So I’m pretty sure that Woody Allen didn’t corner the market on this quote, but since he plays a leading role in yet another cornerstone of my family’s comedy film “go-to” movie collection, then I can’t help but “pin” this little gem.
Yup, I’m pretty sure God finds me pretty hilarious.
(Why? … We’ll come back to my pressing reason #1,802 in just a moment)
I mean, I joke with my hubbie and my kids telling them on a regular basis,
“I could really care less if any of you find me funny. As long as me, myself, and I are laughing… I’m happy. ‘Cuz we’re laughin at ourselves all day long!”
It’s true. Am I crazy? Absolutely. Am I truly funny? Who cares! I amuse myself in most situations and have no problem laughing when I spaz out and “mess up” either, a talent I acquired at a very young age. Remember, I’m the youngest of 3 with 2 older brothers. I was a tomboy that learned quick to roll with the punches, not cry or whine much if I got hurt because I’d have to stop playing with my cool older bros, and be patient because Mom was figuring out this whole new back to school again and back to work again thing while juggling 2 teenage boys and one little girl who won’t stop running barefoot out of her theater to go hide in a tree somewhere on campus! (Ya see, my little Firecracker comes to me very naturally!) With all the ups and downs that life brought us, we learned a few things:
1) How to find enough change at the bottom of Mom’s purse (or “waaay back of the station wagon) to order Domino’s from a pay phone during her late rehearsals
2) Shoes are not always essential, in fact I could climb better than a monkey if barefoot
3) Don’t cry over spilled milk. Rather, clean it up and fix another glass. If its gone, have a TAB! (going real old school 80’s on that one. Ha!)
3) Most importantly, we found our FAITH at that time to pull us together, even if it took the next decade or more for us to buck the system and realize God was our “glue”.
and, last, but certainly not least…
4) Laughter is the best medicine.
As a kid, probably way younger than when I should have been watching, I sat with my family watching the early days of SNL and laughing ’til my stomach hurt. That was comedy at its best! No cheap shots, just real funny stuff! The Yugoslovian “Wild and Crazy Guys!”, “The Jane Miller Show”, “Mr.Robinson’s Neighborhood”, “The Samurai Chef”, “Landshark”, “Coneheads”, “The Nerds”, and so many more that it’s killing me to stop. (Sorry, I’m kinda geekin’ out here) But they’ve given me such great memories and kept me smiling today! I still periodically can’t refrain myself from doing my own “Mr.Bill and Mr.Hand” show when I play with play dough with my kiddos. I can’t imagine I’m the only little girl who looked up to Gilda Radner as my own personal idol. She was such a doll!
And to think that such a charming, witty, beautiful, and hilarious woman had to fight such a terrible fight with cancer. Unfortunately this brown eyed beauty lost her battle, but left behind a legacy and a positive attitude of wit and joy even in the midst of such struggle that has kept her as my hero even now.
So… back to the whole making God laugh thing. I guess I picked up on a little bit of Gilda’s sense of comedic timing after all, since the Big Guy sure has gotten a kick out of me these days.
My recovery from surgery last week didn’t quite go … as planned.
To make a long story
My surgery happened Monday (planning to go home that day or the next), I had to stay through Wednesday evening to receive blood transfusions, monitor swelling, and give a rather large allotment of pain meds for air in the body cavity/shoulder neck area that really attacked the phrenic nerve. Which basically means no pain meds can help. Can I just say OUCH!!! I mean, I’ve birthed 5 chirrens, had a root canal overseas without anesthesia, had a double mastectomy, nearly a years worth now of chemo, 6 1/2 weeks of skin peeling radiation… and never felt pain like that! Insane! Back and forth between the waves of pain that apparently no med can truly touch, pretty much awakened my inner “Gollum”, which thankfully, left my mouth (for the most part) too tired to truly release its voice from within. EEK!
