This I Believe

Rob - Redding, California
Entered on May 19, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: death, family, love

Humor is the Best Medicine

Humor is a very important part of my life. I think it’s a big part of everyone’s life. For me, it refills my optimism in the world we live in. It refreshes my mind. It keeps my mind sharp by challenging wits with another person.

Since I was little, I watched things that would make me laugh. My grandparents would watch me when my mom worked. You could usually find me at the TV watching some classic comedy. I think I may have learned that from my grandma as she was a big fan of Red Skelton and the various Abbott and Costello movies. I remember sitting on my own little chair in the middle of the living room of my grandparent’s mobile home watching the flicker of the black and white comedies. Even now when I have a choice between movies, I will take the comedy every time. Now, Robin Williams has replaced Red Skelton; Chris Farley and David Spade have replaced Abbott and Costello.

I mentioned the most influential person in my love of comedy for a reason. In some way my love of comedy was some cosmic driven gift. I was always around to keep my grandma laughing. I was as close to her as I was my mother. When my grandfather died she came to live with my mother and me. Several years passed by and my grandma was always in good health. One day she got really sick and went into the hospital. She was having intestinal problems. What they were I don’t specifically remember. She returned home a week later but she still felt the effects of being sick for some time afterward. Life returned to normal only to discover the real problem a year later. She was diagnosed with cancer. My mom, a nurse by trade, explained to me what she expected in the results of the recent CT scan. There was more stress than humor before the tests came back and grandma did not want to talk about it at all as she was completely depressed. The phone rang and my mom answered. It was the results of the test. Full blown all over the body, including multiple tumors in the brain.

Mom asked her, “Do you want to know the results?”

Grandma quietly replied, “I don’t know.”

Mom then asked, “If it’s in your head do you want to know?”

I shot out, “Oh mom, tell her anyway. If it is, she won’t remember!”

Grandma started laughing, swatting toward me with her hand. Suddenly she was more at ease with what was going on and she started to open up. She lived for the next six months but was able to deal with it all in stride.

I will always believe that humor can conquer anything life throws at us. It’s a powerful tool even if the comfort lasts only for one moment. I will always cherish that I could make the world lift off of her shoulders for that one moment.