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Is it OK to Laugh During Such a Difficult Time? A conversation with Gregg and Jeff Foxworthy

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
April 26, 2020 10:24 pm

Is it OK to Laugh During Such a Difficult Time? A conversation with Gregg and Jeff Foxworthy

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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April 26, 2020 10:24 pm

The Foxworthys are two of my favorite people in the world. For twenty years, I've had the privilege of calling them friends ...and they have both been great mentors to me as I've built the show and our message to family caregivers. 

Is it OK to laugh ...even when dealing with harsh realities? Yes! Keeping a sense of humor is imperative. Every caregiver will admit the tears are never in short supply. But the inventory of laughter remains scarcer than a roll of Charmin at Walmart. Humor can not only help the healing process with the patient but also for the caregiver — as well as the country.

Jeff and Gregg married nearly 35 years ago, and their amazing partnership as helped lighten the hearts of countless lives. YOU WILL LOVE this conversation with these two wonderful people. 

About Peter Rosenberger

“How can you laugh given what you all live through!?”

Peter Rosenberger often hears that question when people learn of his 34+ year journey as a caregiver for his wife, Gracie, who lives with severe disabilities(80 operations & the amputation of both legs).Yet, Peter and Gracie draw hope from their deep faith which strengthens their hearts—and the couple brings a contagious inspiration that lightens weary hearts struggling with challenges.

 Sponsored by: Standing With Hope

Grace To You
John MacArthur
Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts
Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts
Grace To You
John MacArthur
Focus on the Family
Jim Daly

A series of people that I wanted to have on the show just to speak from their heart and encourage us as Americans just as individuals, as believers in just the end and mostly as caregivers and to talk about their own journeys and am ending this series with the bang here because I've got two of the most dear people in the whole world that are on the show with me today and that is Jeff Foxworthy and his lovely wife Greg and I'm glad to have you both here. So thank you for joining me all the weight of it out of the driveway at all and love you. I look alert Larry the cable Guy was on a couple weeks ago and we were having a conversation and and as a lot of people don't know this but he geeky get quite serious at times and deal with things and he doesn't mind just jump in and all because the subjects were talk about something and all of a sudden out of the blue he said hey dear dear shave his mustache while it was light. Your most worked up about that. Did you say that a girl back to what what is going on with that horn, I started growing it, but 20 1112 grade break and are about to be married for 35 years and she had never seen me without it though, aren't they not all and all my friends got canceled.

Not all will. I've never had yellow mom where I want. Don't stay in my adult life, and so I said whoa and I didn't have anybody I just did it in writing. Look at it yeah okay back online and not novelty was over and Bonnie people online were like not light, not American.

I have shaped one time and now I'm happy to report back in full force staff grow did say the same reaction. Thank you Doug with her father look like me.

I would start with Greg you are in engage now as a caregiver, like people may not know this about you guys but you guys have aging parents and you're dealing with realities and bright. What has it been for you and what would more specifically what surprised you about the journey that you probably didn't expect or didn't think about, but it just kinda hit you in surprised why I know a lot of my friend are coming in you dad role for the first time.

However, And I have been in this role for years because it was my stepfather for years. He went through a lot of illnesses and then it just a guy and it morphed right into my mom and I careened that I have to allow myself to feel from time to time. For example, her birthday with this month and every year for years we went to New York in April and spent a long weekend and saw shadows and went shopping and it was just our annual time. Well, she has Parkinson's and she can't really travel anymore. Mentally, she is great, but physically deteriorating.

So I it not just bad for her.

It's a loss for me as well because those shared experiences have been taken with her disease and with her age and so I have to allow myself to feel grief and sadness not get but for myself as well just your career is is so consuming with in attainment and so forth.

And yet when you come home you're not Jeff Foxworthy on stage. You're just to Foxworthy.

Greg's husband and you're watching her go through these things. What do you and how you respond and how do you connect with her through that kind of stuff. Well, I made an appointment. Caregiving paid her for 20 years early. 40 yeah, like you, it's just her nature.

God wired her about my work both here when you're wired without thinking about it just taking care of people that me and said she is amazing at because there are times that it gets frustrating like with her mom who like she says, mentally healthy, and you know you want to go out to dinner, but the cost of the inner pocket really been accelerating the last couple years and now she can barely walk in and so you want to take her out to eat, but it is become such an ordeal and Greg just left for the enormous amount of patients an enormous amount of compassion and understanding and and is able to just sit back and and and and have the joy of her mom company myth all the work and so I marvel at her every day, marveled at her every day for 35 years already this copy of this you are too great. Will this your for your faith very important to both of you. What is what. How is that anchored you through these these grieving spouse of these these things were. You're constantly being asked to or find yourself involved in caring and and watching the deterioration watching the first or we all have those things in any feel helpless about it. Where does your faith anchor you in the six and without it I don't know how anyone survived anything but it lip service to me when you when you hear you need to be great all and thank the Lord trust in the Lord and know that there's a plan, but we do and so if I start to get down.

