Monday, May 25, 2015

Humor is the Spice that Makes Life Easier




 
In Memory of all of those who have loved and protected us throughout the years

~~~
 

I learned many years ago that if you can find even one piece of humor in a traumatic situation, you need to glom onto it and savor it. Humor can help you through some rough times.

Remember, when writing fiction, the same applies.

I’m going to relate a personal story about how a bird has helped me through my own recent tragedy – with humor.

My husband recently passed away, suddenly and unexpectedly. I was devastated, and that’s putting it mildly.

The morning after he passed I took a cup of tea and settled outside on the patio. We have a small pond with a waterfall, and it was filled with a dozen goldfish. A remote is used to turn on the waterfall, and the sound is so soothing that I immediately stood up and tried to turn it on, but it wouldn’t start. However, that’s not the gist of this story.

I sat down, and looking up I saw a crane/heron, I’m not sure which, on the roof of the house behind us. I know they turn up occasionally at the nearby lake, but I’ve never seen one around my home. Feeling a little sappy at the time, I thought, Oh, that’s Al and he’s letting me know everything is going to be okay. The bird hung around for about half an hour, just sitting and staring at me. I grabbed my camera and took his picture, but I haven’t had the film developed yet or you could see him.

End of story, right? No. The next day the crane/heron returned. This time he climbed down the neighbor’s roof, a little closer to me, and sat and stared at me again. Oh, my, how I thought my husband really wanted me to know things would be okay.

The third day the crane/heron returned and I was amazed. My heart leapt, knowing how much my husband cared for me. That is, until I walked over to feed the fish and they were gone! The bird had eaten all of the fish.

Now it’s the end of the story, right? No. Some friends came over to help me with things and one of them threw a pebble into the pond. Two fish came rushing out from under a rock overhang. Oh, my gosh! The stupid bird had missed two of the fish! I ran for the fish food and tossed them some pellets.

In the meantime, my daughter tried to turn on the waterfall and it started right up. Uh, my husband always turned it on in the morning, and I always turned it off at night. It seems I’d been pushing the Off button out of habit. Problem solved and at least two fish had survived.

Now it’s the end of the story. No it’s not. On the fourth day I got out the fish food – enough for two fish – and strolled over to feed them. Six fish had finally worked up the nerve to come out from under the rocks. Mr. Crane/Heron didn’t get to fill his belly on his recent pond raid.

So what’s so funny about all of this? My husband had a wonderful sense of humor and this felt like something he might have orchestrated. In my own way, I still feel as though he’s been telling me to pull myself up by my bootstraps (not the way he would have worded it) and take care of business.

Yes, I honestly believe that in life, and in fiction, sometimes you have to let humor do a little healing.

Until next week, look for the humor in what life throws your way.

CLICK HERE to visit Marja McGraw’s website (Recently updated)
CLICK HERE for a quick trip to Amazon.com

Interesting note, at least to me. My husband came up with a few of my book titles. How Now Purple Cow was one of his best ideas. The story has to do with purple cows and elderly spies. Great title!

32 comments:

  1. Hi Marja, thanks for such a profound post. I realize that the sorrow of losing a loved one can never diminish but it's good to know that you are being brave and strong enough not to let your grief overwhelm you, and are trying to focus on the humour of your experiences. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

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    1. Thank you, Ramla. Sometimes we have to focus on something that will leave us feeling better. That crane/heron did the trick, to some extent.

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  2. This was a most enlightening post--glad to hear you can laugh at things. You're amazing, Marja!

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    1. Humor helps us cope, Marilyn. At least, it works for me. I hope others can recall funny stories about their loved ones and at least smile.

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  3. Great examples, Marja. I love the happy ending of the fish evading the crane. The DH's cousin had a fancy waterfall pond with expensive fish, and one year a blue heron dropped by and ate most of them. They weren't as lucky as your fish. Maybe the blue heron liked expensive food!

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    1. LOL Thank you for a chuckle, Morgan! Apparently our heron wasn't picky.

