Before dementia took over, my mother used to pen favorite quotes, writing ideas, and special information in a little notebook she carried in her purse.   One of my favorite things now is to discover scraps of papers tucked as markers in  books, little notes left in sweater pockets, or half-sheets mixed up with handkerchiefs at the bottom of old purses.

Here are several of my favorites: “All human wisdom is summed up in two words, wait and hope.” ~ Alexandre Dumas; “Things start out as hopes and end up as habits.” ~ Lillian Hellman;   and “Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.” ~ Arthur Miller

The main word all three of these quotes have in common is HOPE.   According to the Heart Institute of Louisville, Kentucky, humor and hope are inter-connected, and both are important in maintaining good health and a sense of well being.

The best medicine is a combination of humor and hope.

In the spirit of striving for good health, I’m sharing three things that made me smile (or laugh out loud) this week…and also made me feel more hopeful about the problems of the world.drinkable-book

The first is posted with thanks to Dr. Theresa Dankovich from Carnegie Mellon.   She is responsible for the “Drinkable Book,” with pages to tear out and use to turn raw sewage into safe drinking water.   Each page is printed with a message in the local language, explaining how the paper water filter makes the unsafe water of the village safe to drink.

The second is three cheers for a Georgia police officer, Kenneth Knox.  He performed reverse CPR on a 2-month-old baby and saved her life after regular CPR didn’t work.   Her parents recently asked Knox to be her godfather.  “It is my honor, my privilege and pleasure,” he said, “…my precious angel…I swear I will forever be your guardian…”   (Sometimes happiness and hope come with sniffles, too.)


And finally, this is with appreciation for the Netherlands-based video editors who used clips from the heated town hall forum for the recent Presidential debate and made it very funny…and a borderline happy and hopeful reminder that this, too, shall eventually pass.  The editors synchronized excerpts of Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s debate and set them to the duet  “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” from the 1987 romantic drama, DIRTY DANCING.   Google Clinton Trump Time of Our Lives for your choice of connections.


In a time of world problems, potential tragedies and discouraging conflicts, do not procrastinate.   Look for–and be open to–happy,  touching, reassuring, laugh-out-loud examples and events that will give you hope and improve your health.



Filed under Books and book titles, Dementia/Alzheimer's, experiments, just doing the best we can, lessons about life, life questions, special quotations

61 responses to “THE BEST MEDICINE

  1. juliabarrett

    Laughter is good medicine, Marilyn, as is hope. I know your mother shared plenty of both in her life. She is a wonder!

  2. I have to wonder how she would respond to the loud, hard-hitting, accusing and threatening politics. If it weren’t for the dementia, Julia, I know she’d be “talking back” to what happens on TV; I think she’d also laugh at the contrived “duet.” I know she would appreciate the last question of the debate, asking the candidates to share one thing they each respect or like about the other.

  3. I am glad you are finding hope and laughter to share with us.

    • I actually did it mostly for myself, Gallivanta. I was relieved to hear on the news (not political news) today that in America this election had already caused its own ailment: PCTSS (Political Campaign Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Whew, at least I’m not the only one! So I decided to fine examples of the news that made me laugh–or at least smile–and feel upbeat, and concentrate on those items.

      • Believe it or not, the US elections are affecting/dominating our daily lives in NZ! We would have cases of PCTSS here. Funny thing is we don’t ever get as excited, stressed, annoyed etc about our own elections.

      • Oh, Gallivanta, our Presidential election process this year has been almost obscenely annoying–via both candidates–so of course we’ll earn the 5-star award for the most cases of Political CAmpaign Traumatic Stress Syndrome. ;(
        My dad always said to live in the moment and not wish our lives away, but I can hardly wait until election day comes and goes.

  4. I sure hope it passes soon, Marylin. 😦
    “Look for–and be open to–happy, touching, reassuring, laugh-out-loud examples and events that will give you hope and improve your health.” YES! You’ve got my vote for president. 🙂
    Like your mother, I write down my favorite quotes on Post-it notes and they can be found all over. xo

    • Thanks but no thanks, Jill. As my dad used to say, anyone who really wanted to be President was probably unfit to be President.
      We have a darling 12-year-old neighbor girl who waters my flowers and watches the house when we’re gone. She’s focused, disciplined, funny and serious…and since no one in her family is happy voting for either candidate, she’s willing to be a write-in candidate. 😉 I suggested she at least graduate from high school first. (I didn’t have the heart to tell her what the real minimum age is.)

      • How wise your father was, Marylin. You’d have to be insane, especially the way things are now. LOL! You’re neighbor girl sounds like a pistol!