I have to stop and and really make myself take note and say okay what am I thankful for unthankful she could still do this. I'm thankful I thought that with her. I'm thankful that I'm able to do these things with her and I met in a position to help her and God has equipped me to be able to do that so I it. It's finding that the joy and thankfulness and gratefulness and sometimes the most difficult situations that I got a buddy bonded that told me this some years ago and it really worked out and sometimes the simple things are the most effective things and when you're laying in bed at night in your you're talking with the ceiling fan and your your mind is racing and you don't know what to do, just okay what what about this, but there's something to this and he said the way I settle mom on down is I just go to the alphabet and a list everything the start of that letter that I can think of, and be grateful for those things and has helped lined up allow you you guess you guys are all grateful people know that off of spend time with you know the gratitude is the part of your life.

What are some things that you do just that. That you would your mother's race like that to re-anchor yourself in that specifically with the gratitude of with the what the Lord is done with with the gist of the marriage that you two have had your kids and so forth just anchoring yourself because I know that it can get it if you get hairy at times. All now I get hairy a lot no greater for forever I got a Bible study with homeless guys in a buddy of mine Ronnie Brassfield one of the things that were taught through the years in the road and and and what the fork in the road is between good and bad and and I say that because the devil to make stuff look bad if you made it look bad you.

You wouldn't walk out. He makes it look good and so you know what you think about every morning between good and bad being God and so at that more could you imagine a road coming to forget it at that why I've always and I'm a mental image person I get being a writer or whatever, but that why to me is is my feet hitting the floor in the morning and and when my feet up on the morning I try to remind myself every day when I get the floor slip on the slivers of gratitude because I find being grateful makes you aware that you're not in control. You know that one of the things that I think that this coronavirus astonished to make people realize that while I thought I was in control of my life and I'm not in control of anything and and I think that's one of the lessons that I've learned in life is is really not in control and so it is the creator that is in control.

You know my mom my mom and set an issue through the years of chance of bleeding along one side of the long blades and when it leads to bad she ends up being hospitalized: February she was in ICU for couple weeks in the hospital for about three weeks and in rehab for another week or two after that, and now she goes home. She is 83 years old with a bleeding long in this coronavirus, you know, and thankfully she has one of her brothers who is staying with her and so she's got somebody with your we drove up the other day and took barbecue and set it on the porch and visited for an hour or two from the yard, but you know and so my mom who taught me faith that it is a young age. She said you know I just took Darren and think what if my lungs starts bleeding again and I should control you have over that mom.

She said not so don't sit there and what you know when not in control of anything in any and some people may look at that as a negative or something to that have despair in, but II don't look at it that way. It's almost free.

To me it's like okay you're in control and and so every day that we do this as an adventure every day. I don't know what today's going to find when I hit the floor, but I don't know.

It is not for me, but God knows what's going to happen is not for me that that he is equipped me in many ways to deal with what I can deal with these equipped to deal with any and letting go and I physically.

The older I get, I guess I will I will clench my fist like going down the road from I got three open traffic will clench my trip and I literally just open my disco got let go, let it go and I found just that simple act of just opening my hand is freeing and fortifying will. I learned the hard way. Gracie did not deliver this with her legs allergic to push wheelchair with clicks this know Gracie was not in the wheelchair without strata push with disconnect concept is that we do want to hang onto these resentments and and and they will eat you will love Greg. You have spent a good time dealing with people in crisis and in and training yourself and equipping yourself to be able to go and be with people in different kinds of crisis withers intervention stuff or whatever and what have you learned through that process. That is better equipped you to care for someone who's going through the deterioration of life and agent and chronic illnesses, impairments, and so forth. First I want to say my impression of Terry Terry's letter that was the narrating out. That was the word I was looking for this you know this is a family show great and I heard a great day because you're the truck will you do this in a buddy by Kobe nobody said of the recordings they slept late and they said we get to bed last night to relate was that I sent out under the will to hear this. Just sit there and watch the sunrise over the windshield. You know it, but know he is precious. Precious is that that's a good hour for you to go on my car in church. I mean a member the moment and I had little babies and and now all could become a Stephen Minister and that was at the time a like Christian men and ministry and it morph and I don't think they'll collect Stephen's ministry had the founder of it on the shoe 10 Stephen ministers love them. Why eye-opening for me and you know that you can go back and make other choices in life.

