I believe in Norman Cousins theory of the Merry Heart– laughing yourself to being well. Since no person on the planet can make me chuckle like my sister can, I decided to test the theory on her. She has always been a willing candidate. Whenever anything has gone awry in my busy life I would call her, visit her, or write to her. I told her what a marvelous sense of humour she had, how exquisite her tongue in cheek was and how she could shoot from the hip like a ‘Parthian Shot’–dead on. I told her she could lift my spirit like no one else. Of course I knew the theory of how flattery can make anyone rise to the cause and she performed in Oscar style. She perfected her ad lib in record time. We laughed. Frequently, often, long and hard. In turn, she taught me to perform, to remember, to deliver. We improved impressively until we became a howling success. Over the years we became very funny, hilarious, merry. Life’s journey, no matter the troubles, was alway, in the end, funny. We healed our numerous broken hearts, poked fun at the serious, the pessimistic and the grumpy. We have had some bad times for certain but even in the dark days we have experienced we still found time to smile and even be light heartedly amused. Now that we are practiced at this art of laughter and merrymaking we employ it at every opportunity and thanks to our children we now practice online using Internet shorthand: LOL, FOMCL–falling off my chair laughing, MLFMNL–milk leaking from my nose laughing which is in itself very funny. We occasionally indulge ourselves in the shameless, inappropriate act of hysterical uncontrollable public laughter, whereby we simply can not get cannot control ourselves. It is contagious and strangers respond never knowing what ws so funny. The original, in-house ,man made drugs; Endorphins has an astonishing effect. We are now both officially old, approaching elderly even and we are happy with our lives. Our default setting is to laugh. When your face stings from such exuberant explosive, unconstrained laughter, when you fall asleep with a smile lingering and when your cheeks are tender the next day then you have mastered the theory of the merry heart. This I believe.
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