Had to Laugh
Off the Wall, June 15
, 2012

Recently, I visited my physician as I was experiencing some odd feelings in my face. He suggested I have an MRI (which if I spelled out what these letters stand for you wouldn’t be any farther ahead, so I’ll just leave it at that).

It wasn’t long thereafter that the nurse from his office called me to report the findings. This is what she said, and I quote, “I am calling you today to report what was found concerning your MRI testing.” Ready? “It shows there is nothing in your brain!”

My reply – “Heck, you didn’t have to call. I already knew that!”

That’s the trouble when one is dealing with a smart aleck such as yours truly. But I had to laugh when she told me that and she did as well. As I have been told by many, laughter is the best medicine, and I believe that. It helps loosen the stresses that we all have sometimes.

A number of weeks ago, I was having a chat with my neighbor when we got on the topic of a neighbor’s cat disappearing. One could not drive up my alley onto Ridge Ave. here in Latrobe without seeing it straight across the street near the curb or walking up or down the alley.

Well, one day it disappeared. I talked to the owner (I’m one of those guys who talks to everybody – and I mean everybody) and he alleged that someone may have taken it and put it to sleep since it looked a little mangy. He told me he was taking care of it as suggested by his veterinarian and was giving it its medication daily. But, it was nowhere to be found.

So, as we were talking, my neighbor blurted out, “Well, someone probably put it to sleep or it died.” Looking at him momentarily, he realized what he had said and we both burst into laughter with a chuckle to follow. I had to reassure him that if someone put it to sleep, it definitely died. Then another realm of laughter followed for a short amount of time.

Recently, I had visited Holy Family Church in Latrobe for their first Fellowship of Praise get-togethers in the Church. As the church photographer, I wanted to capture the moments of the first of several monthly meetings that will be held. I used to attend the FOP meetings at St. Vincent Basilica, but due to lack of transportation, I got away from it. Anyway, as I began listening, I began to recall old songs of praise that sparked my interest once again. The next couple of days, subsequently, I hit the computer’s keyboard and the music filled my bedroom and I began singing along with it.

One Sunday, before going to Mass, I decided to pull up some hymns and did the same. One of them was, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty.” This is one I knew and have sung many times with the choir. Thinking nothing more of it, I ended up humming the music as I walked to Church. To make a long story short, it turned out to be Trinity Sunday. I had to laugh when we all sang the same hymn during Mass. That could only be the work of the Holy Spirit touching my heart. There was no other explanation.

And last, I have to relate this little “ditty” that has always created a chuckle within me even though I have told this story endless times.

It so happens that my good friend, Steve Gordon, used to invite me to go fishing at Keystone State Park Lake weekly. It became a tradition that he would pick me up either on a Monday or Tuesday afternoon. It was something to which I truly looked forward, for our togetherness was more than just wetting a line, it was comradely as well, as he always brought out the best in me.

Well as the story goes, we spent the afternoons and evenings together in his boat catching our fair share of fish, may I add, having fun while we did it.

One day in late August, I put forth a question in a round about way stating, “You know I really appreciate you taking me fishing so often. I really am thankful. I have to ask you one question, though. Why do you invite me out so often?” “Well, if you didn’t come out,” he said, “there would be no one to hold the boat down and it would go around in circles!” I had to ask. On the other hand, I also had to laugh as well!

- Paul J. Volkmann
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