“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”
― Audrey Hepburn
July 27th marked the two year anniversary of my Mom’s passing. I was worried about the day, as I didn’t know how I would react. It has come and gone, and I am happy to say that although there were a few weak moments, the overall theme for me was remembering her light and her laughter.
As I thought about her, a million stories came to mind but the one that was front and center was shortly after her mastectomy and stage 4 cancer diagnoses. We barely got her home from the hospital, and she was raring to get back to her life. Two days out of the hospital and she was talking me into taking her to the elementary school, where she volunteered. “I miss my kids”, she said. So we precariously made our way over to the school, stopped at the office and the staff there was thrilled to see her. Hugs all around, and then to my great shock my mom lifts her shirt to show them that she is missing a part of her anatomy. I stood there shocked, and the ladies burst into laughter and then carried on as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened.
As we started to make our way down the hallway to the classroom where she worked, I looked over at her and said: “Listen, if you flash these small children…. I am just going to walk away and leave you here for the authorities. I will not bail you out of jail, you hear me?”
To which her face lit up, the twinkle came out in full force and she laughed, right from the toes.
I am happy to say, she did not perform any shirt lifting antics. There were no small children harmed in any way. But to this day, I think about it and it makes me laugh.
That’s what I miss the most that laugh. I can still hear it. There are a few people in my life that have absolutely “hand down’ the best laughs. My Mom and my Aunt Nora were two of them. When I think of them, I can still hear their laughter ringing in my ears. They would sit for hours sharing stories and laughing uncontrollably. I didn’t care what they were saying; I just wanted to hear that laughter. It was music to my ears.
It would make you laugh right along with them.
My friend’s son, who left us too soon, was another one. He had the most impish laugh, and he had the same twinkle in his eye that my mom had. That look that told you they were up to no good. When I think about him, it is the first thing I remember. The lightness, twinkle and laughter that he brought to all around him.
And my own husband has one of the best laughs I have ever heard. It is so distinctive that a neighbor down the street once asked me, are you the wife of the guy with the great laugh. I am going to have to come join you guys on your deck sometime, with a margarita in hand just so I can listen to that laugh, she said.
This laughter is a gift to us all, and I believe a sign of a life well lived when people think about you and the first thing that comes to mind is that laughter that you filled them with.
Wishing you a life full of laughter