Lying in bed last night, I realized something. I don’t ever remember hearing my parents laugh. They smiled a lot, but I don’t remember them laughing. I can immediately call to mind the sound of all four of my grandparents laughing, even my taciturn grandfather. I smile automatically when I think of my brothers laughing. But not my parents.
Did they stop laughing because by the time I came along their relationship was not one that inspired laughter? My father definitely did not have a sense of humor. If my brothers and I ever told jokes 1) he wouldn’t get them and 2) he’d be annoyed. And as we all know, nothing ruins a good joke more than having to explain it.
My mother was sort of just physically there, more than emotionally there, when I was growing up, so maybe that’s why I don’t remember her laughing.
My family now has conversations where we laugh so hard that tears form. Holiday dinners, even with the stress that every family on earth feels with holiday gatherings, still end up with memories and shared stories of when our kids were little and the room fills with laughter.
My husband can be in the living room watching a movie and laughing so hard that I go in to see what’s up. I can burst out laughing reading a book, an article or a blog so loudly that it startles my husband who is sitting next to me.
Laughter is a great healer. I hope I’m wrong.
I hope that my parents laughed.