After almost 24 hours at home , feeling some relief and enjoying my fam, I received a swift kick to the gut from my toddler (Snuggles) and a sudden fever just below 102. (cue a little Debbie Downer… “Womp! Womp!”)… It was back to the ER for me. Oh boy! After Chest X-rays, CT Scans w contrast, and a whole lot of other blood tests, etc., we found old and new blood in my abdomen, excessive air still in my body cavity (hence the pain still goin on), and some pneumonia like infiltrates in my lungs to probably explain the fever. Oy vey. Looks like sweet little Snuggles’ just may be a star soccer player, for her kick to my belly actually gave me a tear, got me bleeding again and had ER docs put me on a good long no food, no drink diet to prep me for surgery! That was until my very wise surgeon and nurse practitioner calmed the situation feeling that bleeding was calming on its own and no surgery would be necessary. Whew! Talk about a relief! Good ol’ antibiotics would help dry it all up for body to absorb the excess. Sheesh!
So back to that whole plan of mine to just jump in and jump out of this surgery in a day or so, and be back on my feet in a week and be on my merry way? … HARDY HAR HAR!!! I could just hear God laughing through each storm that rolled through our little fam this week. Yet, even in all the pain. In all the frustration, I still felt no fear, I prayed over and over again….
THIS TOO SHALL PASS
This is surely NOT how I envisioned how this was going to go, or how the doctors and nurses thought it would go, or how my family thought it would go. It was pretty upsetting to my children when Mommy wasn’t coming home the first night, and the second night, or even going back again after I’d returned home and they’d welcomed me home with a big “Welcome Home!” sign… Only to leave again. One expressed boldly that she felt abandoned and was mad at me for it. Talk about break my heart in two. (Sounds a bit dramatic right? And yeah, it was. But at the same time, it was how they felt. This wasn’t just one surgery, this was one hurdle after many that we keep asking them to hang on for “another, and another, and another…” So this week was big for us.) But we all knew that it couldn’t last forever. I mean really, we’ve been through so many bigger things than this. I know this time it hit us when we’ve been in the battle longer and our troops are tired, and ready to be called off from duty. But, I had to reassure them that we’re winning. And this is just one more time that we’re reworking a new plan to get Mommy better. And I have every desire to be with them and to get better for them and I will do it. And it’ll be all over soon. … And each time my kiddos saw me, I was better and better, and so were they.
I gotta say, I’m proud of them. And I’m proud of us. We rolled with the punches, we took some unexpected hits, but once again, we are on the other side of another battle that we knew was on the list. It was messier than expected, but we beat it! How about that?!
And even in the hardest, most painful moments, we’ve found reason to laugh…
Whether it was at
* My feral cat growl, that began low and would slowly crescendo as if to beckon other felines to my quarters…each time I had to move an inch. Lovely, really.
*The “Elmos Potty Time potty” given by my bedside in all my humility. Mine looked blah and grey as any hospital bedside toilet should, but I couldn’t help but stare at in and go through the entire “Elmo’s Potty Time” Jazzy soundtrack. (Head hung in shame)
*The random stories I interrupted people with out of my anesthesia about “monkeys who need help with their rollerskates”, “my needing to put Cinderella in her ball gown and pretty wig”, and if “anyone else hears the band playing??” (over and over again)
*The way even Snuggles laughs at me even now while still recovering and crawling like a baby like her to get up the stairs when my stomach still cramps up… and the kids finding me “sooo mature!”
or my personal favorite…
*The Hitchcock like irony I found when looking at my super swollen like a 20 week prego women-belly that only me, “Fertile Myrtle” would wake up from a hysterectomy and be pregnant!
Ya see, God may have a sense of humor when it comes to my plans, but I, too, have sense of humor and can roll with His if needed. I admit it takes a moment to swallow that pill at times, sometimes this prayer may come in hand
But in all things, it always works out. Why? Because God’s got me. He had me all along. He had a plan and His is more of a big picture, while we focus on all these tiny details. I was pondering on that late one night in the hospital when who should pop up, but my old TV pal (in my mind, she’s my friend… I do believe we’d get a long just perfectly and have so much in common!)from childhood and forever idol, Gilda Radner, when I found this quote of hers while battling cancer herself:
She’s so right. The Big Guy upstairs said it himself. We shall not know the day nor the hour. We are called to live in the present. So why in the world do we stress ourselves out with all of our plans. God’s got this. When they don’t work, no need to stress. They’re all just minor setbacks. We adjust and we move forward in faith and trust. No worries. Just deep breaths.
