My Strongest Trait that Keeps Me Going

By: Leah Weingarten Silber

Life is a tragedy for those who feel — a comedy for those who think. My personality has evolved in many ways, but my overriding trait during the years that helps me cope and overcome travails is my sense of humor.

I don’t remember when this happened, but I was told that at age 2 1/2 my father took me for a sleigh ride. As is happens, most children enjoy snow, and as my father observed my joyous reaction, he started walking much faster and as he pulled the sleigh, there must have been a stone or something in the road, and the next thing he saw, was the upturned sleigh in the snow and I was face down in the snow. He had a moment of panic until he righted the sleigh and was sure I would be hysterical from the shock.

Instead when he saw my face, I had a big smile and was giggling. Needless to say, he was in shock. He always said that that was my biggest ‘mayla’ that I was ready for anything that comes my way. I remember that story, even though my humor often turns to gallows humor, this is what keeps me going through thick or thin.

Gallows humor has its points. “It can always be worse.”

Case in point.

Two weeks ago my daughter and I were on a cruise Friday night off the Coast of Oregon — there was a humongous storm with winds up to 90, torrential rain and sleet, and constant turbulence to boot. The waves were up to 30 feet and we felt like the boat was a peanut in a tempest. The worst storm in 150 years.

My daughter was petrified and on the verge of tears; she was upset that I seemed to be calm. Finally I told her “don’t worry Mameleh, as soon as they throw Yonah overboard the sea will be calm.” She started laughing and became calmer.

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