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A Jokster (Uncle Andre)


Proverbs 17:22 NIV

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.


Psalms 126:2‭-‬3 NIV

Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.


Fragrance by Phil Thompson


Happy Ninth Day of Thanks Everyone!


Today, I give thanks for a jokster, especially one in particular, my uncle Andre.

My family has just laid him to rest because we lost him a few days after Thanksgiving. (For all the men out there, please do your prostate screening. Most conditions of the prostate caught in time, are readily treatable and have a good prognosis.)

 

If you have ever met my uncle Andre, you'd think that he missed his calling as a stand up comedian.  He knew how to light up a room like no other. He was always cracking jokes, talking smack, and making people laugh. Everytime I was in his presence I had to run to the bathroom because I was almost peeing in my pants because I had laughed so hard. (Imagine yourself having your legs wrapped around each other, your eyes closes and frozen,  mentally talking to yourself and asking your bladder not to give out on you before you can make it to the rest room.) That was me almost all the time at a family function when uncle Andre got started.

 

We would call each other often to check in. He would check on me because somehow he knew, although I didn't say much about it, the challenges of being a single mom of a special needs child overwhelmed me. I would check on him because older male bachelors have a way of neglecting themselves, especially when it comes to health, and I always wanted to make sure he was okay. In the last few years, I was always so proud when Uncle Andre would call me to tell me how a specific day of thanks in the "Thirty Days of Thanks: A Journey Towards Healing and Deliverance" book had blessed him or one of his friends. He said he would re-read the book because it was like going through the steps for him. I was happy that the book encouraged him like he often encouraged so many other people.  

 

The very last call I received was from him and my aunt Brenda; they called to participate in our annual tradition of singing Happy Birthday to Lilah on her special day. Uncle Andre was so happy and shocked that my little girl had made it to her Emancipation year. Another thing Uncle Andre was big on was being with family and friends and sharing our moments with us. 

 

He was an encourager, believed in always spreading positivity, and ensured that a place or a person was left better after he encountered it. I'm sure that his profession of thirty two years of being a substance abuse counselor trained him well on how to laugh at the crazy things he would see or hear and how to encourage people at their worst. He was even known to talk people off the ledge of suicidal attempts. (Don't you wish everyone in the world was like that?)There is no way that you'd ever be in his presence and not smile or laugh. If you were angry, you couldn't stay that way for long if you were laughing at the same time. It was impossible. 

 

I'm almost certain that heaven has a section for the souls who worship the Lord by making Him laugh and that my uncle will have gained his seat in the royal court.

 

My uncle was also hilarious in that he talked so much trash (or smack as we say.) You would think he was the best ball player of all times and could take on any of the greats. But, when you'd see his game, you quickly realized that he bluffed and was only a long range shorter. Sometimes, his jokes were a little raunchy and I'd have to tell him that he needed a bit more of Jesus to wash his mind and mouth. The second to last time I spoke to him, he cracked me up with a raunchy joke/ request he made to his sister. He said he was lonely and wanted all his sister's good looking friends-- the ugly ones weren't allowed- to come get naked and have a party with him. (I told you he needed a little more Jesus.) I asked Uncle Andre who the ugly friends were. Lawd, have mercy, why did I ask that question. Another round of jokes and laughs ensued.

 

I'm so grateful that the Lord allowed me to have a moment of laughter with him days before he transitioned. It is one of God's greatest gifts to me because my uncle was one of my favorite people on this earth.  His jokes were often the "good" medicine that I needed to de-stress. It was also good to know that there was someone who loved me and Lilah enough to check on us and make sure that we were well and had what we needed. In our last time of speaking, it amazed me and made me proud that his pain couldn't get the best of him nor did it change the purpose for which he was created-- to bring joy. I had no idea that when I spoke to him, it would be our last time of jokes, smiles and laughter together. But, it was memorable and his indelible mark etched into my heart and brain and will always be with me forever.

 

Today as I give thanks for the jokesters who make us laugh, please consider donating to the organization, The Comedy Cures Foundation, at https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=GDPQCM8PHJTWE. They use the therapy of laughter as medicine to help patients, caregiver and medical staff navigate the challenges of different medical diagnosis.

 

Love Ya,

 

Have A Great Day of Thanks!


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