Grateful for laughter

Grateful for laughter

Waking every morning at my age is a gift and not to be taken for granted. I awake feeling laughter I made it through another night. And blessed.

In the last while I have been a part of a caring group that has enabled me to create the habit of writing morning letters of gratefulness. For me, this practice of feeling grateful has reawakened awareness and mindfulness I had almost forgotten amid my daily caregiving challenges. Most the time what I write is for myself, but sometimes I share because something so deep about the gifts others add to my life has to be acknowledged.

This morning being grateful for laughter brought some beautiful memories. I love to giggle, to chuckle and laugh, but seldom thought about who or what would I be grateful to for making me laugh? I mean I like sweet laughter. Laughter that comes from a happy place of joy and delight. Laughter that takes your breath away and wears you out. Laughter that leaves a smile on your face and in your heart for a long time. Laughter that makes you want to hug the person you suddenly feel so connected to. Such wonderful laughter.

Unhealthy laughter, on the other hand, a sneer, a smirk, even a jeer, any laughter at the expense of another, really is a substitute for crying inside, and does not come from a place of goodness and does not feel right. When I find it hard to laugh on the outside, I am usually feeling bad on the inside. That is not the laughter I want to encourage for me or for you.

My mother loved to laugh, and my sister and brothers, my children and grandchildren, contagious laughter that made tears roll down our cheeks. I loved when we had a good belly laugh, releasing whatever we had so tightly held inside. Nothing was more binding than being able to laugh together. I miss that.

I innately try to laugh with people every chance I get when talking with someone. I generally try to bring laughter into conversations so maybe this morning’s letter can show gratefulness to me for keeping laughter in my life.

I even try to laugh with my loved one, but these days it is always a test because so often he cannot connect the dots to create a reason to laugh. I try to find TV programs that might be funny to him. But even that seldom works. But if I laugh, sometimes he just laughs because I am laughing. Surely, it must feel good to him, even if he is just laughing with me.

It seems that in the pandemic, with less social contact, opportunities for laughter have been replaced with solitude. We’ve zoomed ourselves silly, but the craving for connections, a touch, those real-life hugs, the meetings of the soul still loom unfulfilled. I wonder if others, too, notice that laughter is a missing ingredient.

We can bring laughter back into our lives. Have you ever just laughed because your soul needed to feel the expression of joy moving through your entire body? I have escaped into laughter sometimes just to confirm I have not become a robot living on an island. I am grateful for laughter.

In lieu of real people, some the the cartoons posted online can generate sweet laughter. But laughing to myself, laughing alone, while it may bring a warm smile, does not create the happiness of laughing, even giggling, with someone else.

I notice I’m laughing more about the things associated with the craziness of the aging process, wonderful behaviours of animals, and natural antics of children than about anything personal. Just this week a friend from my high school days…sixty-one years ago…wrote on my Facebook page that one of his best memories was the two of us laughing together. And when I read it, I could almost see him and hear his wonderful laugh. I so wished we could laugh together again.

I am not a comedian, I am not really a comic. But I really do enjoy laughing.

The two ladies from local health organizations who have phoned us for the last forty-six weeks of the pandemic have become friends. Inevitably we find topics that make us laugh together. Stress release is healthy medicine for us all. Find a way to get laughter into your morning routine when you set the tone for the rest of your day.

I hope you will look for situations where you, too, can laugh, out loud, let yourself go, and allow the tears to flow. Enjoy that wonderful feeling of happiness that laughter brings. Feel the blessing that you have this day that you can laugh.

Grateful for Laughter (c) 2021 Judith Allen Shone

Each day, do something that makes others smile and your heart sing.

Tee-hee happiness

Tee-hee happiness


As I have aged I have discovered how important it is to walk my talk. My words mean nothing if I don’t live them. My life has been driven by my words, converted from my thoughts that, admittedly, have changed throughout these years.

And so on this Valentine’s Day, the one following nine long years of caregiving where I have truly learned the meaning of ‘love,’ I consciously, on purpose, walked my talk, and followed the motto that is on every page in this site, that is the theme of my life.

Do something each day to make others smile and your heart sing!

In keeping with the story I wrote yesterday, Little Love Letters, today I created little heart messages, printed them and cut them out. I took thirty with me to the grocery and pharmacy on our bi-weekly outing we have been limited to during the COVID pandemic.

I put some on shelves, others on top of canned goods, and cookie packages. I placed the four inch paper heart into grocery carts where no one was around at the moment. I gave them to the pharmacist team, to the cashier and assistant who bagged my few things. In the parking lot I slipped one into the pocket of the boy pushing the carts back into the store. I put one in the hand of the young man monitoring how many customers had gone in and out of the store, another practice resulting from distancing requirements during the coronavirus period.

wavy heart

It was interesting to observe those who did see me. Suspicion was evident on their faces. After all, I was wearing the protocol-required COVID mask, plus a winter coat with a scarf wrapped up around my neck. I did not know most of the recipients and they certainly did not know me. One pushed my hand away, another looked at the paper first and began not to take it, although she did in the end. One saw the heart on their egg carton and looked around to see where it came from. One thanked me. Two women put them in their pocket ‘to take home’ to their family.

I, on the other hand, felt rather giddy. I felt what my sister called ‘tee-hee happiness’ doing something so much fun. “A flashmob of one” she called me. I did not sign the hearts. I just cautiously watched others turn a glum face into a smile. THAT felt really good! It made my Valentine’s Day much more special than any I could remember. I will probably do something similar another day…another holiday, another excuse to make people smile.

sign off jas

It was fun. I encourage you to find a way to do something that gives you “tee-hee” happiness.

Each day, do something that makes others smile and your heart sing!

