“If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry.” That phrase has been said to me over the years by so many people – friends, family, co-workers… and I think it’s true. I always try to appreciate the healing power of a good laugh, especially one that comes just when I’m on the brink of, well, losing it.
I was thrilled when I looked up this past Wednesday’s Lenten challenges to find a little talk about humor, because frankly, I could use a little bit of it right now! It’s been a pretty overwhelming past week. I spent the beginning of it home with family, traveling to Massachusetts to spend time with my 93-year-old grandfather after his release from a week in the hospital. Although it was nice to be with my parents and brother, It was far from a relaxing visit, as I watched my mom battle the stress, sacrifice, and emotion that comes with caring for a loved one who now needs almost 24-hour attention. On top of the worry over my grandfather’s health, I’m facing a few big decisions to make about the future that have had me asking myself the question, “how is it possible for all of this to happen at once?”
Before I returned to New York, I sat at our kitchen table with a cup of coffee after packing up my duffel bag. In one of the few conversations unrelated to my grandfather’s health, my parents casually mentioned that a few pipes in the house needed repair, and they had been searching for a plumber. After reading through a few reviews, my dad said, “I think I’m going to give Sean Connery a call.” I placed my mug down on the table, looked up at dad, and did a double take. “I’m sorry, what?” I asked, thinking I heard incorrectly. “Sean Connery,” he responded, The plumber in the town over,” referring to a local contractor bearing the same moniker as the famous actor. I looked at my mom, back to my dad, and burst out in laughter. My brother, hearing the commotion, walked in to find us cracking up. We spent the rest of the morning speaking in Sean Connery voices, recalling our favorite “Saturday Night Live” “Jeopardy” scenes, and making more than one off-color joke. It was a most welcome reprieve from a trying week.
I considered the challenges “fast from taking yourself too seriously” and “give the gift of humor to someone today – tell someone a joke or post a silly photo on social media,” and of course, thought of Sean Connery the plumber. The more people I told about my parents’ inspired contractor choices, the funnier the responses became. Those spontaneous moments of laughter made my whole week a little bit lighter.