Laughter from Pain
by Guest Writer
Published on April 25, 2024
Categories: Aging | Health & Fitness

Laughter From Pain

Several years ago, I had a nasty accident while hitching up my camper to the ball. It just would not connect as it should. I was sure I had it lined up correctly. We were heading out early to the campground for the weekend, and it was drizzling ever so lightly. I bent down to try and figure out why the hitch would not go down on the ball and put my finger up there to feel how far it was off. BAM! The hitch came down and I felt a shot of pain go through my whole body. I cried out “OUCH!” and grabbed my hand. My wife, who was in the Mountaineer, asked if I was OK. I said, “I don’t think so” and I sat down on the running bar of the passenger side of the car.

She came around the vehicle and took my hand away. It was then that we realized the top of my finger was missing. She ran into the house and grabbed a towel to wrap around it and took me right to the emergency room, which was fortunately only a mile away. I was in shock and remember little about how long it took the surgeon to get there, but I do remember them asking her if she had the rest of the finger. She said no and ran home to find it on the ground. When she returned with it, they said it was too crushed to be put back on so they stitched up my finger with this huge bulb of a bandage and I wore that for 6 weeks.

When the bandage came off, we realized that a small part of the fingernail was left. The surgeon said he could remove it, but it would result in another six weeks of bandaging, and I decided I could live with it.  Wouldn’t you know it, but that fingernail continued to grow. It became a pointer-like fixture on the end of my finger that I thought really had no purpose. But I soon found out it had one good purpose.

My grandchildren at this time ranged from 10 to 2 and were still living close by. They visited quite often, and we took our three youngest to church every Sunday. While we were together, I figured out that this little protrusion from my index finger was quite effective at tickling!  And all my grandchildren had inherited my ticklish nature. The tickle finger became a staple way of producing laughter in our house and theirs and is now used with the newest addition to our growing clan.

When odd things happen, and seeming tragedy comes into our lives, there is always a silver lining. We just need to look for it! God can turn all things for our good, and he always does. Never despair when bad things happen but look up to the one who can turn all things for His good. It turns out the pain I went through became a source of great laughter for future generations. And what a blessing that laughter is!

Peter Gardner, is an author, writer and cancer survivor. He is a vivid writer including his book “The A.S.K. Principal”, written while going through cancer, is a very thorough study on developing a more effective prayer life. A second book, A Stroll with the Psalmist: Uplifting Poetry for Everyday Life is one of poetry. Be sure to check out his website/blog with links to his other websites. At 72, Peter stays busy as a professional insurance agent, an associate in a local hardware store, prep work at a restaurant, and is a cartographer. He and his wife, Janeen live in a small town in Iowa and have been married for 45+ years. They have 3 daughters, 7 grandchildren and are welcoming their first great-grandchild in 2024. His life is full!


  1. Harold “Bud” Boughton

    I am a Christian Grandfather (9 grandchildren) and published author living in Indianapolis. How can I submit Articles for publication in your magazine?


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