“Tee-hee happiness” (C) 2021 Judith Allen Shone

book ad and flowers
Little Love Letters

Little Love Letters

hearts in envelope

Shared love can be with anyone, not just between caregivers and loved ones! I ‘received’ lots of love this week and it felt good! Let’s all spread some love!!

While cleaning out my desk used for over thirty-five years, I uncovered an old leathery piece of history. I knew by the zipper around the edges of this once loved, soft, brown find, with the colorfully embossed school images, that I was holding my one and only autograph book.

Immediately, my thoughts shifted to friends from elementary school who wrote on those pages sixty-eight years ago. It was a different time and place I have seldom returned to since. I even had a flashback of a high school friend signing her name. Here was a real treasure.

Surprised to see it, I stopped cleaning and started remembering. I sat on the side of the bed and carefully unzipped the book. There in pencil, on faded and brown smudged pages, beside a small sticker of a camp I had attended two summers, I had written my name in cursive. I had noted it had been a present for my eleventh birthday from a new friend, one I remember being in my life until our family moved to another place.

A small gold and purple card fell to the ground, a reminder of a high school moment in October 1959 when I was chosen Panther of the Week my senior high school year, a warm memory. I put it between the back pages and read on.

It was fun to bring up memories of the sweet young friends who had signed their names, who had inscribed little sayings they had learned, or even had written personal notes, or their personalized poems.

“Roses are red, violets are blue….”
…Sugar is sweet, and you are too. Or
…Sugar is sweet, and I love you. 💖 Or
…You love Jim, and I do, too.  Or
…I like pecans, and nuts to you.”

And then,
“Down in the valley carved on a tree, are two little words, “Remember me!””

“I’ll be yours ‘til Russia fries Turkey in Greece and serves it on China to the US.”
These were not likely political thoughts then, but just fun words.

Most entries were signed with full names, in various degrees of their cursive evolution. Some added a ‘closing’ remark, like:
“Your good pal,” or “Your best girl friend” or “Love ya,” or “The one behind you who pulls your hair,” or “The boy who draws maps.”

I found one entry from a friend who is still my friend, after sixty-six years!

Gene Autry signature

There is one page with large swirling letters that reads: “Gene Autry,” a singing cowboy star of the day. I had asked him to sign after seeing him in a show back in those young years. I truly don’t recall the show!

I even found incomplete entries by my own two children when each had just learned to print. Like many kiddos, they probably had been ‘looking around’ and had found the book and wanted to sign it, too. I am glad their attempted ‘love letters’ were added twenty years later!

My book is signed by teachers, principals, school friends, church friends, camp counselors, camper friends, and even my six year old brother, ten year old sister, plus an aunt and uncle. It covers eight of my younger years. My life is reflected in those pages by people who have impacted my life, important enough for me to want them to sign my autograph book.

Of course, the universe ‘helped me find’ this prized possession just as Valentine’s 💘 Day appeared on the calendar, just in time for me to begin thinking of the importance of ‘little love letters’ that I could write when “time permits.”


What a collection to find! How fitting their words are, how they coincide with the memories that I recall about each person. The funny ones, the studious ones, the sweet ones, the jokers, the athletes, those I did not know well and those I had known since fourth grade … I can put a young face to most, but not all. It feels rather good, after these years, to know I did have those friends.

And more, it generates a sense of loving that part of my life, knowing that through the years I had so many ‘friends’ who even signed my book. That made me feel really good now, years later. Not one mentioned my myasthenia gravis issues. Not one made fun of my height that seemed to showup before others in my class. No one told me I wore clunky shoes. Oh, some said funny things, most had a touch of kindness, and some just signed their name. But what a wonderful, happy, loving, memory upon which I can reflect in these elder years. Those autographs from years ago became notes of love that still make me laugh or feel warm fuzzies today. Even cry.


As I was reflecting on how reading these pages made me feel so happy, I recalled a program online where we focus on gratitude, on appreciation and caring for others and how those others have impacted our lives. We think about, appreciate, and write out our thoughts.  Sometimes we go further and encourage others or thank them and acknowledge the wisdom they have shared.

In the end, we reassure ourselves of the love we have to give to others – not just to caregivers and loved ones.  

Happy Valentine’s Day, dear friends.

In the spirit of Love inspired by Valentine’s 💘 Day, I want to ‘encourage encouragement’ by spreading love through writing little love letters. I suggest topics below that might nudge you forward to spread some love, to let even just one someone know how much they mean to you…child, parent, friend, relative, co-worker, someone you know, someone you have never met. There is no boundary surrounding the potential of our love.

writing valentine

When the spirit moves, you can write to someone to leave a mark on their heart and in their memory, a warm fuzzy for them to open and re-read at some point, realizing the difference your words might make in their life, now or later, just as these autographs have done for me.

Ideas that come to mind now:

  1. a short note in a lovely greeting card
  2. a brief message texted,
  3. a handwritten letter with specifics
  4. a labour of love with photos and drawings illuminating your words.
  5. an easy peasy ‘tee-hee hapiness’ is putting hearts on paper with a quote and dropping them like confetti on the shelves of a store, grocery, pharmacy, bookstore, or anywhere that is open. Put them in mail boxes along your street. No signautre, just message of love. See Tee-Hee Happiness page here.

These ‘encouragers,’ in the spirit of Valentine’s 💘 Day, help us think of fitting little love letters for those who hold a meaningful place in our life. In the same way you as readers continue to inspire me to encourage you, I, too, hope to be inspired to reassure, comfort and lift others up throughout the year!

💝 Have a loving day.

sign off jas

Each day, do something that makes others smile and your heart sing!

Little Love Letters (c) 2021 Judith Allen Shone

💝 Remember, caregivers need love, too! 💝

Ice cream 🍦 and cookies 🍪 seem to be an appropriate sweet treat on Valentine’s Day!

book ad valentines

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