Posts Tagged ‘Erma Bombeck’


Slow Reader Thursday: Laughter from Heaven…


I have sometimes been compared with Erma Bombeck. No joke. I am so humbled by that mere thought. Another woman also understood what it was like to be compared to Erma. Her name was Barbara Johnson. I’ve had Ms. Johnson’s book, Laughter from Heaven, for ages and have just failed to read it. When I say I am a Slow Reader, I mean it.

If anyone had a reason not to laugh, it was Barbara Johnson. She lost her two sons, five years apart from each other. After she was diagnosed with brain cancer, her husband also was diagnosed and died shortly thereafter. In between she broke both of her arms and lost a tooth. She was also estranged from one of her remaining two sons. She was diabetic, too. But despite all of this adversity, Barbara chose to laugh and share the funny things she found with others.

Laughter from Heaven details these humorous findings. So much so that Facebook is now replete with them. And yet there is poignancy in her descriptions of her life during this phase. She humorously described how her wig would get stuck on the staples on her head from cancer surgery in one account. As I read this story, I could not help but think, “No one ever tells you that, when you get brain cancer, one of your biggest hassles will be getting your wig stuck to your bald head!” But, Barbara Johnson did and that frankness has made it easier for the rest of us to be real about our Christian lives.

I have had to do similar things, thanks to my lovely health adventures. Tomorrow I will be detailing yet one more visit to the doctor for routine check-ups. And I hope it makes you chuckle or smile. Because this is the stuff we just can’t get around some times. And so laughter and smiling and joy are the only ways to combat such sobering stuff. Indeed, they are the best weapons against letting the “monsters” win.

Sadly, Barbara lost her battle with cancer in 2007. And Erma Bombeck has also passed.

Guess that means just one thing. I need to do them proud.

Tomorrow’s Post: Caught with my pants down yet again…