I think I will you know maybe I should've gone into counseling or something. I don't know but open doors and understanding for me to equip me to be able to go any teeth fall simply by listening and and that was the whole Koran that it it it was that Celtic learn to live within two not only what people were that about, but you know what's underneath all that and give them comfort through scripture and pray.

Prayer, but he was learning and that what I Terry instrumental an important parent and help me as a white friend just incredible skill. But I learned that you can't pick people and I had been kind of ethics are always and I felt that connecting to one of that's just how again how I'm wired to a mania grant will help not you want to fax and one I let that go and I have to do it often and I have to remind myself often because it's not natural to think let it go one site you and I will release that and realize I can think that sometimes will fit with somebody and their hurt and let God do the work.

All I have to do is just that therapy present that was very important and that help in every every aspect of my life and then and later life.

I started helping with interventions and getting people to peanut my pet drug or alcohol dependency can't help and that in" frantically rewarding and wonderful to see people get healthy.

We know there's nothing like chronic impairment to effectively convince you that you can't fix because you throw everything you have at it. And then when you realize you don't have to.

That's not your role and you guys are elbows deep into a lot of very painful situations with a lot of different lives and you have been in that type of mentality is what I want to bring to the show to help people understand because the people I caring for on the show reaching out and in trying to hopefully point to safety. You know, these are the things that we need to know be reminded a body to be reminded of the success I've said for years that I don't really need a lot of instruction, but we need a whole lot of reminders in the safety past where we where safety here for us what work safety is knowing that it's not mine to fix. I didn't do this to Gracie. I can't undo this uterine cause Parkinson's with your brother you can't undo this.

You didn't call your mother's lovely Jeff you can't undo this and so our role is different in this and is learning to be at peace and I think this usage of this coronavirus is has really solidified that we are not masters of our own domain here and and said what it meant.

What we are. We are completely at the mercy of someone we can even see.

And that's that's unsettling for people is a lot of people which is the initial action, but very strange for me and that all work is gone. I can't do a live show. I can't do a TV show all of my work is gone.

You got me to your baby. I'm here for you in boxes. Did books I will abilities of caregivers.

They don't change day-to-day you know what changes is our attitude and and so one of and I need to remind myself that sometimes you know my mom has clung to being in the house and I understand it, it's near her friends are near church and all but over an hour away from where we are and so is not going down the street to go take her groceries to go take her to eat but I understand why she wanted to live there. I understand that she doesn't want to have this condition. That's one of the things that I have to remind myself of mass for this and she doesn't and and so you know the only thing that that we really have influence on as caregivers is our attitude and and I don't know.

Out of all the job why I was given the gift of being able to make people laugh and and and I don't think that laughter makes struggle go away but I do think laughter is like the release file name Euler from from exploding and and so when I look at it like that. I go all of this is the kind of a cool gift that I've been given.

I'm keeping people from exploding in this caregivers sometimes we do get so caught up in the struggle and then the negative been in the event that we that we lose our humor and in our humor controls our attitude and and you're going to be doing the job anyway so happened that a positive attitude about it makes it better for you and it makes it better for the person you're taking care of and in so you know I trodden not lose sight of the fact that I remind myself and the frustration of the strugglers (and all and so you know that would be a reminder I would get the people out there find something that makes you laugh every night are our family during this coronavirus. We watched a couple episodes of all and I don't know why that is a great word to be totally we got to go to break your with Jesse Greg Foxworthy, this is over. The caregiver hopefully to we got more go Larry the cable Guy home for the caregiver burn your you ever struggled to trust God when things happen to you Gracie Rosenberger in 1983 I experienced a horrific car accident leading 80 surgeries in both legs and became I questioned why God allowed something so brutal to happen to me. But over time the questions changed and I discovered courage to trust God that understanding along with an appreciation for quality prosthetic limbs led me to establish standing with help more than a dozen years we been working with the government of Ghana and West Africa, equipping and training local workers to build and maintain quality prosthetic limbs for their own people on a regular basis. We purchased ship equipment and supplies and with the help of inmates in a Tennessee prison. We also recycle parts from donated lambs.

All of this is to point others to Christ. The source of my help and strength these visit standing with to learn more and participate in lifting others standing I'm Gracie. I am staining with help and hope caregiver here on Sirius XM 130 and we told Channel 877-655-6755 if you will be for sure this was Gracie's love that and the love listen to her sing and she she means that you give your home for little joy for your sorrow and that's what the show was all about you as a family caregiver learn to be able to navigate to a place of safety for you. We can't take away the pain we can take away the heartache we can take with the grieving, but we hope through this show that we can leave you little better than we found you and you're more equipped with the vocabulary of understanding what your role in this and and more importantly how God is working in your life. Through this, and in doing that. I've invited to very special guest on the day lives. Jeff and Greg Foxworthy and they been friends source for a long time and am very grateful for them, grateful for their insights and I have told this to Jeff it affect effect when I first started doing a radio show that I had this idea of doing it. Jeff was the one guy that just jumped on and said you need to do this and Peter make them laugh. You know more than most how painful the journey is and they need to be able laugh and his mentor me through this process. Both of them have as of Ghana stepped into broadcasting all this kind of thing and I also just steal liberally from an adult can make an apology.