      • She is, Jill, but not in an armed-and-dangerous kind of way. 😉 I want to remember her offering to be the write-in during the election, and image a world in 35 years. There are some terrific young teens who will be great leaders, and if we combine our neighbor girl with our granddaughter and grandson (who are only a year older), along with out great kids, by 2042 we might have some good candidates! 🙂

  5. What a wonderful post, Marylin! Thank you for sharing these stories of hope–and laughter. I’d seen the clip of HRC and DT, since it’s all over FB.
    I love the idea of the book with pages of water filters. That is an amazing idea.

    • And each of those filters will purify a gallon of water, Merril. It is an amazing invention. I was thinking about buying a book to share with several local groups, but currently there are none for sale. They are provided free to the villages that most need them. And there’s another group that’s perfecting converting salt water into usable irrigation to grow certain crops in desert-ravaged areas of the world. These are very hopeful stories! ❤

  6. “The best medicine is a combination of humour and hope.” I love it! I also love your mom’s quotes. I have a friend who collects quotes and puts them all in a special journal. One can always find something to laugh about, no matter what.

    • Oh, I wish my mom had a special journal holding all her favorite quotes, notes and tidbits, Darlene. 😉 But it’s also such a treat when I’m boxing up old sweaters, coats and purses to find a folded piece of paper in a pocket and read the quotes she jotted down years ago.

    • Molly Mosher

      Quotes, like different greeting cards, can just strike a chord with you. Some are so wonderful that you must have them in some capacity. My favorite quotes go on things that I love (t-shirts, sweatshirts, bags, posters, jewelry, notebooks, etc.).

      • I still smile when I think of the pink t-shirt you wore–and then gave to me–with the two baseballs on the front: “Save Second Base” (for breast cancer awareness. 😉 ❤

  7. What a wonderful post! I wanted to share it to my Twitter followers, but looks like you don’t Twitter (Tweet?). 🙂 Wonderful, hopeful quotes – the smiles help us swallow life’s struggles, for sure. xo

    • Oh, you almost make me wish I did have an account, but I promised myself long ago that I wouldn’t spend any more time in social media than I have now. But I’m glad you enjoy the post, and I hope you’ll join us again. Thanks for the comment.

    • Molly Mosher

      It took me so long to get my mom on Facebook, and she struggles with many aspects of it. I would be floored if mom moved on to tweeting on Twitter. But anything is possible!!

  8. I really needed this reminder to laugh Marylin. I’ve been burning the candle at both ends and need to remember to keep humor and hope in my life. I’m working on it. I love the story of the police officer- what an inspiration!
    xoxo Joanne

    • And what’s that old expression about burning the candle at both ends? Something about ending up in the dark with burnt fingers? 🙂
      The story about the police officer really touched me, too, Joanne. And I loved the picture. I’m sure there are some legitimate concerns about some officers’ behavior, but I believe there are by far more officers who truly want to serve and protect. ❤

  9. I’m take a huge dose of your prescription – hope laced with humor. And I’ll “look for the sil-ver lining” too. Your three examples combine all three expertly. Well done, Marylin – once again!

  10. What a wonderful piece about hope…which is what I live on right now! Thanks.

  11. Hope and humor sure do add up to equal better health and a longer life. I’m certain that’s the reason for your mom’s longevity. What great quotes, and a precious, hopeful rescue story too, Marylin. 😀😀😀

    • I think you’re right, Tracy, that Mom’s hope and humor have contributed to her longevity. It must not be the solution for Alzheimer’s or dementia, though, so we’ll have to look for other “best medicines” for those. 😉

  12. I’ve just googled that clip – hilarious! See, even in the direst of circumstances we can find the funny. And boy, do I reckon you Americans need this at the moment 😀

    • Oh, you are so right, Jenny.
      I don’t know how the video group did it, but I think it’s hilarious! And then the next day on two different networks there was (much needed) laughter from the commentators, wondering if they could recreate the Dirty Dancing movie’s water scene next (where Swayze gets in the pond to practice lifting her over his head). The humorous possibility was a welcomed change here. 😉

    • Molly Mosher

      As perfect of a fit as the Dirty Dancing song was to go with the debate, I wonder how long it took to cut and splice and connect all the parts to make it work so well. However much time and work it took, it has definitely brought a smile, giggle or full on belly laugh to all who watch it.

      • Well, you just have to laugh, don’t you? The whole situation for you is appalling. I watched a documentary the other night about the upcoming US presidential election, outlining the two front runners and showing them both up for what they really are. I don’t envy the choice you Americans will be forced to make.

      • The best thing that came out of that debate–beside the wonderful closing question, asking what they liked/respected about each other–was that video, Mookie. I have a feeling that after tonight’s last no-holds-barred debate, we’ll be wishing for another funny musical video.

      • Oh, Jenny, you are so right, and I appreciate the sympathy. I don’t know what’s happening everywhere–seems like we’re all facing disasters–but our presidential election process has been a 3-ring-circus, and the really sad thing is that one of these candidate will be our president. The news last night had a segment on the increased numbers of anxiety attacks and migraines and cases of insomnia reported by American doctors.

