Sitting at my desk I saw my gift. Jude and Charlie, my grandsons 5 and 3, had given me the gift for my birthday. A handmade booklet of 7 jokes on little colored index cards. They were tied together with a thin yellow ribbon.
On the cover are written the words, “Laughter is the Best Medicine.” The answers on each page were hand written by Jude. On the back there was an original little sketch by Charlie. They included two little rainbows and at least one apple. The whole book was designed by their tender-hearted mother.
The love that went into this gift was apparent the day they gave it to me.
They beamed as I opened it.
“Shall I read one now?” I asked.
“Yes!” they giggled.
But one joke was not enough. One by one we read each joke laughing our hearts out. It didn’t matter that I knew most of these jokes. Love made me laugh.
Last week I was sad on the anniversary date of a loved ones death. Jude picked up my gift and said,
“Grandma, maybe you need to read one of your jokes?”
A laugh bubbled up inside of me until I let it burst.
And then, he said, “Oh, maybe you don’t.”
And so we sat, going through each joke one more time, laughing like it was the first time.
I’m thankful for our feelings. I remember when I’d be in emotional pain wishing I didn’t feel anything. I learned food could numb my pain.
The problem was when we numb our feelings all of them are numbed. God created our emotions so we could fully experience life.
I found when I embraced my feelings it worked much better than denying them, stuffing them down or numbing them.
And the wonderful result is, once you embrace them and feel what you’re feeling you are free. Free to feel like never before; with joy unspeakable.
So, the next time you’re hurting, try embracing your feelings. And later, you’ll be able to laugh out loud. And if you need to hear a good joke …