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Friday, April 16, 2010

Laughter Really is the Best Medicine

Laughter Really is the Best Medicine

What makes most of us laugh? A good joke, happy memories, or someone else laughing? I tend to laugh at myself a lot now that I've hit middle-age and things that used to seem very important don't seem to matter as much. Yesterday, my Goddaughter and I were sitting in my yard swing talking about everything from purses to why boys think they need to show off so much. She asked me a question. I honestly do not remember what it was but I just looked at her instead of giving her an answer so she asked again, and again, until finally she said, as she crossed her arms over her chest and huffed, "Could you just answer the Damn question?"

Courtney, my Goddaughter is fourteen years-old and for some reason, I laughed and could not stop stopping when she said that to me. Once I started laughing she starting laughing too and neither one of us could talk because we couldn't stop laughing. My belly hurt all evening because I laughed so hard but it was a good kind of pain. A few years ago I would have been upset that she used the word "Damn" but yesterday it just seemed very funny to me.

Today I was in the supermarket picking up the weekly supply of groceries and I spotted a pig on the store shelf. It was not a real pig...what were you thinking? It was an outdoor garden ceramic pig that appeared to be swinging from an old tire. Since several of my lady friends know that I rescued a pot-bellied pig a few years ago they enjoy teasing me about pigs and sending me little piggy gifts from time to time. I purchased this garden pig with the intention of bringing it home and hanging it outdoors near my yard swing and photographing it to make postcards for my friends.

Once I was home I removed the pig from display box and set it on the dining room table so I could take it outside a bit later. I went into the kitchen to start dinner and before long I heard an innocent, infectious laugh coming from my dining room. My mother had found the pig on the table and was laughing at it, or she thought, with it. She had a glazed look in her eyes and there was no other thought in her mind at that moment except laughing with the pig.

It brought me comfort to see her laugh so easily. She wanted to keep the pig with her when she went to bed and I placed it on her night stand. This little piggy may not ever make it outdoors to the flower garden. This little piggy tickled my mother's soul this evening brought tears to my eyes.

My mother takes nine different pills every day but not one of those pills ever makes her laugh or remember a face. Laughter really is the best medicine anyone can have. It cleanses our heart and washes away our fears even if only for a short while. This little piggy was good for my mother and good for me. I saw happiness in her face again. I could not have planned anything that would have touched my mother's spirit like this pig touched it.

There really is nothing better for our body or soul than a good laugh. Without even realizing it, my mother taught me another life lesson today: give into to your laughter and laugh until your belly is sore and your heart is content. It really is one of the best things we can ever do for ourselves.

© Dianna Doles-Petry


  1. I laughed with you over Courtney and must say I smiled over the pig collection. I smiled, too, with the warmth I felt reading of your Mother's laughter. What happiness that must have surely brought you, as well.

    A blessed writing Dianna. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Amen, so glad to know your mother was laughing.

  3. Thank you, Ladies, I enjoyed writing this piece.


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