This I Believe

Joan - Addison, Texas
Entered on March 5, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65


The Depression in the Panhandle of Texas left its muddy footprint on the young people who saw their parents lose it all. To my mother, this depression rarely left her. It only seemed to disappear when dad made her laugh. Mom’s pain seemed to be dad’s task to wash away. To see his handsome face and experience his delightful humor were her best times. .

Dad, however, was an ambassador of happiness and he could make anyone laugh and feel good about them. It was also a life lesson: stop feeling sorry for yourself: stay easy. He was also subtle enough to contradict a pious person who barely felt the sting. His words were few but powerful. From him I learned the precious gift of HUMOR that makes my life and others just a little easier and a little simpler…

I am sure it started when my dad lived in Denver and could not find a job. He was 20 years of age. I found a letter from his father, which said, “Jack, everybody has the blues sometime. Just put them on of those cars and shift them right away”.

When very young I remember a friend of my dad’s had died. When he returned, mom solemnly asked, “Jack, how are you, how did he look?” Dad had that twinkle in his eye and said, “Well, honey, he looked the best I’ve ever seen him; dying’s not so bad I guess.”

Mother always went to church. Dad was an every other Sunday man. As I grew older, I wanted to know why this discrepancy existed since those two love birds rarely parted for long. When I asked why, Dad responded, “Your mom goes enough for both of us and she’s better at it than me”…

Churches in those days always had big banquets, dinners and every little house wife brought her best dish. Dad and I came together. When the service was about over, dad whispered in my ear, “Go as fast as you can and fill our plates high with momma’s food”. “Why, daddy?” “Gub (a nickname), those other women can’t cook like your mom.” “You might get something”; consequently, I never ate anyone’s food except moms until I left home. Dad liked it that way.

Humor has saved my life, made me a hundred friends, and soothed the pain of many of my clients. It helped me when I buried my parents, my sister, and people I loved. I have not laughed at people in sorrow, but I, like dad, always find the beauty and humor of most events. That has made my life healthy, interesting, and fun. Mourning never stays long with a hardy laugh. My best audience and my best fans to date are two little grandbabies that giggle just to see me.