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When moving forward in to each day as a caregiver to a stroke survivor there are moments that are simply excruciating. It can be the late night awakening to assist him to the bathroom when I have had little to no sleep, a strong arm hold when he is leaning toward a potential fall, or remaining calm during his uncontrolled emotional outburst due to stroke. There are moments when I feel like the rug has been pulled out from under me and I don’t have the energy to get up. As a caregiver to my husband for Eleven months I find that it seems like years. There are moments in which I just want to pull my hair out. Other times, I want to wrap my arms around my stroke survivor, kiss every part that feels pain, and declare that these accolades of love will most assuredly make him feel better. In all that I do there is that moment each night when I lay my head on the pillow that I pray to God for understanding. Each night as I close my eyes and go to sleep I hold onto hope that when I awake my stroke survivor will be healed.


I for several weeks have been feeling overwhelmed. I have not been able to cope with the up and down moments that my husband is experiencing. I believe it is because I cannot easily fix it. In turn, I cannot answer his questions or my answers do not satisfy him. There is the flashing neon sign that reads give your self a break that adds to my stress. “Where do I fit this in or more so how? People tell me constantly to take care of my self, give yourself a break, and do something for your self. Somehow that statement has bounced around in my head. So, I beckon my sister to visit during my birthday.


My sister and I are six years apart in age but we are bonded as if we are twins. All of our life we have this uncanny ability to know what each other is thinking. When we are together we can finish each other’s sentences. We know what the other is feeling. We share the same feelings about stories. Truly, we always seem to understand one another.


On the last night of my birthday week, my sister and I, decided to watch Mary Poppins. This film debuted in 1964. I was 4 my sister 10 when we saw it for the very first time. We both have very vivid memories of going to the theater and being mesmerized by this Walt Disney movie. So, as we embarked on watching this film of our childhood we reminisce about our most precious memories as children. I think it is important to state that my sister and I always seemed to laugh at the most miniscule of things. Many a times we would be in bed only to get tickled at something and just laugh out loud. So much so, that my mother would enter our room and insist that we need to settle down and go to sleep. She would have a yardstick in her hand and smack the end of the bed proclaiming “You girls need to hush up!” Of course, this only ignited our laughter and we would laugh all the more. Our siblings have always stated when the two of us get together we giggle like young girls.


So, in the movie Mary Poppins there is a scene in which Mary, Bert, and the children, Jane & Michael Banks go to visit Mary’s Uncle Albert who has a disease. He laughs uncontrollably. As well as, the Uncle will laugh so much that he becomes light as a feather and floats up to the ceiling. In the process of assisting this uncle who continually laughs it turns out his disease is contagious. While discussing this silly dilemma they all begin to giggle. Before long everybody is laughing and floating up to the ceiling. All except Mary Poppins. She stays in control of her laughing, but decides to join the rest by choice and talks sense with them until they float back down to the floor.


A few words of the song are: “The more I laugh, the more I am filled with glee…the more I laugh, the more I am a merrier me…” “I love to laugh…loud and long and clear…the more I laugh…the more I am filled with cheer!”


This musical interlude bellowed out of the TV and into our hearts. My sister and I started giggling and then just laughed, and laughed, and laughed. I was rolling in the floor I was laughing so hard. As we looked at each other we laughed more. While I did not literally float up to the ceiling in physical form I do believe that night I was floating on cloud nine from pure enjoyment due to a childhood film. Certainly, as the days have moved forward I find myself softly singing the various tunes from that Disney classic. I imagine myself as that whimsical nanny and I feel renewed to once again go about care giving. I guess you can say I got that much needed break. Perhaps, laughter most assuredly is the best medicine!


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If you get the chance see the movie  "Saving Mr Banks" and then see "Mary Poppins"  again.  It give you a whole different view of what the movie is about.  And yes, i am singing "I love to Laugh" right now with a smile on my face. Thank you for reminding me.



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If you get the chance see the movie  "Saving Mr Banks" and then see "Mary Poppins"  again.  It give you a whole different view of what the movie is about.  And yes, i am singing "I love to Laugh" right now with a smile on my face. Thank you for reminding me.



Sue:  I have seen the movie "Saving Mr. Banks."  I actually have it in my movie collection.  Those movies in my collection are there because they have had some sort of influence on me.  I got the movie, "Saving Mr. Banks" after it came out because I was so shocked at the story behind the story.  When in college I wrote a thesis on Walt Disney regarding his animation genius...The Man behind the Mouse.  While it seemed unfair how the deal took place between P.L. Travers and Mr. Disney  for the rights to "Mary Poppins" I do still believe his additions made the movie a forever classic.  I am not sure I could imagine it without all his additions. I have yet to read the actual book series but that is on my "to do" list.  And of course, I too have been humming the "I love to laugh" song, along with "A spoon full of sugar" and "Let's go fly a kite"  Lastly, I have found myself trying to memorize the spelling for supercalifragilisticexpialidocious...

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