In Others’ Words: Is to Laugh

“Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.” ~ Bill Cosby, comedian

Long, long ago, I was a mom of one little boy. This little guy had been sick for days.There was no leaving the house — we didn’t dare wander too far from the bathroom.

Finally — 24 hours of all-is-well. So, I call Sara, my mom-friend, and suggest an outing to the mall. Not that I had any money to spend, but, hey! let’s just get out of the house for the morning.

Two moms. Two preschoolers buckled in car seats. Freedom. The mall — a mom’s mecca — in sight. And then … what’s that ominous noise I’m hearing in the back seat? I pull the car over to the side of the road. Exit the car, stage left. Open the back door to check on my toddler son … duck in the car …

And my son throws up in my face.

All over me.


In silence, I calm my crying son. Clean him off. Walk back to the driver’s seat and get back into the car. I can see the mall … so close and yet so far away. Sara asks, “Are you OK?”

“Give me a minute, ” I say, as I wipe throw up off my face, my coat. “I can’t think of anything funny about this right now. But give me a minute …”

And then we both start laughing. And laughing.

Because, really, what else can we do? Cry?

In Your Words: When have you survived a difficult or painful situation with a little bit of laughter?

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  1. February 22, 2012, 12:47 am   /  Reply

    Oh, Beth, what a picture you paint. I’m so sorry you had that experience, but I’m glad you were able to find some humor in it.

    I marvel at how many similarities we have. I, too, have been in the wrong spot at the wrong time. When I was twelve, I shared a bunk bed with my with eight-year-old sister. One night just after we’d crawled in our beds, she leaned over the rail of the top bunk to tell me she was going to be sick. And she was. All over me. Unlike you, I didn’t laugh at the time, but I can laugh about it now. The way I see it, the Lord was just preparing me for motherhood. 🙂

  2. February 22, 2012, 4:43 am   /  Reply

    I laughed out loud in my little office reading this story. I think I’ve had many similar moments, so I could relate. And when all else fails–laugh. Love it!

  3. February 22, 2012, 5:31 am   /  Reply

    There are so many to choose from…
    Once a friend and I were traveling to Biloxi from Northeast Mississippi by way of Jackson. Three hours later when we should’ve been arriving in Biloxi, we notice a lot of Spanish Moss hanging from the trees and a lot of Louisiana tags…then a sign that read New Orleans 34 miles. We’d missed our turn. No problem, we’d just cross Lake Pontchartrain and hit I-10. Then we noticed our gas tank sat on E. And not just on E, but all the way on the wrong side of Empty. Lake Pontchartrain is 24 miles long. No way off. One of us muttered something about two crazy women stranded on the bridge, and that set us off. We laughed and prayed (really hard). But we made it…even made it to our speaking engagement with 1 minute to spare.

  4. February 22, 2012, 6:28 am   /  Reply

    I can’t think of a time off the top of my head, but it’s so true. Laughter is truly the best medicine.

  5. February 22, 2012, 6:30 am   /  Reply

    I love this story! Love it! It’s b/c laughter is healing and also b/c I remember caring for my sick daughter all night as she threw up. At one point she grabbed me by the collar and said, “I hope I give this to you.” I laughed. But she did, that little bugger gave it to me alright.
    ~ Wendy

  6. February 22, 2012, 6:38 am   /  Reply

    This is great. And I think similar variations happen in many families. I remember my younger son being very sick one winter, for days. And a friend brought her guitar and played children’s praise songs, and then silly songs, until Aaron totally laughed–and soon the fever broke and he soon beat that sickness.
    Twice when I’ve been sick the right book came to me at the right time, once James Herriot’s All Creatures Great And Small, and I laughed until my fever broke, too, and I got well.

  7. Jeanne T
    February 22, 2012, 7:12 am   /  Reply

    Oh Beth. I love your voice. 🙂 I love that you were able to laugh in that situation. I believe learning to laugh in the times that try the soul is a learned response. Learning to choose that rather than the easier one of crying.

  8. February 22, 2012, 7:29 am   /  Reply

    Laughter definitely helps. At my dads funeral, there was tons of laughter. Not because we were glad he was gone, but because he had lived such a good life and he LOVED to laugh. My dad could find humor in almost anything and he left us with a plethora of good memories! Laughter helped us through that painful time.

    I like the Cosby quote.

  9. February 22, 2012, 7:35 am   /  Reply

    Great picture you paint with words! Yuck!!

    I went through hell-on-earth to bring my son into this world, so after we brought him home from the hospital and he would cry (from hunger, illness, diapers…) I never got upset but would laugh instead.

    My husband was amazed because he had heard that new moms always get stressed out when babies cry, but here I was laughing! I told him that I had no idea why I was laughing that my son was allergic to his formula and vomited all over everything or that he had a high fever…but for some reason, his little face just looked so adorable all crinkled up when he cried! I just had to laugh and sing to him.

    My son outgrew his allergy and started to pack on the pounds, but I was always so grateful to the Lord for giving me patience during those first few months of being a mom. He was the one who put laughter in me and I was so glad for that.


  10. Karen S. Elliott
    February 22, 2012, 7:38 am   /  Reply

    My personal favorite is the total-diaper-blow-out-failure. As a mom and now a MoMo, I have experienced a lot of those. You have to laugh about it!

  11. February 22, 2012, 8:02 am   /  Reply

    At least you were close to the mall. Did you go in and buy a new top? You totally had good reason. 🙂

    Yes, laughter is a wonderful medicine. Those laugh-cry moments also make fun memories. When my sister got married, right as she was about to leave for her honeymoon, she gave me a hug and suddenly started crying…which made me start crying…and then we said at the same time, “I don’t know why I’m crying!” …we both burst out laughing…good times!

  12. February 22, 2012, 8:43 am   /  Reply

    Oh, you’ve got every mother in your audience laughing and crying at the same time. You’ve captured the feeling that we all know PERFECTLY!

  13. February 22, 2012, 8:56 am   /  Reply

    Oh, dear….laughing with you at this, Beth. What a wonderful post. Laughter truly is a gift, isn’t it?

  14. February 22, 2012, 9:32 am   /  Reply

    I just love the way you write, Beth. So real and honest, yet always seeing the bright side. The God side. And the laughter. I’m impressed that you could even think to TRY to find laughter in that moment. Laughter is just as much a relase as crying. Sometimes I do both at once. Either way, calm and equilibrium return. So thankful for God’s grace when we having trouble finding laughter.

  15. Beth Vogt
    February 22, 2012, 11:12 am   /  Reply

    I hope to chime in more later, friends. Enjoying visiting FL friends!!


  16. February 22, 2012, 1:50 pm   /  Reply

    Just last night my husband and I were recounting some of the things my 2-year-old said during the day and we totally cracked up. I love laughter, especially the real belly-aching, tears in the eyes kind. It can infuse all sorts of happiness into your day/life.

  17. February 22, 2012, 10:08 pm   /  Reply

    Oh, Beth! After the last couple of weeks I have had I could have written this post! Sometimes the only thing to do is laugh, or cry… or both works exceptionally well 🙂 Life is a crazy mixture of so many great and not so great things. Whoever said that ‘Laughter is the best medicine’ sure knew how to cure whatever ailes you!

  18. February 23, 2012, 6:34 am   /  Reply

    Oh man, moms know all about getting strange and disgusting things on the face. Yuck! 🙂

    Great reminder, Beth. And one I need often.

  19. February 23, 2012, 7:07 am   /  Reply

    Laughter is definitely my go to medicine!
    Hope you are having a great week Beth 🙂

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