*Continuance of “My Story” starting with Blog #1: When your life flashes before your eyes in a flood gate of memories…
I was learning a LOT during this entire healing process. One thing that I was continually learning, then accepting and eventually embracing, was that I NEVER knew how I would feel from one minute to the next.
I might feel AWESOME physically at one moment, and the next minute the pain could grab ahold stabbing me. It was always a painful surprise. But, as I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, “I found joy in the simple things”. That’s the honest truth. Whether I felt good or not, I was always trying to find joy in my circumstance, no matter how I may have been feeling…
What are the first thoughts that come to mind when we hear the word “laughter”? Funny? Comical? Contagious? Sore abdomen? Noise? Freedom?
When I think of laughter I think of a lot of those words, and more! Did you know that laughter decreases stress hormones and releases endorphins, the natural “feel good” chemicals in your body?
When I was sick, I can look back at a season of life where I had virtually no laughter. Please, DON’T feel sorry for me. Let me explain! Remember when I’ve said that it hurt my gut to cry(sobbing) and that’s when I learned to cry more “beautifully”, doing so silently? Well, I also had to learn to not laugh because that caused abdominal pain too. Try as I might, there just wasn’t another option for laughing. So, for a few years I barely ever laughed. And when I rarely did laugh it hurt like crazy.
It has been said that “Laughter is the best medicine”. Sometimes in life, we have to give up things that are important and valuable for a season of time because they just aren’t the right fit for that season. You know what I mean? Like when a spouse gets sick, and you being their spouse discontinues your weekly bowling league for a season of time until your lives gets back to a new normal.
Laughing, to me now days, is truthfully music to my ears. I can’t tell you how many times other people’s laughter moves me, or my own, or my family’s laughter when we are all together does.
Being sick and living together(as a family of four) with a lot less laughter happening, with my health teetering on the brink of destruction, was pretty heavy for all of us. As a general rule of thumb, if you know our family, we often worked and played hard together. Actually, we still do at times, but we each are pulled in different directions with our jobs, free time, our interests, and hobbies, so it’s a lot less time together now.
Anyways, the dynamics of our family were pretty upbeat with a lot of laughter with all the time we’d spent together while I was growing up! Then, after becoming sick, laughter still happened with other members of our family, but rarely was I joining in. In time, it seemed that they were laughing less too. It was sad, but that’s the truth of the matter. My health had sort of “blanketed” laughter, even for them. But, they shared plenty of laughter with others, so they still got their feel-good endorphins released, it just wasn’t as prevalent as it once was in our home.
To this day, I still remember the first time I laughed, while detoxing, that it didn’t hurt. Our family was sitting together at the kitchen table. Having just finished a meal, spontaneous laughter started. It was contagious. We all laughed, unable to stop. You know that feeling when you’re laughing and it’s pure, innocent, carefree and coming from the deepest part of your being? Well that’s what is was! As I laughed, I had a check in my heart, and took notice what was happening. I was laughing HARD for the first time in years! And it felt GOOD! It was almost surreal. Our family of 4 shared OUR first real free laughter together for the first time again in years!
Later, after that meal, as Mom and I were standing in the kitchen doing dishes, Mom tenderly stated as tears slipped down her face, “Kelly, you were laughing tonight. I couldn’t help but just sit and watch you when you were laughing, because it was such beautiful music to my ears.”
Tears were flowing down my face now as well. “I know, Mom. When I started laughing, it was almost as if I was pulled out of myself, looking at myself sitting at the counter from outside the house through the window. I was looking in and taking in the whole scene, being able to watch myself sit and laugh.”
Mom nodded her head.
“And when I was laughing, I had turned and looked to you. You turned, looking me so deeply in the eyes that I knew you were thinking the same thing, ‘She’s REALLY laughing.’ This is the first time in YEARS! What beautiful music!'”
(Copyright – Naomi Shanti Photography)
The picture above of Mom and I was taken when I was sick. I look pretty healthy and happy. And I WAS truly happy this day, pushing aside the pain that laughter brought. I can honestly say this picture is one of only a couple times through those few really tough years that I had true laughter. Our friend, Naomi, had not only captured the precious moment, but was also a part OF the special moment. I’m not lying when I say that this is truly one of my favorite pictures of all time, because this picture truly says it all between my mom and I.
There’s so many aspects of life that each of us can so readily take for granted. For me, laughter was certainly one of them. Now days… I laugh freely without pain. I can laugh without thinking twice about any consequences! I can share spontaneous laughter with family, friends, strangers, and even with you! Laughter. It’s a true joy, one that I’m forever grateful for.
Today, as we each go about our evening, let’s listen to the music of both our own laughter and other people’s. Let the music open up our eyes, hearts, and ears to the beauty that laughter brings into each of our lives!