I’ve been pondering how to approach this week’s post.  I’m quite determined to approach this blog with some sense of regularity, which means that indpiration is not always at my beck and call.

I also swing from the practical nature of a blog which keeps loved ones up to date with the roller coasters of my life, and the more philosophical nature of a blog as a journal.  I love both.  As difficult as my little tangles can be sometimes, I’m well aware that it is much harder for others to hear of them.  Mothers never lose that instinct to protect and shield their children from pain, and the inability to do or change what their children live is surely one of the hardest tasks.  Add in a daughter who is fiercely independent, and you have a recipe for heartbreak!!  The intermediary of the written word allows me to be utterly honest about the facts, but more importantly the emotions of life, without needing to concern myself with the immediacy of loving concern.  That same written word allows the loving ones to think, process and then (hopefully) realise that there really is very little tragedy.  Life is drama of a sort, to all those of us who live it.  What form that drama takes depends on so many things:  from circumstances outside our control, to our reactions both physical and emotional.  Admittedly, some dramas are more unusual than others, and if your drama contains some trigger words (cancer, autism, but also divorce, death and again tsunami, fire), then ears prick up a little more.

My drama has a good few trigger words, but how I live it is what really matters.  In all of the tangles, there is a great deal of simplicity.  There’s a great deal of “normal” when the children fight like cat and dog.  A great deal of “normal” also when we get on our bikes (and power chair) to cycle into town and enjoy coffee and baby chinos.

Tonight was maybe not so “normal”, but was just wonderful!

My very dear friend, Beauty (do go and visit her blog, Adventures with Breast Cancer) is a laughter leader.  Isn’t that amazing, and wonderful and just smile-inducing?  If I’m not mistaken (and I do hope she corrects me if I’m wrong), she graduated as a laughter leader only weeks before being diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer.  Sometimes life plays cruel tricks.  Beauty is a lady I admire with all of my heart.  She, like me has three children, all of whom grapple with disability of one kind or another.  She, unlike me, was left alone a while ago and luckily has since found a Wonderful Man.  She is an inspiration, and sometimes needs to be reminded of that – especially when chemotherapy is doing its ugly thing.

So… Beauty held a laughter workshop at her house this afternoon.  She wanted the practice to help with the possibility of attending a television show dedicated to happiness.  If I am a little cryptic it is only from lack of knowledge, and her concern that she may not make that event due to ugly knight Chemo.  I chose to come with my two home kids.  Sweet Girl and Little Man loved the laughter exercises we did this summer, and I was thrilled to introduce them both to Beauty, and vice versa.

Another friend was also there – new to me.  One of the marvellous things about Beauty is that she is surrounded by beautiful people.  Lady C is another of the threesome club – three children, all with disabilities.  Another statuesque lady from whom I am certain there is much to learn.  The sixth of our group was Beauty’s daughter – a young lady of lovely grace and dignity at the beginning of her adult journey and beginning that journey with beautiful humility.

We laughed!!  A lot!!  Laughter yoga is all about breathing deeply.  As Beauty was keen to have us understand, real and forced laughter are identical in terms of their benefits to our physical and mental health.  And the wonderful thing is that forced laughter in a group always leads to real laughter!  Little Man was fantastic at provoking quite real laughter, and Sweet Girl loved the games we played.  By the end of the session we all had big smiles on our faces, and aching bellies from the laughing!

Much of my social life tends to happen online.  Many of those friends I hold closest in my heart are simply too far to maintain a relationship as close and alive as I want in the “real” world.  So my “facebook” world is alive with women and men who open their hearts and share in the beauty and the pain of their lives and mine.  I consider that completely real.  However, if I get the chance to reach out of the online world and touch their hand I grab it.  One day, I hope to travel to America where I have a cluster of such kindred spirits.  But I know deep down that such a physical meeting is by no means necessary to a true and meaningful friendship.  Tonight I was fortunate enough to spend time with one true friend, and discover another one!

And we laughed the pains of the week away and bolstered each other up for the week ahead.  There are times when I truly love the human spirit…


Click on the “laughing” link, or the picture for a video well worth watching!