February 9, 2021
The easiest and simplest way to deal with sorrow is to remember that nothing is permanent.
One of the realities of aging is the continued losses we have to live with. As friends and family pass on we must learn to handle our grief in a manner that focuses on the good memories from days gone by with out letting the loss debilitate us. In my current community we have many neighbors who are 95 years old and some well into their hundreds. They become friends and inspirations. And each month some fall ill our pass.
I appreciate the time we have shared experiences while learning about their past life. I cannot overestimate the value of listening and learning from my elders, yes even now when I am 86 years old. Interpersonal relationships among the aged is a great way to combat one of the great illnesses of old age, loneliness.
I have learned to live with my sorrows avoiding lingering sadness. I think there is truth in the following story.
Getting rid of sorrows
A wise and knowledgeable man held a seminar to teach people how to get rid of sorrows in their life. Many people gathered to hear the wise man’s words. The man entered the room and to start his seminar he told a very funny joke and everyone roared with laughter.
After a couple of minutes he told them the same joke and only a few of them smiled or laughed and when he told the same joke for the third time no one smiled or laughed.
The wise man smiled and said . . . ‘You can’t laugh at the same joke over and over. So why do you cry over the same problem over and over?’
Every heart has its secret sorrows which the world knows not, and oftentimes we call a man cold, when he is only sad.
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW
A grammar school teacher from Miami, remembers this Oscar-worthy birth tableau from one of her students. I’ve been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two children myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own first-grade classroom a few years back. When I was a child, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and experience a little public speaking. And it gives me a break and some guaranteed entertainment.
Usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Children bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it to school and talk about it, they’re welcome.
Well, one day this little girl, Anna, a very bright, very outgoing child, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater. She holds up a snapshot of an infant and says, “This is Luke, my baby brother, and I’m going to tell you about his birthday. First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom’s stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord. “She’s standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I’m trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The children are watching her in amazement. “Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts saying and going Oh, oh, oh!”
Anna puts a hand behind her back and groans. “She walked around the house for, like an hour, Oh, oh, oh!” Now the child is doing this hysterical duck walk; holding her back and groaning. “My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn’t have a sign on the car like the Domino’s man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this.” Anna lies down with her back against the wall. “And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!”
This child is sitting on the floor with her little hands miming water flowing away. “Then the middle wife starts saying ‘push, push, and breathe, breathe. “They started counting, but never even got past ten.” “Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff. They said it was from Mom’s play-center, so there must be a lot of stuff inside there for him to do.”
Then Anna stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat. I’m sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, if it’s show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another Anna comes along!
Someday they’ll invent a pill that is so powerful that you’ll have to be in perfect health to take it.
The late great Johnny Carson was the master joke teller as you can see below.
“I was so naïve as a kid I used to sneak behind the barn and do nothing.”
“According to statistics, it’s a lot easier to get hit by lightning than to win a Lotto jackpot. The good side: You don’t hear from your relatives.”
“For three days after death, hair and fingernails continue to grow but phone calls taper off.”
“Happiness is seeing the muscular lifeguard all the girls were admiring leave the beach hand in hand with another muscular lifeguard.”
“If God didn’t want man to hunt, He wouldn’t have given us plaid shirts.”
“The difference between divorce and legal separation is that a legal separation gives a husband time to hide his money.”
“The Surgeon General announced today the ultimate safe-sex product. It’s called a Rubik’s condom: By the time you’ve figured out how to use it, you’ve lost the urge.”
“When turkeys mate they think of swans.”
“What’s all this fuss about plutonium? How could something named after a Disney character be dangerous?”
“The Oscars are two hours of sparkling entertainment spread over four hours.”
“I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself.”
When my grandson asked me how old I was, I teasingly replied “I’m not sure.”
“Look in your underwear, Grandma,” he advised. “Mine says I’m four.”
Our family owned restaurant is the setting for many of our discussions about how to handle the customer who asks, “What’s good tonight?”
Obviously, we would never serve anything we didn’t think was good. I braced myself one Saturday night when I heard the dreaded question posed to my husband.
He calmly replied, “Anything over $13.95.”
Have you noticed how living in a nudist colony takes all the fun out of Mardi Gras.
While shopping in a supermarket in Florida, I heard over the PA system:
“A wallet containing a large sum of money was found, but it contains no ID. Will those laying claim to it please form a double line at the customer service counter?”
All I ask is a chance to prove that money can’t make me happy.
A Sunday school class was studying the Ten Commandments.
They were ready to discuss the last one. The teacher asked if anyone could tell her what it was. Susie raised her hand, stood tall, and quoted,
“Thou shall not take the covers off thy neighbor’s wife.”
Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
Jill: Look, Mary! That couple at the corner table’s getting engaged. He just gave her a ring. How did your ex propose to you?
Mary: Well, he said, “If you get pregnant, I’ll marry you.”
There is no despair so absolute as that which comes with the first moments of our first great sorrow, when we have not yet known what it is to have suffered and be healed, to have despaired and to have recovered hope.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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