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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Comic Relief

We've gone through a period of intense emotions around here.  It's been from the top of the highest peak, to the lowest point in the valley.  Sometimes, it's been a struggle to just maintain a mid-level point of "normalcy".  But we're trying.

The good part is, we've been blessed with another week with Ellie.  That's a week more than the vets thought we would have.  She's doing okay.  She just gets tired easily and so she rests a lot.  Her walks are now just a few blocks, when they used to be a couple miles.  But she's hanging in there, and she's giving us OH so much love.

The one thing that's helped to keep us (especially me) on an even keel is the comic banter between Bryson and Caris.  Over the past week there have been pretty tough, ugly moments where the fear and anxiety took over and nerves were at their most frayed.  I thought I'd need to hide cutlery.  But more often, in between those times, there have been the sinews of laughter that held us together.  Yes, they are laughing at each other's expense, but it is joyful and it is bonding.  Most of all, it is healing. 

Last night, I honestly thought I was going to have to leave the room because I couldn't take much more without losing it.  Bryson just seems to have a gift for getting his sister going.  His mother too, for that matter.  We were all in the living room watching Jeopardy.  Bryson was making fun of a contestant's name.  Caris wasn't going to have any of that:

Caris:  "Dude.  YOU have the word "son" in your name.  How stupid."
Bryson:  "Well, YOU have the sound "iss" in your name.  Like 'penis'."

I laughed the kind of laugh that is out of your control.  The kind where you snort.  The kind where you think you just might not make it to the bathroom in time.  I'm pretty sure it was my reaction that sent the two of them into their own fits.  We were all teary-eyed and out of breath.  It went on for a good five minutes.  The funniest part is that Charlie was right there, sitting on the couch, while all of this was going on, and in the middle of our hysteria, he looks around and says; "Did I miss something?"  We all looked at each other and then lost ourselves in another bout of laughter.  Only Charlie could tune that craziness out and be completely oblivious.  Bless him.

Just a few nights ago, I was lying in bed and heard Caris and Bryson laughing in the living room.  I went out to check on them.  They were watching SNL and the musical guest band was Alabama Shakes.  I stood in the doorway and watched for a moment. 

Me:  "Wow, I love their sound.  But the lead singer is kinda hard to watch."

Caris then tells me the reason they were both laughing so hard before I walked in.

Caris:  "We were watching them, and when they were done, it was really quiet.  Then Bry says; 'Dude, how many hot dogs do you think that chick can fit in her mouth at once?'  I lost it."

It's been this way for years.  Bryson knows just what buttons to push to keep things light.  Sure, there are those days when I think they're going to hurt each other because they're so mad at one another over silly things, like brothers and sisters are apt to do.  But I am so grateful for these moments of levity that keep us sane.  Especially when things have been so tough. 

I love my live-in comic relief.


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