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.
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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!