My mother’s laugh fills the house with bells of truth and innocence and freedom. It fills you with the warmth of acceptance and
belonging… because her giggle is a gift… a gift that says, “I love you, even if you’re not really funny.” Because even when you aren’t funny… she still laughs. And laughs. Tears down her cheeks… a stifled snort turns into belly aches and smile aches. Because her laughter spreads and latches on to anyone within range… pulling them into the hysterics.
She was the mom that every child found… each lonely, lost kid who needed a loving home. Latch-key kids would show up on our steps… not their own, to an empty, silent house. But to our house… the house of laughter, activities for kids, a warm and loving reception. She loved them. Welcomed them. Gave snacks and drinks, yes, but more than that.
My best friends often felt more at home in my home. Sometimes I was jealous for her… not because I ever got lost in the crowd… but because she was mine.
But they needed her and she was theirs too.
And she needed them also… herself the child of lovelessness, parentlessness, longing to be loved by those names supposedly held dear…”Mother” and “Father.” She lived a life of survival and struggle and conflict and pain… of rejection and disappointment and discouragement. She had no model for laughter or joy or hope or LOVE.
And yet she grew into an extension of all the things she lacked.
Because she found Jesus… the real Jesus… not the one her mom pretended to serve… but the one who reached out to her in her desperation and longing… and filled her with laughter.
The kind of laughter that isn’t rooted in what we can actually see or hear… but the kind that bubbles up from within… from a source and a well that is untouchable. Unbreakable.
Not because life is easy or fun or happy or perfect.
But because laughter saves us. It saves her. Saves us from being sucked under by the negativity thrown our way. The mocking kinds of laughter that leave us bruised and marred.
Her laughter was and is a shield… that protected us from some of the ugly realities of life. Gave us “glasses” through which to see the world… lightened it’s color and changed the angle…
Made it funny.
My mom kept us going, kept us laughing and giggling, when the world wasn’t really that funny…
“Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused.”
I love you, Mom!