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  4. Thank you for sharing this, Marja. Indeed, humor gets us through a lot of hard times. I hope things go well for you and your fish.

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    1. Me and my fish. Thank you for another chuckle, Susan. At least our dogs don't go after the fish. They tried to scare the heron away, but he wasn't intimidated.

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  5. Marlene Beddow BrownMay 25, 2015 at 8:03 AM

    I cannot even imagine the grief you are feeling, but I so admire the amazing way you have of relating this story to us. God has a way of letting us know everything will be OK, and I believe He and your husband have done just that with the bird and fish. Praying for you Marja

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    1. Thank you, Marlene. Al had a wonderful sense of humor, as does God, and I think they knew what I could related to. Thank you so much for the prayers.

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  6. I love the way you shared your experience, Marja. I know that God and Al are watching over you, and that your friends' and family's love and support will help to ease the pain over time. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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    1. Thank you, Jean! My friends have offered more support than one would expect. We've talked about his humor and it's helped us all. Thank you for your prayers.

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  7. Marja,
    You have a gift: the ability to see humor in every situation, even the most difficult. It comes out in the posts on your blog and in your books, which I fondly refer to as "feel good mysteries." My prayers are with you!

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    1. Thank you, Pat! Without humor I think many of us would crawl under the bed and try to hide from life, not a good course of action. Thank you for your prayers!

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  8. Marja, this is the most wonderful blog post I've ever read. There are tears in my eyes and a smile on my face.

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    1. Thank you, Madeline! Maybe this was a good story for Memorial Day, too. And your reaction sounds like me on a daily basis lately.

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  9. Marja, you are amazing. Great blog post. Humorous and ironic.You have such a wonderful sense of humor. I'm so glad I met you all those years ago at Love is Murder.

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    1. Thank you, Evelyn! I'm glad we met, too. I love making new friends, and you're among those. Well, I guess you're not "new" anymore. : )

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  10. Thank you, Marja. I was worried about you. A sudden, terrible loss. But I now see you will be okay. You will handle the tough times and relish the good times. We will all hope we can do as well. Thank you for a great post - one that we should all remember.

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  11. Thank you, Jim! Like my husband used to say, we're survivors. We do what we have to do when we have to do it. But I have to admit, I miss him so much that the humor doesn't always help. I feel like I'm on a roller coaster. 'Nuff said.

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  12. What a lovely post and wonderful way of expressing the presence of the heron.

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    1. Thank you, Pat! My neighbors just told me they saw the heron, too, and they couldn't figure out why it had singled out our home. They also said they couldn't believe how big he was and that they'd never seen one around here, either.

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  13. When I saw the word "humor" before reading your post, I wondered -- why and what could be funny after her (your) loss? But this IS a very funny story, and it sure seems as if Al or your "higher power" is looking after you! This should be shared with bereavement groups, Marja. They'd love it and benefit from reading it.

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    1. Thank you, Eileen! I hope it benefits someone. Yes, I believe the Lord is looking after me, and I'm not sure how I'd handle things if He wasn't.

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  14. Dear, sweet Marja, what a lovely story! I am truly sorry for your loss but I would agree that was Al.

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    1. Thank you, Sheila! Yes, Al definitely had his own sense of humor. Maybe he doesn't want me to forget. : )

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  15. Lovely story, Marja, and so touching. My sincere condolences on your recent loss. You're amazing.

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    1. Thank you, Anne! I'm not sure about amazing, but in between the "I can't handle this" moments come the smiles.

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  16. Marja, what a lovely story. I am sorry about the loss of your husband.

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    1. Thank you, Susan! My husband always managed to give me humorous stories to pass on.

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  17. You do know how to paint a word picture. Still think it was Al giving you a bit of a laugh. You are a strong person and your bootstraps are in full up. Keep smiling.

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  18. Thank you, Jake! If it's Al, then he's also made some dying tomato plants return to life and I have two tomatoes growing. Honestly, these plants were almost dead.

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