Generational Laughter.

Today was a bittersweet happy. My mother just returned home from the hospital after a month long stay.  She cannot and does not speak much.  She’s learning to walk again.  She seemed so sad when I first arrived at her house.  But she took one look at my son and she smiled.  He said “hi” to his grandma, and she said “hi” back, one of the very few words we got from her today.

Later, the physical therapist arrived.  He works mostly with stroke patients and is known for the amazing rehabilitation he performs.  He also runs his business two doors down from our law office.  As a favor to me, he came to my mother’s house to evaluate her.

He was full of energy and positivity.  He motivated my mom.  He got her to stand.  His 6 foot 2 inch muscular frame held her tiny 4 foot 9 inch body up and told her she was dancing.  With help to guide her and use of a walker, today she took many steps.  He said she is strong.  He will have her walking again.  He smiled, “danced” and flirted with her.  And she laughed and helped.  She exercised on her own.  With a smile.

All the while, my son waited patiently with my husband in his grandparents’ living room.  He knew grandma was getting help.  He knew she was home from the hospital.  He was so well behaved. So good.  Taking it all in, I think he knows of the tension in the air.  For the two hours we were in the house, he asked to leave only once, and that was right at the end.

The laughter was good.  It was real and signaled so much more than words.  It signaled that my mom has a spark in her that despite all that’s happened she will fight back for happiness.  This gives my father and me hope.

On our way out the door after therapy had ended, my little boy said goodbye and that he loved his grandma.  She said “I love you too.”  The other few words.

Once home, my little boy rode his bike which we saw he has outgrown since last summer.  Riding back and forth across the driveway, he was alternating between control and falling over, even with training wheels.  He needed guidance, as he rode, from his dad and me.  We helped him across his path, while giving him room to grow stronger.  He smiled and laughed.

Both my mom and my son have need for help right now in their different stages of life, each facing their own disabilities.  They both share the need for speech and occupational therapy now.  At either end of the path of life, I see how disabilities are not really different.  How they affect the human spirit.  Despite the struggles, there is laughter, love and strength.

And so here I sit in between the two, learning from both.  To love each day.  To find good and nourish it.  To bestow reasons for laughter. To nurture, and simultaneously, to push those who need it to find their strength.  To understand that in the end, you should live life to its fullest every day.

Life, no matter the disability, is a beautiful gift that should be spent with, at least, a sprinkle of happy every single day.  Dance, no matter your ability.  If nothing else, it will yield a simple laugh.  A laugh that can keep the fire going within your soul.

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About solodialogue

I'm a lawyer and the mom of a 6 year old boy with autism. I work part time and spend the rest driving here and there and everywhere for my son's various therapies. Instead of trying cases, I now play Pac-man and watch SpongeBob. I wear old sweaters and jeans and always, always flat shoes to run after my son. Yeah, it's different but I wouldn't change it for anything. The love of my child is the most powerful, beautiful and rewarding aspect of my life.
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29 Responses to Generational Laughter.

  1. This is beautiful, girl. The push and pull between us all, between helping and letting them help themselves.

    Oh, and I LOVE your PT! Ohmyword I SO wish we had someone like him when we had one. The key is play and ours did not get that at all. So many PTs need to learn to play, dance, sing, flirt … goodness, it works better AND it’s more fun for everyone.

    Holding your hand and laughing along with you.

  2. Jessica says:

    So glad to hear about your Mom’s determination and improvement! Amazing the effect of grandbabies, isn’t it? So happy for you.

  3. Lovely post. I too was struck by the similarities and differences of my elderly parents and my autistic son as my father was dying last year and losing language as my son was gaining his. This circle of life stuff is intense.

    I am so glad that your mother is strong and motivated and will be recovering. Those are the most beautiful words: “I love you.”

    • solodialogue says:

      Thank you Varda for your nice comments and for coming by. Yes, seeing the stark contrast and the similarities is one of the ultimate stressors. The “I love yous” help us through. 🙂

  4. Laura says:

    Beautiful…just beautiful.

  5. C... says:

    Your son is adorable. What a great physical therapist. He sounds like he brings out the best in everyone like your son does for your mom.

  6. danidawn says:

    You really have such a way with words… I love it 🙂 Also so happy to hear about your mom’s progress and how well your son is doing. I can see the happiness in your words…

  7. Susan says:

    A beautiful post!! Hope things continue to improve for your mum, sounds like you have a wonderful family x

  8. Lizbeth says:

    At polar ends and they both have a wealth to teach. And a wise woman in the middle to absorb it all.

    • solodialogue says:

      Who? Oh – you mean me! Haha! Love the first line of your comment – they can hit at least the same wavelength now and then for an I love you moment – and that’s what really counts. 😉

  9. bbsmum says:

    Beautifully written.

  10. Heather says:

    Really really beautiful! I had to read My Stroke Of Insight for a course I was taking and I really felt there were so many similarities between my son and the woman who wrote the book. Your post reminded me of that.

  11. Teresa says:

    How wonderful that your son does connect with his grandma. He will be a motivating force for her recovery.

  12. This is so beautiful. I really hope that more of that laughter will carry her through her recovery. They are both making leaps and bounds. Love.

  13. I am so happy to hear that your mom is home from the hospital. This is where the *real* healing can begin. She’ll be planting that garden with Toodles in no time, I’m sure!

    Hugs to you and your family… and a big hug for Toodles for being such a good boy while grandma was doing her therapy!

  14. jnettlee says:

    Beautifully written. I think back a lot about the stages between my mother late in life and Gavin so early in life. It seems while she was slowly losing her abilities, Gavin is slowly gaining his. Gives one much to ponder…

    Soooooo glad your mother is home now and has the services she needs, and that the therapist is able to put some spunk back in her!
    Not to mention her obvious love for her dear grandson who was able to bring the words to her lips !

    Wonderful news. Your little man is soooo precious !!! 🙂

  15. eof737 says:

    Beautiful and thoughtful post. You are doing a might good job. Glad to hear your mom is home. grace is a good thing as is the gift of life.
    Eliz

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