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A Reminder That Laughter is the Best Medicine

 

Watch as this very funny lady reminds us that laughter is the best medicine.

A friend of the couple who founded Home Instead Senior Care, Mary Maxwell was asked to give the invocation at the company's 2009 Convention. Initially it seemed like a normal prayer, but it soon took a very funny turn. Her deadpan delivery and lines like ...This is the first time I've ever been old... and it just sort of crept up on me ... soon had the franchise owners rolling in the aisles. With the timing of a professional comedian, Mary shines a very funny light on the foibles of aging, to the delight of this audience of senior-care experts.

Download a copy of the poem, Blessed In Aging (PDF 275KB), which Mary reads at the end of her prayer.

Download a transcript of this Mary Maxwell video (PDF)

A Reminder That Laughter is the Best Medicine

Mary Maxwell, Posted July 26, 2010

Lori Hogan:
Before dinner is served I would like to invite our dear friend Mary Maxwell to the podium. We are so happy that she can be here tonight, and we are honored to have her deliver tonight's invocation. Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Mary Maxwell.

(clapping and hug on stage)

Mary Maxwell:
Ladies and Gentlemen, as a new client of Home Instead and friend and former neighbor of Lori and Paul Hogan. I am so honored to have been chosen to invocation this evening. So let us pray.

God, our father, you know all that Home Instead believes in and strives for. And we ask your blessing on the Home Instead family, the management, the staff, the caregivers, and the clients. We are grateful for the way everyone here tonight contributes to the success of the mission of Home Instead. And we ask you to continue to bless them and this food which we are able to recieve. Amen.

Un oh sorry God, as long as I have the microphone (clapping and laughter).

There are a few things I forgot to mention. First of all, just to introduce myself, a little. Over the years I have noticed the two things that most people want to know about you, are things that they are far to polite to ask. So lets get that out of the way. I'm 72 years old and I weigh a hundred and forty five pounds. As you know we seniors are sometimes not very likable, let alone lovable. So Lord could you please continue to keep the people at Home Instead patient and aware of why we are the way we are.

And Lord please remind them that the thing about old age is that you do not get a chance to practice. This is the first time I have ever been old, and it just sort of creeped up on me. There were signs, random hair growth, that's special. Partially that first time you go to brush that hair off your lapel and discover it is attached to your chin. You turn your left turn signal on in the morning and leave it on all day. Non-life threatening skin growths large enough to name after diseased pets and related begin to appear. And neck tissue seems to develop a life of it's own. Last November, I was afraid to leave the house Thanksgiving week. (pause) Aren't you quick.

You do strange things as you age, like driving up to a curb side mailbox and ordering a cheeseburger and fries. And Lord, I know you are aware that one Sunday at church I put my Dillard's bill in the collection basket by mistake. And last Easter, after services at St. Silica's Cathedral here on Omaha, my husband stopped to talk to a friend and I went out and got into the car to go home. The gentlemen sitting behind the wheel said, "Oh are you going home with me?" And I said, "Oh Archbishop, I am
so sorry."

I won't even mention driving into the wrong end of the car wash. People get so excited when you do that. I don't know why the lady in the other car was screaming like that. I was just as surprised to see her as she was to see me. I also won't mention discovering that you are wearing miss matched earrings, and going home to change them and ending up wearing the other mismatched pair. And you know Lord that it is hard for old people to exercise. I did try to jog once, but it makes the wine just jump right out of your glass.
Well Lord, you understand seniors and their care and so does Home Instead and I have used before a poem that I found in a local retirement home newsletter that I have always thought spoke volumes about Home Instead.

(Adapted from the poem, Blessed In Aging by Esther Mary Walker)

Blessed are they who understand,
My faltering step and shaking hand
Blessed, are they who know my ears today,

Must strain to hear the things they say.
Blessed are they who seem to know,
My eyes are dim and my wits are slow
Blessed are they who look away,
When I spilled coffee at table day.

Blessed are they, with cheery smile,
Who take the time to chat for a little while

Blessed are they who know the ways,
To bring back memories of yesterdays.
Blessed are they that make it known
That I am loved, respected and not alone.
Just like you, to Us it is Personal.

That's Home Instead Lord, bless them all and at the end of the evening please help me find my car in the parking lot. Amen.

Watch the video, http://www.caregiverstress.com/2010/07/a-reminder-that-laughter-is-the-best-medicine/

Visit CaregiverStress.com to discover more wit and wisdom from Mary Maxwell,
as well as expert advice from Dr. Amy D'Aprix and other videos, articles, and
resources for family caregivers.

Brought to you by Home Instead Senior Care

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Want to get Mary's perspective on a topic?
Send your questions and suggestions to mary.maxwell@homeinsteadinc.com.

