I had a very awkward moment while talking with a nurse yesterday. She called to schedule my appointment with a cardiologist. After we had it scheduled, I explained that I am a caregiver and I don't have a sitter for my son. I asked about COVID protocol and if it was okay if I brought him to this initial appointment. She said it was fine and that there are no limitations on visitors in place. She said - as long as he will wear a mask. I assured her that he can wear a mask - then I chuckled and said - "He'll have to - he can't move his arms so he can't take it off." I thought it was funny but then a very awkward silence followed.
Now I admit I can have a weird sense of humor, and I can make a joke about almost anything. While it wasn't an awkward moment for me, I felt bad if I made her feel uncomfortable. She'll get used to me - I know it's an adjustment. (lol) But it made me do some thinking about when it's okay to laugh. That statement wouldn't have been funny to me at all right after his accident.
We learned to laugh to keep from crying as my mom went through dementia. Somehow seeing the humor made the pain a bit more bearable. Some of the antics she pulled were hilarious - and we would laugh together and then cry together.
We are (hopefully) coming out of a pandemic and there hasn't been a lot to laugh about. It felt very irreverent to laugh or make jokes at first, didn't it? But eventually, as a whole, we began to laugh and even write songs about the woes we've faced as we forged through some of the world's toughest days.
Some days we can't laugh until we get through it, right? Come on - you're caregivers, you know all those unspoken things we "aren't allowed" to talk about - like bowel catastrophes. (There, I said it!) We can find ourselves in some crazy situations and once we have resolved them we may sit down and cry it all out. But then later, we find the humor. When it's not so in our faces, then we laugh and laugh.
We know that tears can be healing - but so is laughter. It's okay to laugh. We need to laugh. It literally can help lower blood pressure and relieve tension in your body. So, go ahead and laugh. Watch a funny movie. Listen to silly songs. Laugh.
Think about it this way - when we can laugh (at funny stuff - not serious stuff), we are saying we trust God with it. There's a freedom that comes when we can laugh while we are going through, even if others don't understand us. That nurse didn't get it. Most don't get that I am okay when it looks like I shouldn't be. Are we supposed to be down and depressed and sad all the time? I refuse to succumb to that. You know as well as I do that I have my moments. And I know that you have yours. But ultimately we are trusting God to get us through whatever we are facing and working through, right? It's okay to laugh. It's our way of showing that the circumstances haven't won - we are still "in there" somewhere under the caregiver's load - and we are still alive. Better than that - we are thriving because of our trust in our God.
Today, I will purposefully lighten up. It's my way of saying I know you've got this God. I refuse to be burdened to the ground with the load, even though it's heavy. Maybe I'll take a break from work to watch a silly movie (no dramas. lol), read a book, or play a computer game. It sounds a bit silly - but it is a true faith statement - one that says I trust Him for the outcome of this day, this week, this year, this journey. It's part of trusting Him. I will lighten up today and trust Him for one more day - will you join me?