No. 719


The Scottish essayist, historian and moralist, Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) once had this to say about humor: “Its essence is love; it issues not in laughter, but in still smiles, which lie far deeper.” As I have said many times in this column, around our house we laugh a lot because it’s a whole lot better than crying, but we also have a lot of those still smiles. When you are comfortable in your own skin, love your mate deeply and are content just to be at home, what more could any person wish for? This is not to say that Viola and I do not enjoy getting out, especially with friends, but mostly we are content just to be home and enjoy each other’s company. Now, that’s my story. I am not sure she always feels this way.
As I have shared with those of you who read this column on a regular basis, Viola has Parkinson’s and has had it now for about 12 years. While life is often a struggle for her, she just keeps going and doing for others to the point it amazes me. Every once in awhile she comes up with an idea, that she thinks will help her maintain her mobility. The other day, for instance, she had me stretch a rope all the way across our sun-room so she could hold on to it to help her stand up straight when she walks. This seems to have helped some, but she still leans to the right when she walks, like the car most of us have seen going down the highway that does not track, with the back wheels out of line.
Something happened the other day at our house involving Viola that, to me, was so funny that I thought to myself, “She could start a fad with that.” I share this because many of you have asked about her when you have written to me and have also followed her progress, almost from the time she was first stricken with this terrible disease. In addition to just being funny, what I am going to tell you could be a way to remember her and the brave and courageous battle she has waged, especially as it relates to serving the Lord by being a blessing to so many people.
Here is what struck my funny bone. You may not see the humor in it at all. The other morning Viola was in the bathroom rolling her hair. Incidentally, she cuts my hair and has almost from the time we were married. Meanwhile back at the ranch, when she rolls her hair she uses those pink curlers to give it some curl, which is the reason I guess they call them curlers. When this task is completed, she then takes her hair dryer to make sure her hair is good and dry before taking it down. To hold the heat in, on this particular day, she had taken a pink wash cloth and placed it on top of her head before coming out of the bathroom.
When I saw her, the way she looked with that wash cloth on top of her head was really funny. The curlers had provided a level platform to hold the wash cloth in place and that’s when I made the comment, “You could start a fad with that.” When I looked up the meaning of the word “Fad” it fit. Fad means a temporary style, (thank goodness for that) amusement, fashion etc. So what I have said is possible. If you are a woman, the next time you roll your hair with curlers, I hope you will take a moment and place a wash cloth (it doesn’t have to be pink) on top of the curlers and think of Viola and the 12-year struggle she has had with Parkinson’s.
We all need people in our lives that encourage and inspire us to make a difference in the lives of others. Viola certainly does that for me and countless people here in our community, and I am confident many others who have kept up with her through this column. Men, we need inspiration, too. Hope this column blesses you as well.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)