Laughter is the best medicine!

Theresa - Petoskey, Michigan
Entered on April 17, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

William James said, “We don’t laugh because we’re happy – We’re happy because we laugh.” My family has taught me many different beliefs and values, laughter being the highest of value. Through that I have learned on my own that laughter truly is the best medicine.

In February of 2005, my grandma was diagnosed with leukemia. The infection took over her body like a plague. The doctors gave her two weeks to live. My grandma, being the strongest, most stubborn person I’ve ever come across, fooled the doctors. In the comfort of her own home with family and friends by her side, she pulled through for an additional five months. I believe that laughter and lots of smiles is what helped her make it that long. One example that I have the fondest memory of is when I stayed the night with her and brought over a movie to watch. I brought over Anchorman, starring Will Ferrell. My grandma laughed about that “crazy program” for weeks after watching it.

My mother was raised to have the same strong, stubborn personality that my grandma had. For almost ten, years my mom has been married to my step dad, an alcoholic. After being raised by my grandfather, also an alcoholic, my mom swore that she would never marry one, but she did. My step dad has a very sarcastic attitude and a whatever personality. Sometimes he can be totally disgusting too, like when he farts in one of my brother’s faces. It’s a sick sense of humor, but it makes everyone laugh. He’s a happy drunk and by far the funniest person ever! I believe that the reason they are still together has a lot to do with the fact that he makes my mom and the rest of my family laugh all the time. My children even refer to him as the “goofy papa.”

I may not reveal the strong stubbornness that was passed down to me but it’s there when I need it. The winter of 2007 was by far one of my most difficult times, mentally. I ended up getting depressed and thought I would never laugh again. I moved to a new town, and started a new job. At my new job, the boys would play disgusting jokes on each other. I surrounded myself with people who made me laugh. I even met a boy that still to this day, makes me laugh all the time. I believe that’s what cured my depression.

Watching my children play, I can see the same strong, stubborn trait in them. They’re always smiling and laughing at the darnedest things. Even just playing outside at the park is enough to brighten their day for weeks. Almost everyone they encounter is filled by laughter and joy from just watching them. Their playful demeanor and carefree innocence cures the frowns of family and friends. Their laughter is my medicine.

Jean De La Bruyere said that, “We must laugh before we are happy, for fear of dying without having laughed at all.” I couldn’t even imagine living without having laughed. I laugh at myself, at others, with others, and for others. I believe that laughter is truly the best medicine.