Friday, May 30, 2003

This morning I was talking to a client about it alleviates stress, and in some ways becomes a safe haven for dealing with challenging situations. A very special couple published a book their son, David Saltzman wrote on just that subject, soon after being diagnosed with cancer. Even in spite of the challenges he was facing he wrote and illustrated this magnificent book called "The Jester has Lost His Jingle." And in it, (I won’t tell you the whole story because I feel everyone would benefit from owning it) you’re reminded to keep your sense of humour no matter what’s going on in your life.

Through one of my son’s many surgeries in his short lifetime, I remember one of his surgeons telling me that he wasn’t allowed to laugh for at least a month, preferably 6 weeks until the fragile nerve grafts they constructed would have a chance to heal. I knew that would be impossible. Michael would find something funny about everything around him, even more so if he was told he wasn’t allowed to laugh. So instead, we found a way for him to laugh noiselessly and not shake his body. It came in handy when he turned to me, a few days after a marathon 30 hour surgery, 10 minutes after the doctor’s instructions, body braced from head to toe, and, while looking at the play structure in the back of Ronald McDonald House said "Could I take a run down the slide?"

We both burst out laughing...him silently and still. That’s what got us through each and every operation and what came afterwards. Laughter. There’s nothing healthier....or more healing than finding something to laugh about, even if it’s ourselves. I learn something new from my son each and every day...most of all courage, and the reminder that there’s always something to smile or laugh about.

Donna Karlin

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