Friday, October 12, 2012

Humor



I have a dear friend who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She’s young, vibrant, funny, and a hopeless optimist. She is a genuine and faithful friend who has stood by me whole-heartedly and without reserve. One of my current book projects is, in fact, her idea. We cried together when she told me the news of her diagnosis, and we vowed to not treat each other differently. This is a complicated promise since things are and will forever be different. But the point she and I are stressing is to continue to relate to each other’s inner beings, and not based on outside conditions or symptoms that plague us.

21-mo-old Elena showing her sense of humor, 2012

One of her greatest gifts to me is humor. One day as we discussed the book idea and how to implement it, she grinned, "You know, Maria, I think people like me and with dementia are a great market for your book. They can keep reading it over and over, and continue to be surprised by your brilliance—we'll never remember we already read it!”


From loosing weight to helping blood vessels function better, scientists have been touting for years the healing power of laughter. Laughing, we are told, no matter what causes it, boosts your immune system, eases muscle tension and generally makes you feel better. [Check out a complete list of benefits here!]

I think perhaps humor’s greatest gift is perspective. It’s not a matter of choosing whether to cry or laugh, but to realize that both are important. Laughter can help us view even the scariest, most serious crisis with the eyes of faith, reminding us that both faith and hope lie in the jurisdiction of that which we cannot see.