Last week was one loooong week, but it’s over now. Now we merely recover and give thanks.
‘Cuz God is good. All the time.
Thank you for all of your prayers
(PHIL 4:6-7…”cast your cares upon the Lord and He will give you a peace and grace beyond understanding”) … And He will!
And there you will find JOY AND LAUGHTER , TO BOOT! 🙂
NEVER STOP LAUGHING!
A little tribute to a true comedienne, an idol to me and millions of others. One of the most charming women to hit the big screen and warm our hearts and make us smile. She fought the cancer battle, and was determined, that even in her defeat, to find the joy and the laughter there… and somehow to even “make cancer funny”. That’s what she did, and I admire her and am daily inspired by her now. I’m so sorry to her loved ones for her loss, but am eternally grateful to her for her contagious joy and humor that is legendary… helping me and so many others still today. We love you, Gilda.
*Disclaimer: A few “choice words” are dropped here and there in this clip, so fair warning in case young ones are watching over your shoulder (don’t watch with them in the room). But this clip shows both the on and off consistency of Gilda Radner that I just couldn’t pass up. She as the real deal.
Please CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW to watch this special YouTube Tribute to Gilda Radner
“LOVE GILDA: TRIBUTE TO THE LEGENDARY SNL ORIGINAL’S COMEDY AND LIFE, SYNONYMOUSLY”
OH i just wanna hug my old Miss Piggy doll! And with Gilda? Priceless 🙂
Prayers and wishing you “gg” GOD’S GRACE
MY unexpected hospital visit at Easter had me ask: “WHO spends 6 days in the hospital for an appendectomy?!” Well me and to try to:
BE STILL AND KNOW
“Be still and know that I am God”. Amen, Julie!! Been praying many prayers for you since that messy bout with your appendectomy. Hope all is well now. Too bad that Miss Piggy doll isn’t around to snuggle! 😉
Sent from my iPhone
I figured I’d make ya proud with that one. After all, it was you, my big brother, who raised me well in the ways of SNL. Thank you, master 😉
Yours in tv comedy sketches from the family table,
Buna (aka: young grasshopper)
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Elise–I’m so glad you’re sharing this journey with us so that we know what to pray for. Plus, your book will practically be written when you’ve put this baby to bed!
I recall well the pain from the trapped air after my hysterectomy…and I’m still trying to forget it six years later. There’s NOTHING like that kind of pain. I feel ya’!
Sending you love and prayers, Kitty
Thank you for validating that pain, Kitty! Good to hear from someone who gets that it ain’t “gas pain”. Its air trapped up in your spinal column crackling along your collarbone, neck and poppin in your head. Noooooo joke. “Oy vey”, I say… again!
I believe “Thank you” was the appropriate response, yes? Ya know i love you. And i so appreciate your every word.
God says, “Look at her, she is amazing beyond words.”
Awwww…. Well shucks. Thank you. I’m truly touched. Bless you
I am so glad that you share your sense of humor and your global view on your situation. It such an encouragement to me that there is light at the end of the tunnel even though it flickers at times. God wants you to spread His Words and you are such a perfect person for it. I’m just finishing round 6 of chemo and the first 4 rounds weren’t bad (A/C) but the Taxotere has really knocked the stuffing out of me. But when I look at ALL you have hurdled through I realize I just need to laugh a little more and it will be over soon. And then the double mastectomy and then the radiation. so I am taking it a step at a time but looking at you at the finish line is such an inspiration for me. I hope this final surgery can close your chapter and let you get back to those precious children! Thanks for sharing.
Emily, my prayers are with you during chemo and in this road ahead. Taxotere is no walk in the park by any means. But it will soon be a badge of honor on your coat of arms that you never wanted, yet earned you your life, so wear it proud and don’t be afraid to smile and laugh a little when u tell your story. The only way to survive
As for me, i still have another surgery to go (phase 2 of reconstruction , prob on the fall) & chemo (herceptin) through summer, then i clang that bell and get my life back together… Cuz i’ve fought dang hard for it!
Need anything… Ever…. Please don’t hesitate to ask, firstname.lastname@example.org