As I’ve mentioned a few times, we do humor in our family, even in the darkest moments.  Much of that is a result of growing up with parents that have always showered us with love, compassion and laughter despite the many challenges they have faced. My Mom was diagnosed with MS over 34 years ago.  She was told they had no idea how it would progress, if she would be able to have children, or maybe even worse where she could have children but that she might never get to hold them.

My parents were uncertain about having a child once they heard that news.  But apparently I didn’t get that memo because despite the IUD, there I was.  After me came two more boys, all of us about 3 years apart.  Although Mom’s disease was a part of our family life, it was never something that stopped us.  And they never used MS as tool to control us or influence us.  It was a challenge she and Dad faced, and one of the ways they protected us from this devastating illness was with humor.  No matter how insanely awful things got, my Mom was always the first to laugh and Dad was right there with her.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a grown woman sitting in a wheelchair howling with laughter as tears streamed down her face, barely able to breathe with hilarious joy at some utterly ridiculous moment, but I assure you it is a sight.

My brothers are masters of the art, as well, and we have had some howlers here in this extremely comfy and warm house of horror.

For example, during the awful meeting with the very nice director of the funeral home, there was an unfortunate cabbage incident.

I wore a button-down shirt and shorts and had actually accomplished a shower and shave that day.  Lu was a bit more disheveled having just been in bed resting, but we were both presentable.  The gentleman from the home wore a suit.  Together we discussed the options and how everything would be handled.  Halfway through the conversation Lu looked down at me, then leaned over onto my shoulder attempting to hide her laughter and then once she had composed herself, she discreetly adjusted her shirt.  The gentleman from the funeral home seemed not to notice anything amiss, and I had no idea what was up.

Once the director left Lu turned to me and demanded to know, “Why didn’t you tell me there was cabbage sticking out of my bra!??”

Not for a moment did I even notice that said cabbage was sticking out of said boobage.  The cabbage is there to help dry her milk and keep swelling down.  It is horrible that she has to go through that, but it was definitely funny that she cabbaged the funeral director.

Even better was that during all of that that my brother Mark came back from taking Oren for a walk, and that Mark looked like a homeless person that had robbed a woman of her toddler and Blackberry and made a run for it.

He had on striped blue gym shorts, old brown Crocs and a white shirt so stained it looked more like a map than a piece of clothing.  The Blackberry hanging heavily from the elastic of his shorts and the cute kid in his arms only added to the hilarity.  Meanwhile when he looked in he saw a man in a suit sitting on the couch, Lu with cabbage sticking out of her bra and Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky blasting as we three conversed about how to handle the worst thing ever.

We are fools, but we get by together by embracing the absurd and by cheating sadness of the devastation it attempts to inflict.

The Litany goes on but I’ll save some for another day. More are bound to appear anyway.  They are part and parcel of the sadness of life, but we use them to make light.  The grace and strength and humor of our parents have trained us well to face this terrible challenge.

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