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When Your Schtick is Schtuck

I think my schtick is stuck. I haven’t felt much like blogging lately. Funny ain’t easy, you know, especially when a freak earthquake literally pulls the rug out from under you and, in the wake of a hurricane, chronic pain prevents you from getting out of bed in the morning or even wanting to try. The past few weeks have been hard on a lot of people. It’s difficult to laugh or even smile as you claw your way out of the rubble of natural disaster, illness, terrorism, prison, abuse, addiction, or even the everyday emotional and financial upheavals of life.

     Thankfully, laughter and tears are often two sides of the same coin. As in Ecclesiastes 3:4, there is “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” I believe that some of the best jokes are those that make you nod your head and say, “Amen! I have experienced that too. I have lived it and survived to laugh about it.” Some of the funniest comedians are those that have rebounded from tragedy.

     A few years ago, my dad fainted and fell after a bad reaction to medicine. At the time, my mom and I didn’t know what was wrong with him and were scared out of our minds. Mom tried to step over him so she could get to the phone. Her foot missed the floor and she stepped down with her full weight on Dad’s lower abdomen. Dad sat straight up and hollered “Whoa!” Then, he flopped back down again and began to snore. Mom and I looked at each other and started laughing and then we started dialing 911.

     We went from not knowing whether he was alive to breathing a sigh of relief that he was going to be OK. We could think clearly and take action to get him to the hospital. That moment of absurdity had broken the high tension. Mom’s misstep is legend in our family, although Dad doesn’t remember. Today, I look back and remember how scared I was at the time, but what sticks with me the most is the laughter that came after the tears.

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