I have watched this is that many times of listen to his show on the course.

He is the company around a puerile serious as well and he and Larry the cable guy, but he does a a show every week or so that's called a comic mine where he digs into these comedians and and brilliant cut unpacks how they do things and Greg. If you indulge me for just a minute Jeff, I would ask you about this element. Here's the set up our country right now is is just you were all over the map. Here, but you're one of these unique individuals because of the nature of your work that you have seen more America than most politicians ever will, including precedents that's part of being a standup comedian that you get out and you spend time in util minuscule places around the country you're interacting with America on a level that very few people really do as you look out of the landscape.

That's not Corona. That's a favor and if you look out on them. The landscape and you see the unsteadiness of this country that I know Judge to love and these people love you and you how do you write and dig into comedy to help get them to a place of safety while they swear they could just catch their breath or taking the if they have to, and Barry Manilow said this years ago when I heard this interview he said I'm not there to cure cancer. I just want help make you forget about it for about an hour and 1/2 and I thought it was such a great quote that's that's that's your heart I know that, but how does that work mail. In this situation, walk us through that little bit you know it and the last year or so, I show by saying you and I remind myself to walk out of everybody to be looking at is going to struggle that might be financial it might be physical, it might be emotional but every single person that I look at is going to struggle and everybody that you ever see him going through a struggle and so you go back to the point I don't think laughter makes struggle go white, but, but it does keep you from going quite laughter does music. That is why a lot of things and and and and one of the coolest things about being a comedian as a kid I never went anywhere vacation for us.

What was going from Georgia to Denmark South Carolina to stay in my grandmother's work for two weeks on the farm in all 50 states and I met many people that have been every state and not only all 50 states almost every particle and and and the biggest thing I learned from that is the scenery changes that accents change people. People are the same everywhere you go to things that people want and desire are the same everywhere you go you know if I was contemplating the other day always amazes me that when the country is in crisis like like it is now or 9/11 or whatever that you people rise people. People want to take care of the job. People go out of their way to take care of each other, which is a cool kind of phenomenon.

So you know as a comedian what you're looking for is what we have in common and and that's where comedy is for me. I was very lucky very early on and in my comedy career to learn what worked for me and that was I just assume that if I fall something or my wife said something or my family did something I'm going to assume other people are thinking and saying and doing the same thing and and and so that for me I didn't have to sit there and go. What's funny. What's funny. What's funny like like a joke on the last session with Larry. I should hear hear things that Google can't tell you one of the things was that of all the serial out of all the serial Cap'n Crunch is the most time intensive about that a minute if you if you to after you pour the milk around you will the roof of your mouth just read all the milk on a wire brush lit up, and only about five why don't Cap'n Crunch what you pour the milk on when you dive into a people burst out laughing and so I'm like wow I'm not the only person to have this all but I operated on the assumption if I thought this people thought and so you know that the biggest compliment for me is after showing semi comes up because all my gosh you've been on our how all my gosh I've done that arrived thought that you realize you know politically in this country and it's kind of nice right now because so much of the politics of going away outside Washington politically. Where where as divided as I remember in my lifetime, but I think it you can take people from both ends of the political spectrum and just sit down with them and Paul and you will find that they probably have 85% of everything in common but as of Friday we don't dwell on that 85%. We dwell on the 15% that is different.

As a comedian I want that 85%, so went. When I walked out there to talk. I don't care how you I don't care where you live. If you want to find the things that connect this you know and an environment like were all living in right now they were all connected.

What you do affects me. What I do affects you and so yeah I don't know if I answered your question or not, will you take me to the process and that's what I find fascinating is is connecting to people instead of trying to come up with something that's funny just looking at life and a lot of people don't know this and Greg, I wanted I want to dig into your past little bit but a lot of people don't know this, that when Jeff left IBM I would.

I think you have destroyed the privilege everybody in your life that you were nuts for doing so.

Jeff is at right. Except for Greg at the only person that said, you have all of this stuff bottled up inside of you and if you don't find a way to get it out. You're going to have a miserable life. What was that like for you when he made that decision and you will you set out the audience in and took notes of jokes that worked and now it was a no-brainer and and we were in our 2620 Avenue that we didn't have those kind of pressures and responsibilities and you know my thought was if you give this a shot.

Now you're never going to know and I just knew the way that it wire him and equip campaign. He had no much fire and such talent. Be put to good use and never

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