Monday, April 25, 2011

Live, Laugh and Love

Live, Laugh and love. Great advice on how to live a great life I would say.

To live-not just exist day to day, but to live each day to it’s fullest, no matter what it brings. To look for those small things each day that bring us joy and for ways to bring joy to others, through works or words.

To love, God, and family and friends. To give love and to know love in return, for love is the greatest gift.

Ahh, but to laugh-that is what makes the heart merry and the soul light! Laughter makes living and loving so much more enjoyable every day!  The laughter of a child is music to the ears and food for the soul; and our house has never been void of that for long!

Some of my favorite sounds that I remember include hearing my dad’s loud laugh and seeing the twinkle in his eye at a joke he heard, or a trick he pulled on someone, or something one of ‘the kids’ had done. Our house always had laughter and song. Dad used to wake me up singing ‘Lazy Mary won’t you get up, won't you get up, Lazy Mary won't you get up, we need the sheets for the table” or Oh, what a beautiful morning…. Each of these would start my day with a smile on my face.

Through the years there have been some good, funny happenings and pranks at our house, and funny stories from just about everyone.

Dinner time was always interesting at our house. With 5 boys, my parents and I, things were never normal, and seldom quiet at the table. (my two older sisters were grown and married by the time I was five) But that’s the way we were-we enjoyed our time together. 

My dad (you’ll hear bout him a lot, he was a pretty big presence!!) had this thing about bread and butter. He liked it. A lot. He just didn’t want to mess around buttering his own. So, when someone wasn’t looking, he’d swipe theirs off the plate and quickly take a bite so you wouldn’t want it back! One time I decided to get him back, as I always sat to his right hand, and so often was the one who lost the bread! Before dinner, I fixed bread and butter, but then on the back side, I smeared peanut butter so when he picked it up, he’d get a handful! Well, he did swipe it, he did get a handful of peanut butter, looked at me with his crooked grin and said “you snot!” and went on eating it anyway!!! And it didn’t break him of swiping bread!!

Well, my kids were raised around their grandparents and so have inherited or by osmosis gained the sense of humor that carried my family through everything growing up, and my husband's sense of humor is also over-developed, so they really had no chance of being quiet, serious people!

One morning we were getting ready for church, and had realized the time had changed, so were in a bit of a hurry to get all four children dressed and ready to go. We arrived at Mass just in time, knelt to pray, then waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, the little tiny Monsignor came out and announced that Mass would begin soon; the priest who was saying this Mass had forgotten he was to do so; he thought he had the next Mass, and also missed the time change and so was a bit behind! TC turned to me and asked “ Is that what you call Mass confusion?”

Another story which occurred at church was when our then four year old Jimmy (now James) was sitting between us at Christmas Eve Mass. After Jimmy was about 2, we began sitting in the front row, thinking that perhaps seeing what was going on would cause him to be more quiet in Mass. Well, it looked good on paper! (We still sit in the front row, by the way) Jimmy didn’t talk till he was 4, and not well until he was 9, so this was a surprise to us this night. We had just come back from communion and were kneeling, and Jimmy was quietly watching everyone as they went by to receive the Body of Christ. Remember, it’s Christmas, and a small child is thinking about Santa Claus. He could hear the priest saying over and over “The Body of Christ” as each person came to receive communion. Finally, Jimmy leaned to me and asked “Why he keep saying “Naughty or Nice?”

Well, it was bout all we could do to not burst out laughing, but we told him what was being said. Later, as I thought about it, I realized that really, that’s what it comes down to: Naughty? Nope, no Body of Christ for you...repent and come back...

We have a big family, so, at Easter, all of my Aunt Fern’s family would come to our house along with all of our gang. We would set up outside for as many as wanted to eat out there, and there were games of baseball, volleyball, and horseshoes involving family of all ages. One year it was unusually warm, and someone decided to help cool off a complainer with a glass of water. Well, that, of course, led to a full-blown water fight involving anyone who was outdoors. Except one brother in law whose sense of humor did not stretch that far...He stood over away from the fray up against the house to stay dry, watching with dismay the ‘childlike’ behavior of the rest of us. Well, he picked the wrong place to stand. My brother Jim decided that this guy was NOT immune to our good-natured games, and went upstairs to the shower, which happened to be right above the afore-mentioned in-law. Jim turned on the water, turned it to shower and put the hand-held shower head out the window and let it ‘rain’ on the other Jim!!! The look on his face was priceless!! He had been had!! He wasn’t very happy bout it, but decided I guess it was better to join them than be beat, so he joined in the ruckus too!

About a year ago, my brother Bill had a serious accident which caused him to be air-lifted to Stormont-Vail in Topeka. Bill works for a pig farmer and rancher, and he was loading round bales when one rolled off the forks TOWARDS him instead of the other way. When Bill tried to get out of the way, the bale landed on his back and pinned him to the tractor.
Well, we arrived in the ER just a half hour after the copter and were directed to where he was. He was in a drug induced coma because of the pain and also to keep him still because of his back injury, but we were told he could hear us, he just couldn't respond. So, because we are the way we are, we began talking to him about how they will have to fumigate the helicopter to get the pig smell out, and he would have to come down and clean the ER because there was hay everywhere, and just joking around with him. We also told him we loved him and we needed him to get better because he is our only official clown in the family and none of the rest of us knows how to make balloon animals!

Well, he was transferred to the Critical Care unit for 4 days and we stayed with him the whole time. My brother from St. Louis and his son and kids also came up, and hung out at his bedside till he was taken off life support and moved to another room. During this time, we often had him laughing, which of course caused ‘bells and whistles’ to go off, but the nurses said don’t worry, laughter is the best medicine!!! They knew what we do, that even in life’s difficulties, prayer and laughter are what will see you through!!!

Live, Laugh and Love. Life’s too short to be taken too seriously!!!


  1. Absolutely! Wonderful way to live! :D

  2. Wonderful stories! Thank you for sharing!