My sister-in-law, Janet, is at home recovering from a single mastectomy due to breast cancer. These last few weeks of testing, diagnosis and surgery were packed with fear and anxiety. Through it all, however, one thing was constant—the laughter that kept breaking through the tears of her friends and family, those that love her and weathered this emotional hurricane with her.
When I talked to Janet the day she received the bad news there were tears but as impossible as it seems, Janet laughed too. One of her biggest comforts was her friend, Jonesa, who had already gone through having breast cancer and a mastectomy. Jonesa’s husband was a source of comfort too who sagely put it all into perspective by saying, “It’s just a tittie.” That funny and crude way of putting things became the rallying cry of Janet and her quirky group of friends and family.
When I arrived at the hospital on the day of the surgery I wasn’t sure where to go but I followed the laughter echoing through the halls to a waiting room. Sure enough, there were Janet’s prayer warriors making jokes and keeping it light. “It’s just a tittie.” was said over and over to everyone’s amusement if someone dropped a pen or tripped on a rug. It summed up the attitude in the waiting room perfectly. We were not there to agonize over the insignificant while we are so blessed with the things that matter—friends, family, and love. Janet soared through surgery and reconstruction no doubt due to the love and prayers that encircled her.
I know some people were confused by the hilarity that thrived during such a serious time but I am convinced the sweetest laughter is that which rises up from among tears and anxiety. It is born from the joy of the heart and brings with it the beginning of hope. To possess this kind of laughter and to be surrounded by people who can impart this kind of joy is a gift and a real blessing from the Lord. He is the One we know is with us in our tears but He is also with us in our laughter.