Silliness is good for the soul. I learned that when my daughter was dying. She had just turned four, was a patient at St. Jude’s. A broken heart needs laughter, a tourniquet of giggles, a cascade of courageous chuckles. Children know this.

My Laurie needed laughter; she lay in bed facing chemo, facing being bald, facing three years of radical attempts to save her life. Some of the strongest chemo available; it left her vomiting for hours in the middle of the night. Three surgeries, two years of chemo and a final round of radiation.

When she was bald, I told her I hoped her hair didn’t grow back in like Phyllis Diller’s. We told riddles and jokes. We watched The Brady Bunch. She sat on my lap and we rocked and rocked and rocked. This is not easy to write. She is with me, though. Lately people are intent on telling me that. She is brave and strong now; she was then.

I kept writing jokes the whole time she was ill. I heard Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller use them on the air. They paid me next to nothing. It didn’t matter; I knew I must be good for them to be buying my material.

She has been gone for many years, but not really. I am sure she loves Swami Z and the gang. She always wants me to be happy and I really try. But some days I fall down on the job. I always get back up, though. I learned that from her.

Vicki Woodyard

Consider ordering LIFE WITH A HOLE IN IT. Her spirit is in it. We need to give it the wings to fly. Just click on the book image to the right of the page. Or donate to keep the site going in her memory and her father’s. They are the wind beneath MY wings.


  1. The fool is there to keep Lear sane. And fotune favours fools.He is silly who can only be serious.But after much silliness,there is much seriousness.Perhaps I intended it that way.


  2. Let the world revolve in its seriousness/I will better be in this clown’s uniform/Laughing,knowing,eating better/Alas!who sounds the horns from Heavens?/It is time for me to be dead serious.


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