Since Christmas morning, when my best friend’s mother unexpectedly passed away, I have wanted to write something that would make my friend smile.
I keep waiting for my boys to say or do something funny.
I keep hoping I will be struck by a laugh-out-loud moment. That if I just wait one more day, I will stumble upon something that will make my friend smile.
Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.
I just want to give her a second of not thinking about her mom, even when I know that those seconds will not come for a while.
I guess that I have to be open to funny for it to happen. And I too am sad.
Then tonight, while talking to her on the phone, she made me laugh.
And suddenly I remembered that last night, at the dinner table, my husband made my nine-year-old snort milk through his nose. My ten-year-old claims chicken came out of his. And they laughed and laughed and laughed like only kids can – my husband included. And though I rolled my eyes, that just made them all laugh more.
And my housekeeper and I had a long discussion pointing at a calendar, and we decided with me trying to speak Spanish and her trying to speak English, that she would either take vacation next week or come clean the house. Can’t tell you what we decided. I think she knows I left it up to her. I think we agreed on a vacation. My friend will blame our not-so-good Spanish teacher when the housekeeper arrives next week with the house trashed and us all in our pajamas.
And when my car went dead today, it took more than three hours to get it charged because my neighbor thought it was the starter then left for work. And the rest of our neighbors are out of town. When my friends finally came to the rescue, they arrived in stages with two cars, three kids, wet hair and no coats in 20-degree weather. My crazy dog raced up and down the yard, barking and kicking up mulch mixed with snow because the car drama kept growing and growing. Not laugh-out-loud, but once the car started, the image took on a funny Norman Rockwell hue.
And when my five year old and his friend were discovered in serious conversation during the playdate that saved the car drama day, they said, “We’re just talking.”
“About how our big brothers are mean to us.”
And my friend, who was watching them during the car debacle, said, “Well you have a lot in common in then. Do you want to play a new game?”
“Nope, we still have a lot to talk about.”
Maybe when things get bad, you just need to know it’s okay to laugh at the little things. To smile through the pain when one moment makes us forget what we are going through even if it lasts just the blink of an eye before reality sinks in again. Those moments will eventually build on each other so that whole days go by when we feel happy again. When we can think of what is lost or those we miss without such intense sorrow. When we are open to the funny things that happen every day.
The amazing thing is when the person suffering the most is the one who reminds of us that. Who releases us to laugh with them.