Video Vignettes - Mary Lovato
Mary Lovato / Humor as Therapy

"One time I was, we were all just Native Americans sitting around in our chemo treatment chairs. There was a lot of Navajos, there was a lot of Pueblos, that were all there getting the treatment. That one day it happened, just nothing but native people were all sitting in that chemo chairs and I was picking up little Navajo words here and there. As I was sitting there, there was an elderly Navajo man that wasn't feeling good that morning and I wasn't feeling too good about myself either. I was kinda down, but as soon as he came in his son and his wife said, oh my husband is not feeling good. They sat right next to me and I said I'm not feeling good either. Then I said maybe you could pull his chair close to me and the lady was wondering what I was going to do. So they pulled the chair next to me and I started talking to him and I rubbing his hands. I started to talk to him in Navajo, like hello. I learned how to say… (native tongue), that's hello to the Navajo. Then I said another word and everybody cracked up laughing the Navajo people that were sitting there cracked up laughing and I didn't know what that meant, you know, the other word that I used. And then the wife was going like that to me. Then I asked the son, how come she's going like that and he said you asked my dad to marry you. He was like 69, somewhere around there. Then he cried and laughed so hard, he said that he felt better after he was laughing then he wasn't in pain any longer and I too didn't have the pain any longer because I started to laugh and I guess by laughing and it was healing me as I laughed and talking to them. So I learned how to heal myself is by putting a lot of humor while I'm on the chair and talking to my bags."