Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Humor Is Where You Inherit It!

There is a joke in my husband's family, oft repeated.

The joke as told by my husband, "I will be the only 90 year old man
taking his 120 year old father to the doctor."

As Maven readers know, this joke is now sadly moot. I have often commented on marrying into this family of Montanans. This family has two admirable traits. They THINK they can fix anything and the telling of any story requires a touch of western humor.

Here I sit, between the family rock and the hard place. I don't recall ever fixing anything and my humor has always been questionable. So, what is my contribution? My job is witness. I have been a willing witness to the fixing and the humor for over forty-one years, but never more so than the last few weeks.

Both of these traits were called into question with the recent family troubles leading to the death of my father-in-law.

When my father-in-law became ill, the Montanans circled the wagons, put their heads together and tried to come up with solutions to fix things. Now, in this family fixing usually requires J.B. Weld. I've seen my father-in-law use it to fix his dentures, but it's never been tried on the human heart. Although it was suggested.

In the last week, my father-in-law fell out of bed several times. "Got a solution?" he asked. Duct tape was the collective response. "That should work," was his answer. They did what they could.

He suffered two strokes and three heart attacks in the seven days leading up to his death. After the strokes, he choked. He choked on everything including water. To combat this, the doctor had a thickener added to his fluids and food. Stop him eating and drinking too fast, they thought. My father-in-law hated this.

"Louie, what would you like to drink?" the nurse asked.

"Whiskey," my father-in-law replied.

"Whiskey?" the surprised nurse asked.

"Yep," he answered. "I never cared for whiskey, so if you're going to ruin something it might as well be something I don't like."

His mind was razor sharp to the very end, and as you can see, so was his sense of humor. It is appropriate to smile here! He would have encouraged it. These would have been some of his favorite stories. I am witness to this.


Blogger Dorene from Ohio said...

You explained the essence of your father in law so well! How wonderful that he kept his sense of humor up to the end.

January 26, 2011 at 4:16 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your father-in-law. No doubt the angels are enjoying his humor now.

January 26, 2011 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger Greta Koehl said...

I hope you and your husband's family are able to recall and capture as many of your-father-in-law's stories and jokes as possible - what a great treasure he was, and what a great treasure he leaves behind.

January 26, 2011 at 5:03 PM  
Blogger Anie said...

What a wonderful man. He sounds just like my grandfather. My grandma just passed away a little while ago, and what a great thing that you guys are "circling the wagons" and remembering your heritage. My grandma used to say that too. Much love.

January 26, 2011 at 5:29 PM  
Blogger Cynthia Shenette said...

I've learned to never underestimate the power of humor. Sometimes when all else fails, humor is what'll get you through.

So sorry for your family's loss. He sound like quite a man.

January 26, 2011 at 5:58 PM  
Anonymous Judy said...

Sorry for your loss. glad you have his humor and yours to see you through it.

Judy and Pat

January 26, 2011 at 6:55 PM  
Blogger Leslie Ann said...

He sounds like a wonderful character. I am sure he is smiling down at you all.

January 27, 2011 at 3:40 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

I'm smiling, and smiling again.

January 27, 2011 at 7:48 AM  
Blogger Jasia said...

I'm sorry for your loss, dear Maven. But I'm sooo happy to see you writing again. You're the best!

January 27, 2011 at 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Linda Gartz said...

So sorry for the loss of a man who could keep his sense of humor intact to the bitter (and I mean that literally) end. I was the designated writer for all the funeral services of near ones -- and the humorous side of the departed was what I tried to emphasize. That's what we want to remember -- to make us smile.

February 1, 2011 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger Jennie said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your father-in-law. As a native Montanan, I knew you were going to say duct tape before I got to that line.

Speak his name often and remember him well and he'll never be far away.

February 2, 2011 at 8:40 PM  

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