Why I Value My Mom's Laugh

When I think of the funniest people I know, they all share the same outlook on life. They are fearless in their pursuit of joy. Their outlooks on life are complicated. Their history is filled wih adversity, hardships, and often times trauma yet they still manage to find the funny, wit, joy, and/or irony in any situation. They advocate for experiences and memories over material possessions and status and for that I'm very, very grateful. 

As I sat editing my trip to the New York City Marathon Expo with my Mom, I couldn't help but feel really, really grateful. It was only seven years ago that I laid in bed next to her and asked myself if we'd ever be able to smile again. Describing our loss is impossible. It's the closest I've ever been to feeling hollow, lifeless and hopeless and there are still days where I struggle to get out of bed. 

The first few years after my younger brother Scott passed away, people would ask me how my Mom and my Dad were doing. I never really knew what to say. I'd smile and say that they were doing their best but secretly, I wanted to tell them that they hadn't killed themselves yet, but stay tuned. (I still to this day don't understand how they survive it.) I didn't think my Mom would ever be the same again.  

Sometimes really terrible things happen. And people feel like they need to apologize and tell you that they're sorry that whatever it is happened to you. You smile, say bad things happen every day, and hope someone else will bring up the weather. But it's these truly devastating life events that also give me the most hope. I see my life completely differently because of my loss. 

It took a long time for my Mom to smile or make other people laugh again. Years in fact. I cherish videos like this one, of my Mom joking and making me laugh because I didn't think I was going to get that ever again. 

I really appreciate the funny people in my life because they do something that most people can't, they see the world for what it is and they aren't afraid to make fun of it or themselves. I always run from people who take themselves too seriously because life is hard enough without the added pressure of having to be perfect. Sometimes it takes great bravery and vulnerability to make someone laugh. I cherish those people.

Well, this wasn't at all what I set out to say. I was just going to write a sentence about how funny my Mom is and then share that video but I somehow fell down a little rabbit hole of gratefulness. Regardless, enjoy a laugh today and maybe take a look at the people you surround yourself with. Do they make you happy? Do they listen to you and care about your point of view? Do they make you laugh regardless of the situation? Do they see the world for what it is? Do they listen? If they don't, step away. Don't cut them off entirely, just take a tiny break. The only way we'll survive the next few years is if we all seek out people who build us up, fill us with hope, and make us laugh. The more laughs, the better.

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.