficult at the best of times. *hugs*

  16. You ARE such an inspiration, Ms. Julie … and I know when we are tired in our souls from trying to be everything to everyone, sometimes comments not intended to hurt have a way of stabbing us. And the best we can do is try our best to let them roll off and laugh at them – hang in there, sweetpea – you are an amazing woman! itty bitty.

  17. Trisha says:

    Each day must be such a rollercoaster of emotions. I hope you are able to respond with laughter next time but it is totally understandable if you aren’t. Big hugs.

  18. janeslog says:

    I think his comment was made in jest. He didn’t mean any offence.

  19. You proved your own point about love – it often hurts; but laughter always heals…so long as it’s not cruel laughter, of course 🙂

  20. This post made me think. I miss the laughter.

  21. tootlepedal says:

    Easier said than done but I hope that you succeed.

  22. You are a beautiful writer with the ability to voice what I believe many can identify with. Please don’t be hard on yourself for being beautifully human as well.

  23. Sometimes we just have to laugh instead of cry, well that is how it is for me at times

  24. K. A. Brace says:

    Jules, you try hard. You’re allowed to not be perfect anytime it happens. >KB

  25. FlaHam says:

    Julie, I make no excuses for Ants, I know his disease makes him as and do hurtful things, and I suspect as time passes I ma y as well, You make a wonderful suggestion that you take it upon yourself to turn his hurtful words into something you can giggle at, will serve you well. Love is the foundation on which you have built this relationship with Ants, between the love and laughter it should carry you thru. Please take care, Bill

  26. Good plan, except for all the layers just underneath that one comment. Oh, that we could delete the history just like in the Recycle button on the computer. Smash. I always like the sound delete makes. 🙂

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