Thoughts and stories from others
  1. April 1, 2012 at 10:27 am | Posted by jim walsh

    I thought it was very funny being 82 I can sympathize with her i have been therre and don that

    Reply

  2. March 31, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Posted by Doug Peters

    I've sure gotten old! I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, New knees, fought prostate cancer and diabetes. I'm half blind, Can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, Take 40 different medications that Make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia ... Have poor circulation; Hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can't remember if I'm 89 or 98. Have lost all my friends. But, thank God, I still have my driver's license.

    Reply

  3. March 31, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Posted by REX

    I am 62 Years old soon to be 63 years old. And I enjoyed this and enjoy the humor because were old. Doesn't mean we all have lost our humor due to old age. I applaud this lady for still having the humor and good grace of love towards God to continue with the grace of loving God and being helpful to other indivuals who are old. Let us always help one another in Love as God Says! Amen. REX

    Reply

  4. March 31, 2012 at 11:25 am | Posted by maggy Steph

    A friend of mine recently sent me a link :http://www.caregiverstress.com/2010/07/a-reminder-that-laughter-is-the-best-medicine/ with the following comment. I enjoyed it so much and had the best laugh ever; but when I wanted to send it onto others all I get is your website. Can you direct me within your website where to go to view,and enjoy. Thank you Maggy

    Reply

  5. March 29, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Posted by Jean

    I am 81, soon to be 82, and work for Home Instead 6 days a week. I have 2 senior ladies I care for, one is 86 and the other 87. We are like sisters and have a wonderful time together. I still drive, they don't, so I take them to doctor visits, the beauty shop, and anywhere else they want to go. I also do the grocery shopping for one. I love what I do.

    Reply

  6. March 29, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Posted by Wallace Houghton

    Oh thank you God for sending Mary's Laughable Prayer. I'm a young 82 male and so far I still have some hair where it is supposed to be and not enough in other places. I thank God every day when I put my feet on the floor and I'm still inhaling and exhaling. I don't know why I'm still here, but I like to laugh and make other people laugh. Thanks for the e-mail and may God continue to Bless you and yours. Wally Houghton

    Reply

  7. March 28, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Posted by Deb Shepardson

    Love this sweet lady's attitude and delivery. She is so young at heart. Is she available for hire?

    Reply

  8. March 28, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Posted by Rev. Sam

    This is precious! She's wonderful!

    Reply

  9. March 28, 2012 at 8:17 am | Posted by Richard Smalley

    Greatly enjoyed this. I am 14 (7+7 years young, my grandson told me) I am looking forward to one last celebration, going to Florida to see three Great Grand Children have not seen, then on to Texas to see my six siblings (all between 68 and 84) at one last "Grog Fest". There will be children, Grandchildren, and Great Grand-Children by the dozens. Leaving April 17!!. Can't wait. Dick

    Reply

  10. March 26, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Posted by Ginger Schmidt

    Okay, I am 56 years young and weight 162. Today while helping my husband shave his head I said "How come we are growing hair in places it has never been before?" Then, a friend/sister, Adriana, sends me your video. You mention the same thing...trying to brush off a hair and finding it is connected! I believe in you Mary and I cannot thank God enough for you! I wanted to go to bed tonight with a light heart. I will thanks to God and you! Kind Regards, Ginger

    Reply

  11. March 25, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Posted by Cheri60

    Bless you for being still on the computer and enjoying life! My mom is 90 and can no longer email but I call her every day! I pray for years more before she joins my dad in heaven.

    Reply

  12. March 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Posted by William Cahill Sr

    I'm only 71 now and can't understand who that is in the mirror. I'm told it's me, but I don't remember getting my head shaved bald. My kids said I must be getting taller and just grew through my hair. There also seems to be a lot of hair growing out of my nose. It must have been hidden by the hair growing out of the top of my nose. I discovered it when I was looking for my ears. They had been covered by the hair growing on the edge and center of my ears. I thought it was some of the hair that had slipped off the top of my head and gathered on my ears. I tried to comb it back to the bare spot that covered the top of my head, but it wasn't enough to cover the area so I just put my hat back on and forgot about it. Getting old is confusing, so getting rid of your mirrors helps.

    Reply

  13. March 20, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Posted by Santos C. Vega

    God created mankind for his own pleasure. He must love seniors especially well, for they just keep on going and going. Santos C. Vega, 80 years young.

    Reply

    • March 22, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Posted by Catherine Wilhelm

      Thanks Mary. . I needed a few laughs today. God Bless you and keep us the good work! I am 75 and have stage 4 bone cancer, no pain, Thank God. 11 wonderful grandkids. Happy Easter. Catherine

      Reply

  14. March 20, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Posted by ;edna Pinson

    Sorry for taking so mch time. Almost 92 I enjoy the computer being the ho so soon. Thabks fur rhe enaiul s

    Reply

  15. March 19, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Posted by jim

    "If you can't laugh, don't bother getting up " . That is the very best line I have ever seen.

    Reply

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