  13. Jane Sturgeon

    I love the quotes nestling in forgotten places, where love lives on. Bless your lovely Mum. ❤ Hope laced with humour is our life blood and your first two pieces are examples of loving humanity. I feel for you all with the political shambles that is unfolding…ohh and your third option not knowing what Allepo is! Just because it is unfolding on the world stage, does not mean that we can't affect change by holding hope and humour is our hearts does it? "Who you are speaks so loudly I can't hear what you're saying" Ralph Waldo Emerson. I love you Marylin and your wonderful family. ❤ xXx

    • And I love you and your wonderful phrases describing the my mother’s papers “nestling in forgotten places where love lives on,” Jane. You have a lovely way of turning little simple things into shining details. Thank you.
      ❤ ❤ ❤

  14. Ye, humour and hope – I’ll follow your example. Thank you! 😊

  15. Nancy Parker Brummett

    Humor may just be what we need to survive! Thanks, Marylin.

    • Molly Mosher

      Humor is always the best medicine. When I was a little girl, if I was sick enough to go to the Dr. my mom and I would usually get to giggling so hard in the Doctor’s office that they wouldn’t believe I was sick. She and I always bring out the funny (odd, ridiculous, and strange) side of each other.

  16. Knowing we need it and being able to find it lost in the rubble of some of the day’s events are two different things, Nancy. But we’ll keep trying. And as my aunt used to say, if we just force our mouths into a big, wide smile, it will at least keep our necks toned. 😉 Have a great weekend, Nancy.

  17. Dear Marylin, I needed to read your post today, thank you for this! Such moving stories and I love the quotes, and just how sweet thinking of you finding your dear mom’s notes with her wonderful words of wisdom. She had it right, bless her. I watched the Trump/Clinton video, it’s hilarious! After a very difficult year for my family, it has been so good to spend a lot of time with the kids, and this weekend we laughed a lot. It gives me hope that we will heal and forge ahead in life and remember what is most important even when it seems the world has gone mad – faith, hope and love 🙂 ❤

    • Bless your heart, Sherri, this has been a hard year for you so laughing with your kids was surely the best medicine. And I’m glad you watched the Trump/Clinton video and laughed; it was the only funny political scene we’ve had in months; supposedly the video went viral with millions of hits, and I can understand why.
      It does sometimes feel like the world has gone made, but we will heal and forge ahead with faith, hope and love. Hugs and love to you and your family, Sherri. ❤

      • Best medicine indeed Marylin 🙂 Thank you so much, as always, for your dear wishes, love and hugs. I send the very same to you and and your family my dear friend. I am praying for America as your election fast approaches. I can’t vote but I can pray! ❤

      • And we certainly need your prayers, Sherri! ❤

  18. I saw that video… really did make light of the over exaggerate, negative campaign that we have all been living through the past few months. Thank goodness for people who can make us laugh!

    • Molly Mosher

      It is so amazing how in many parts of the video, it actually looks like they are mouthing the words to the song. It makes me giggle every time I watch it.

    • I agree, Robyn. And it took a couple in the Netherlands to put this video together to make us all laugh, and they did it without smears or insults or anything damaging. It was a double blast of fresh laughter, and much appreciated.

  19. Molly Mosher

    All of your examples of happy are very HAPPY. I love the video of Trump and Clinton….but I think the story of the Police officer and the baby is one of the most wonderful things in a long time. In such a time where many people can’t see the good in Police Officers, here is the evidence. As we know there are Bad people in every profession but the majority of Police officers would have done the same thing. This is one place where I do miss Trevor being in law enforcement, because this would of/could have been him. When he was a street Police Officer he was always looking for ways to actually serve and protect the citizens, not ways to hurt or harass them.

    • One of the many reasons I loved the police officer and baby story and picture so much, Molly, was because it reminded me so much of Trevor and his ability to connect to and protect children. Some police really do keep “serve and protect” at the top of their priorities! Hugs to Trevor for being that way! ❤ ❤ ❤

  20. Jim

    I’m with Molly. I love all the HAPPY stories, especially the one about the cop and the baby. “Protect and Serve” is a motto that is carried out by officers every single day in so many different ways, both big and small. One of our favorite family stories is about an alert officer who rescued an abandoned one year-old puppy from death by dehydration. That puppy became our beloved Maggie. The officer is our beloved son-on-law, Trevor. ❤

    • Absolutely, honey. Our Trevor gave us our wonderful Maggie dog, plus he’s the daddy of our grandchildren, the lights of our lives. Here’s to you, Trevor, and all the good you do that makes our lives–and the lives of so many–MUCH better. ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

  21. Just before I read this delightful reminder of hope and humor, I was asked to write a short post on what gives me respite in troubled times. You are inspiring me and giving me respite at the same time! Thank you, Marylin.

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