Andrea's column: BittersweetWhen I thought I was at death’s door a few weeks ago, I told my husband we needed to make some changes. Specifically, no matter how much time we had left, we should spend it laughing. After all, as everyone knows, laughter is the best medicine.
By: Andrea Langworthy, Rosemount Town Pages
When I thought I was at death’s door a few weeks ago, I told my husband we needed to make some changes. Specifically, no matter how much time we had left, we should spend it laughing. After all, as everyone knows, laughter is the best medicine.
This plan to bring merriment into our home was meant to offset the doom and gloom of a CT scan that showed a mass on my lung. Five days after the scan, I met with the surgeon. He said he couldn’t give a diagnosis of cancer until I had a bronchoscopy. It was possible I had aspirated food into a bronchial tube.
It turned out I had pneumonia. I told my husband we should stick to our plan to giggle more, anyway. He agreed.
With this in mind, I made some suggestions. Skip the evening news. Watch movies that are fun. Find television shows that don’t involve a crime scene and bloody body. My hubby reminded me we still had not watched a Netflix movie that arrived three weeks before.
That night, we sat down to watch the DVD. We couldn’t get it to play. He repackaged it to send it back. I checked out the title online. “Oh, great,” I said. “It’s about a couple who is depressed because their child died. Good thing it’s not in working condition.”
Two days later, the next movie in our queue arrived. “Philadelphia” stars Tom Hanks as a lawyer with AIDS who sues his law firm for wrongful termination. “Wow. You really know how to pick ’em,” my better half said. He suggested I look at the films in our lineup.
I forgot to do that and within days, another flick was in the mailbox. “You Don’t Know Jack” my husband said. “That sounds funny.” I told him it was about Jack Kevorkian, the man who has often been called the doctor of death. Once again, he put an unwatched video in the pile of things to be mailed.
We agreed we were in need of a new game plan. I looked up the American Film Institute’s 100 funniest movies. “This should do it,” I said. Jack Lemon, Shirley MacLaine, Dustin Hoffman. All in movies guaranteed to give us a good belly laugh.
Not long after that, I opened the newspaper to find that writer and director, funny woman Nora Ephron, had passed away at 71 of Acute Myeloid Leukemia. “Remember how I loved her books of essays?” I asked my husband.
John Lennon is credited with saying, “Life is what happens when you made other plans.” The same can be said about death. I rearranged my Netflix roster. Jack, Shirley and Dustin would have to wait. We were going to watch films in which Nora Ephron had a hand.
Last Sunday we watched “When Harry Met Sally.” Next on the agenda is “Sleepless in Seattle” and after that, the romantic email movie starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. You know the one.
All are billed as romantic comedies. For sure, they’ll bring fun and hilarity into our house. Interspersed with our chuckles, though, will be a tear or two. Partly because that’s how Ms. Ephron’s films are written. But mostly because the world has lost one very funny woman.