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Bright side of life

By By Janet Little Cooper
Most of us are familiar with the phrase – laughter is the best medicine. I would certainly have to agree. I love to laugh and more so than that I love to make other people laugh, even if it is at my own expense.
I have had periods of time in my life when I didn't laugh. I couldn't. Things were taking place in my life that was far from funny. You know those times. You wish you could laugh but laughter just could not come from such a circumstance or time in your life.
Because I have had so many of those periods void of laughter in my life, one of my goals before I turn 40 is to laugh and to laugh hard and laugh loud.
I will be 39 on Nov. 18, so I figured that if I started on Oct. 1, I would have 492 days to laugh before I hit the big 4-0. Now of course, I have many other things that I hope to accomplish in that time frame as well, which I may share with you later.
But for now I need the laughter. After spending six weeks confined to my home, no driving and very little walking, laughter beats the alternative.
I don't know what it is about my family, and me but I have noticed that we laugh at the strangest times. The day I went flying through the air six weeks ago damaging my knee, between screams for help, came laughter. I laughed and I cried all at the same time. I've always done that and have noticed that my mom does the same thing.
The day our sports editor Matt, threw my mom off the four-wheeler, all she could do as she lay on the ground was laugh. I couldn't even tell Matt that we lost her because I couldn't stop laughing.
My mom has been a tremendous help to me through this entire ordeal with my knee and if it weren't for her I don't think I would be laughing.
She and I do not always see eye to eye, but we can certainly laugh well together. All it takes is for one of us to get started and we can't stop.
My mom has had to step way out of her comfort zone since my accident. She does not like to drive in Pensacola. She hates the traffic and interstate.
I haven't been able to drive since Aug. 12, the day of my injury. Mom has been my chaperone to all of the tests, doctor's visits and physical therapy appointments.
She has pushed me around in wheelchairs, carried my crutches and even painted my toenails. I told her that something was definitely wrong with the picture. It should be me taking care of her, not the other way around.
But my mom knows me better than anyone and knows that I can't walk for falling, I can't eat without dropping food on my clothes and I certainly can't drink without spilling it.
I am an accident waiting to happen, so why not laugh about it.
We have bent over double in laughter as she has tried to cram my foot in the car door, pushed me in the wheelchair to the car and let me go and the fact that the motorized chairs in Wal-Mart really make the sound 'beep-beep' when you back up.
It is a miracle that she and I haven't crashed my car as of yet on our many trips back and forth to the doctor. I say that she drives like a maniac and she tells me that she is perfectly capable of driving. Laughter ensues as I 'talk' her step-by-step through the Pensacola traffic and I'm pretty sure I wet myself the day I got her onto the interstate. I don't think that will be happening again any time soon.
And then there was the day; we carried my car to be serviced after a doctor's appointment. They were trying to repair a short in my radio and in the process caused my blinkers to stop working.
Heaven forbid, we discovered that we had a radio but no blinkers right in the middle of rush hour traffic in Pensacola and mom was in the wrong lane. Laugh – you bet. We laughed so hard that day.
Mom has also turned some really difficult sessions of physical therapy into laughter for me as well as painful visits to the doctor.
As you read this, I will be finding out from my doctor about the latest status of my knee and if and when surgery will take place.
As she has been, my mom will be by my side and I am certain we will find something to laugh about. As I said before, laughter beats the alternative.
I hope you laugh!
Janet Little Cooper is editor of The Atmore Advance. She can be reached at 368-2123.