Laughter: The Best Medicine

Laughter really is the best medicine. Too many of us have forgotten how to laugh, and have become far too serious. If you don’t believe me, take a look around you. There are too many unhappy people–you can see it in their body language and their faces. It’s not healthy. And life is too short not to make the most of it. I was born into a family that loved to laugh. They also liked to yell a lot, and many fond childhood memories are of family gatherings filled with loud Eastern European voices yelling over each other to be heard punctuated with bursts of hearty laughter. I remember my paternal grandmother laughing so uproariously that tears streamed down her face. Ah, those were the good old days. Everyone in my family has a sharp wit and wicked sense of humor, but my mother...

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Memories, and Ghosts of Christmas Past

Memories are the best part of Christmas celebrations. And making those memories are even better. For most of us, Christmas has come and gone. But not for me, it hasn’t. My decorations are still up, along with my tree. My tree is the only one that lights up the neighborhood at night, and my neighbors are probably wondering why I haven’t given it up yet. However, I cling to my decorations as much as I cling to my memories, and the ghosts of Christmas past. I was born into a family that was lucky enough to celebrate Christmas twice in two weeks. My mother’s parents were from Eastern Europe, and were Serbian Orthodox. That’s a tribe (so to speak) that celebrates Christmas on January 7th instead of December 25th. As a child, it was a little confusing, no matter how many times my mother explained...

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There’s a car in our living room.

It was late winter. It was late enough in the evening for it to be dark outside, but not so late that my 2 older sisters and I were in bed yet. I was 4 years old.  My mother was working on a project at the dining room table. My oldest sister was doing her homework at the kitchen table. My other older sister was in the corner bedroom that the three of us shared. My father wasn’t home. I had just put my pajamas on and walked into the dining room to my Mom, turned around, and asked her to snap up the back of my “jammies”. Just as she started, a horrible series of explosions rocked the house. I fell over backwards and could hear myself and my sisters screaming. My mother immediately reacted and yelled, “Girls, the house is blowing up! Quick, get your coats and shoes and...

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