Well, I am coming out of the fog a little and have recently been reminded of the need to laugh. There were times in those first few months that were laughable.
For instance, there was the night that I got the wheelchair out of the trunk of the car and realized that I would need to open the other side of the garage to get it to Strokeman’s door. Five seconds. I think that is about what it takes to walk from the back of the car to the button that opens the garage door. But when I returned, the wheelchair wasn’t there. I glanced up just in time to see it careening over the side of the retaining wall in my back yard. It is about a four foot drop, and because it was already night, it dropped into utter darkness…and long grass. I have to admit that at the moment in which it was happening, it didn’t seem very funny. I huffed to Strokeman that I would have to go retrieve his chair from the lower yard, and he responded, “I am just glad I wasn’t in it!” We both started laughing and I continued to giggle as I groped around in the dark weeds and awkwardly stumbled up the hill trying to push the wheelchair through the uneven terrain. It made for a great Facebook status, and I have never forgotten to set the brakes again. I might add that those wheelchairs can take a beating and keep going.
Then there was the time I realized after several errands that when I had gotten myself dressed after our pool exercises I had put my teeshirt on backwards. Because of the graphic design, it was obvious. If I had taken Strokeman along on those errands, people would have probably thought sympathetic thoughts about the poor woman with her hands so full that she couldn’t get her clothes on right. As it was, I just looked like an old lady losing her mind. The truth hurts sometimes – or you can just post it as a Facebook status and make all your friends laugh.
Sometimes the humor is a little bit on the dark side. I began to joke about getting away with all sorts of things on Strokeman’s left side, where his blindness kept him from noticing. Really, it was just a joke, honest.
Equally dark was the list I started keeping (after having attended way too many funerals) of things to do at a funeral to make it as memorable as possible. You have to understand, that most people don’t have a lot of time to actually plan a funeral. It’s not like you can give yourself six months to get it all together and send out invitations. Consequently, things don’t always go as smoothly as you plan. On top of that, people’s emotions are running high, and sometimes things that seem to be a great idea when you are emotionally distraught don’t have the same effect on the attendees as you might have imagined. I won’t share many here, because I don’t want to upset the loved ones who have been left behind. However might I just suggest that if you are going to have a slideshow going from your computer that you make sure the mouse arrow is not on the screen arbitrarily pointing out peoples nostrils, rears and other awkward body parts. And you might consider updating your plans once in a while to make sure that the quartet you want to sing “Precious Memories” is still able to make it to the stage, remember the words (or their names for that matter), and can still hear well enough to stay on tune. I will stop there, lest I get myself in trouble.
I have found that if you squint your eyes just right you can see the humor in just about any situation. Sometimes it is humor that is best kept to one’s self, but there is usually something funny if you look hard enough. Admittedly, there have been many days in the last almost two years that haven’t seemed very funny. But when I can, I find the joke – even if I am the brunt. On the other days, I remind myself that some day I will look back and laugh, or at least not cry so hard.