Laughter, the best medicine

Have you ever used humor to somewhat mask the devastation that’s going on inside? You know that saying: “Laughter is the best medicine?” I am here to tell you that it works!

When I look back on different events in my husband’s and my life together, it has become clear to me why God created my husband Jesse, with an unbelievably funny sense of humor. The first time he ever jumped he was giggling, literally laughing nervously as he walked towards the door to jump out of his first airplane…tolerating discomfort. He can make anyone laugh in even the most dire circumstances…his Captain would’ve vouched for that if he were still alive.

Studies show that laughter reduces pain and allows us to tolerate discomfort. There was a lot of discomfort in our home, but you better believe a whole lotta laughter!

We have been through many ups and downs in our 11 years of marriage. Isn’t it crazy how the downs can actually be the most impactful of changing you…for the better? If you choose that. We choose that, but not without struggle. Here’s one glimpse into the early years of our marriage…

It was a beautiful night. I had dimmed the lights to start our nighttime routine. The water in our kitchen sink was the perfect temperature for my sweet, three month old, Taggan. We were buddies as Jesse worked diligently to build his gym from the ground up. You see, this was his third poke at a job since we began our marriage two years prior. God has blessed him with a creative, entrepreneurial brain and, for some reason, he hated working for employers. At the time I didn’t know why.

Bath time. You know that feeling as a mom when you’re on schedule; your baby is fed and now your baby will be squeaky clean. I still remember those feelings like that night was yesterday. A knock quickly diminished those feelings as I looked toward our front door. Fear stole the color from my face as I saw two grown men standing in the dark…two men I had never seen before. I quickly grabbed Taggan and wrapped him in his hooded towel. Walking hesitantly to the door, I felt very uncertain of what to do and if I should answer, but there was no turning back as they both stared at me through the window. Holding my sweet baby boy, I opened the door: “What can I help you guys with?” I asked timidly with fear on my face and sweat starting to drip down my back. 

“Ma’am, we’re with the bank, and we’re here to take your car.” They said with emotionless faces. 

Take my car? How can they take my car? That is the car that I use to get groceries with: diapers, wipes, for my baby…that is the car that I go to the hair supply store with so that I can provide for my family…that is the car that I use to bring my son to my mom’s so she can watch him while I work to make whatever money I can…for my family…my family that was struggling and suffering more than I was aware of. I just didn’t know. I just didn’t know anything…I truly didn’t know what exactly my husband’s job was in the military…I didn’t know because he didn’t tell me, he didn’t tell anyone. He couldn’t. He wouldn’t. 

<to be continued…>

Written by Tara Johnson-Brower