If I Weren’t Laughing, I’d be Crying

This has been sort of a motto (sometimes excuse) I’ve used throughout my life for my desire to see the humor in nearly any situation. At times it’s served me well, lightening the mood at a crucial moment, and at other times it’s gotten me into trouble.

This blog, often categorized as a ”˜humor’ blog, was created as an outlet when I was going through the hardest period of my life to date. I was in so much physical and emotional pain. What could be more natural than writing about my life in a way that would crack other people up?

The first time I remember this concept being discussed was at my grandpa’s funeral. He had died suddenly and it was traumatic for all the grandkids. On the way to the funeral, we stopped for some fast food. As we were loading the drinks into the van, my mom started it up and it immediately lurched forward, drinks exploding everywhere. Every surface of the van was drenched in soda, not conducive to a long car ride. We drove all the way back home, cleaned out the van, put tarps on all of the seats and started out again. Along the way we saw a rainbow and I remember my mom producing giggles by telling us it must be a sign from God that he would never flood the van with soda again.

At the internment, we found humor in the fact that Grandpa’s next door grave neighbor was named James Kirk. How cool to be laid to rest next to the captain.

After the family dinner, out of a clear blue sky came a large dark cloud that rested right over the house where we were staying. Down poured an amazing deluge of hail. All of the grandkids went nuts, running, screaming and laughing through the pelting storm, as sun shone all around the dark cloud. It was an amazing emotional release at the end of a dreadful day. We felt sure that Grandpa had requested the storm for us personally, sick of seeing his grandkids looking so forlorn.

At Aunt J’s funeral service, the tears were near constant. She is a woman almost impossible to hyperbolize. She really IS that wonderful, not in a “perfect” way but in a perfectly real and loving way. When my mother-in-law was discussing her talk for the funeral, Aunt J stopped her at one point in her list of attributes, semi-annoyed, and said, “DON’T LIE.” I love that about her.

At every step of the two-day funeral process, Laylee would ask us, “Is this the part where her body and spirit get stuck back together and she can move again?” Sadly, no, it never was. At one point, frustrated, she asked, “Okay. Then can she please PLEASE get resurrected tomorrow?”

Soon. Soon. Not soon enough for my taste, but I guess “soon” is relative.

Laylee had everyone around her cracking up during the funeral service. She got so bored halfway through when it became apparent that no Beauty-and-the-Beast-style fireworks would be coming from the “Snow White bed” where J’s body was lying, that she started distributing goldfish crackers up and down the church pew to friends, family members and complete strangers. On her second pass, she grabbed a handful so large, it was obvious she would be spilling them all over the place. Dan whispered to her, “Laylee. That’s too many.” She sighed, rolled her eyes, took ONE cracker from her bulging fist, put it back in the bag and continued on her mission. It took a lot of control for everyone who witnessed it not to bust out laughing.

We definitely watch too many movies on long roadtrips but it keeps us sane and it makes for some really good jokes.

At a rest stop, I washed the windows of the car and Laylee (having just watched Aladdin) asked, “Did you squeege these windows? Did you bring me here?”

At a restaurant in Sumpter, where a model train circles around several times per hour, Laylee got impatient for the train to make its next pass. She laid down in mock exasperation and began to sing the famous Snow White ballad, “Some day my TRAIN will come.”
Overall, the trip was a good one. The kids did really well. Heather took some gorgeous portraits of them in her new studio. We got to see friends and family and say “See you soon” to a woman we will never stop loving.

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