Anyone who knows me well, knows I haven’t been myself these past couple weeks. I am usually a very joyful person. I find the smallest things amusing and funny. I love to laugh, sing, and dance. In the past month I haven’t been able to do any of these things. I laugh some, but not like I usually do. I miss these parts of myself so dearly and I have been eagerly waiting for their return since the day they left, but I couldn’t see it happening anytime soon.
So it came as a shock to myself (and to those around me) when I snorted out a laugh at the most inappropriate time imaginable. I am not someone who laughs at the misfortune of others, or relishes moments when people make fools of themselves. These events actually make me very uncomfortable and sad. I do however, find humor in people falling. It sounds hateful and mean, but I promise it isn’t. It reminds me of how human and imperfect we are. It reminds me that I can mess up something I have done every day since I was one year old: walking.
I fall all the time. I run into things daily. I am a very clumsy person, and when people witness my clumsy moments I expect them to laugh with (or at) me. I feel very uncomfortable when someone doesn’t laugh after watching me trip up the steps and consequently sliding all the way to bottom of the steps on my stomach. Just laugh, if you don’t then my horribly embarrassing moment was for nothing. It’s funny!
So when I heard about an old woman rolling out of the front door in her wheel chair and face planting in the road, a lost part of me returned. It returned in the form of snorting laughter which then escalated into a rich, belly laugh. I am a little ashamed to confess that I laughed before I knew she was okay, and also that it was during a time of prayer (it keeps getting worse). Part of me wants to keep this shameful event between myself and those who heard me laugh (and were rightfully horrified by it). But, although shameful, this laughter marks a very important time in my life. It marks the beginning of my return. I am slowly finding those pieces of me that I lost. It started with laughing at an unfortunate old lady (she is ok) and it continued with me dancing in my kitchen. Later that night I laughed at “The Office” like I have never heard anything so funny. I am returning and it feels so good!
This is for you old lady: Thank you for sacrificing your face and body so that a part of me could find its way back. I know you have no idea that this happened, and if I ever meet you I will never confess to laughing at your situation, but I still want to say thank you. I can only hope that someday, even when I am old and frail, my inevitable fall and possible demise will bring a rich belly laugh to someone in need of joy.