Grief and Potatoes By Jo Russell

“While the organ peeled potatoes…” the blend of voices included my mom and school-aged twin sons. “Lard was rendered by the choir. As the sexton rang the dish rag, someone set the church on fire!”

My young sons rolled in their beds with laughter. ‘“Holy smokes!’ the preacher cried,” they all continued singing, “in the rain he lost his hair.” More chuckling.

You would never have guessed her age because Jeane, rejuvenated by a purpose, had became the auxiliary parent helping me to raise her twin grandsons. They had been born not long after she had been widowed.

Jeane lived with a sense of humor and advised all to “Exit laughing.” In spite of the grief of losing a husband, grown son and young-adult grandson, she looked for ways to laugh.

In her cookbook for one, for example, Jeane added her quips under the “Empty Nest Advantage:”
“Nobody starves when you skip a meal.”
“Cobwebs no longer make you feel guilty.”
“It is easier to live with muddy footprints on the clean kitchen floor if they are your own.”
“No kayak paddles clobber you whenever you open the closet door.”

She focused on the very things that Paul advised in Philippians 4:8: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things… And the God of peace will be with you.” [NIV] Jeane would have added, “Whatever is funny….”

My mom counted her blessings, savoring quality time and memories with her grandsons as their three voices bidding good night finished the silly song, “Now his head resembles heaven, for there is no parting there.”

Jeane had modeled the peace that comes from God. She deliberately chose laughter and a good attitude through life’s journey.

What is the best kind of attitude adjustment you can make today?

[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, Intermedia Publishing, 2011. For more chuckles, keep checking her weekly blog on Button-to-God.com.]

4 comments

  1. JoRussell says:

    Frank – Thanks for your opinion. I do appreciate your reading the blog, even if you don’t like it. Jo Russell

  2. JoRussell says:

    I’m glad that it is helpful. I’ll be giving a speech at my church in a week along the same lines of positive attitude called “Carved in Granite – My Life?” Life is always full of surprises, and we do have control over our attitude and gratitude to God. Jo Russell

  3. Melissa says:

    A positive attitude changes everything! And one based on God’s peace can be so powerful. 🙂 thx!

  4. JoRussell says:

    Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to the blog. It is encouraging to know that you are sharing the ideas and humor.
    We are all part of God’s flock! Jo R.

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