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  1. Oh Sweet Mystery of life

    Monday, August 6, 2012


    My mom just celebrated her 74th birthday.

    I’ve said it over and over again in my life that I am very grateful for the parental lot that I’ve been given in life for a number of reasons.  But the thing I’m most grateful for is that my parents taught me not to take myself so seriously.

    Not only are my parents both hysterically funny, but they can both laugh at themselves. 

    When I was little, if I was angry at something, my mom would always, I mean always, come into my room and say, “I’ll give you one million dollars if you don’t laugh,” and then she’d make all these crazy faces and do all of these whacky things until I’d break out in peals of laughter.  She still uses this tactic with her grandchildren.

    My best friend’s mom, Lois, used to do the same thing, only she’s sing in her Opera voice.  I’d walk into her house and hear her mother’s Operetta going on.  "Oooooooh Sweet Mystery of life at last I've fouuuunnnndddd youuuuuuuuuuuuu!"

    I’d ask, “Were you fighting?”
    Mayr would just roll her eyes.  Of course to make matters worse I'd call out to her mom, “Do AVE MARIA!!!”  and from the basement we'd hear,  "AAAAAAAAAAAAAA VAAAAAAAAAYYYYY  MAAARRRIIIIIIIIIII YAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" 
    And of course, Mayr couldn't help but laugh.


    Laughter was the cure for anything.  ANYTHING.  Whenever the situation became too heavy, we could fix it, even temporarily with laughter.

    When my brother was in the hospital, in a coma, we all sat by his bedside round-the- clock.  My sister and I had found his iPod and put it on the table next to his hospital bed so that he could hear his favorite music.  One afternoon, we were sitting by his side flipping through the music.  We started commenting on the eclectic taste that he had in music.  He had everything from Metallica to The Carpenters in one playlist.  Somehow,  at my brother’s (who was in a coma, mind you) side our conversation turned into trying to remember the brother Carpenter’s name. 

    I remember saying, “Was it David?” 

    My sister replied, “No, no, it wasn’t David.  It was something like Carl.”

    I retorted, “No, it wasn’t Carl.  Really, Lisa?  Carl Carpenter?  Maybe Daniel?”

    Then my sister said, “Yeah.  Daniel.  Hey.  Look at Chip’s (my brother) eyebrows.  It looks like they’re moving.  Well if anybody’d know what the brother Carpenter’s name was it would be Chip."

    I said, “It looks like he’s trying to tell us something.  Was it Daniel?  Nope.  He looks angry.”

    “David?  I don’t think it’s David either.  Boy, he’s got to be frustrated.  You think he can hear us?”

    “I don’t know.  It’s gonna bug me until I get home to google the brother Carpenter’s name.”

    A day or so later, my brother came out of his coma.  When my sister and I got to the hospital, he looked at us and yelled, “RICHARD, YOU ASSHOLES!”

    I guess he heard us.

    Seems that there’s very little silliness in this world today.   Politics, religion, chicken, even in comedy (some comics take themselves WAY TOO seriously).   People just get so angry about their agendas.

    I think that if a lot of people just started singing opera or made stupid faces to get each other to laugh, they’d be a lot less angry about birth certificates, tax returns, what constitutes a family, or Dale Carpenter.

    Boy am I grateful that the adults who raised me taught me to laugh at myself.
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