Laughter is underestimated, and downright funny people should be given awards on the same level as the Nobel Prize. I have always loved to laugh as much as I love coffee. I will also say, with certainty that I didn’t realize the full potential of my laugh until I met my husband Rudy. To my utter shock, I have a cackle so loud that it will make your eyelids peel back. To laugh in that way feels like a release and often even better than a cry session. The way he makes me laugh helps me find my feet again. I never knew that would be my daily vitamin I just can’t miss.
The start to this year has felt rough. As much as I love the holidays and a fresh start to a year, I am overwhelmed by the anniversaries that I must feel through. Memories of those we have lost flood many days along with reflecting over how much has changed and shifted. My mother had a bad fall last month that broke her collarbone. Surgery was scheduled and I took off to go spend time with family. Both my parents are optimistic, funny, loving and go-getters. I soaked up fireside chats while giving my mom a pedicure and reminiscing about the funniest moments we could muster up. There were moments where we all forgot why we were called together, yet as I drove home all I could feel was the tremendous emotions around being the ONLY child. This was the first time in my life where worry and anticipation of grief entered.
When I returned home, I kept that worry to myself for all of a couple hours. Then, after crawling into bed, every shaky thought came tumbling out to my husband. My thoughts and worries always come out at night. He knows this all too well. He listened and then reminded me I am not alone. I have him. They have us. They always will. Then, he put on a stand-up comedy favorite of ours and we let the lightness of jokes tuck us both in.
For the last several weeks I have been aiming to finish the book The Body Keeps The Score. Let me say this. Every page of this book is needed in this world. The research, the studies, the knowledge gained saves lives. It is THAT important. But, the content isn’t light. The book deals with how trauma shows up in the brain, mind and body and it contains graphic stories. I am not sure I will forget some of these stories. They are haunting, gutting and deeply saddening. Now, having finished the book, I feel like I can breathe a bit easier. Many of the chapters caused old memories to burst to the surface. I found myself angry, hurting, protective and ready to fight. Old pain stirred. But the most surprising element involved my words. My words stopped. I am a writer. I use words to open a window when I need fresh air. And yet, my words were no where to be found. I went silent. That silence scared me more than any memory. I felt lost, paralyzed and deeply lonely. Day after day passed in this way. Day after day, I told my husband that I have no idea what is going on.
We have a home gym and my husband often trains me. He is pretty much a master at looking up workouts that pair well with my yoga practice. It has become a game of sorts and a topic that we nerd out on together. This weekend he dragged me out to train. My energy has matched my disbelief in how I have been feeling. Everything was a struggle. As I started my 30 second wall sit, tears rolled down my face. And no, not because wall sits are like death. My husband stopped everything, rushing over to ask what was wrong. I couldn’t answer. I didn’t quite know. Then he said, “Hold on. I have the perfect song for you.” He scrolled through his phone and my mind went to all the pep songs that he could be playing. When the song started, I didn’t recognize it at first. He put his arms around me, and started slow dancing as the lyrics kicked in. I could feel the biggest exhale leave my body as I giggled and closed my eyes. My face ached from the permanent smile that now took the place of tears and I knew I would never forget the day my husband danced with me to Milli Vanilli’s Blame It On The Rain.
Laughter changes everything. That night I wrote a poem. The next day more words came and they haven’t stopped. The way he helps me laugh, reminds me that I am going to be ok and that I am not alone. He reminds me that I am bigger than my past and stronger than my worries. But most of all, he shows me that all is never lost and life doesn’t have to be as serious as it seems.
If you need a pick-me-up on these rainy days, give yourself the gift of 4 minutes and 8 seconds and the glorious sounds of Blame It On The Rain.
"Gotta blame it on something...
that was fallin' fallin'
(blame it on the stars) that did shine at night
Whatever you do don't put the blame on you
Blame it on the rain (yeah yeah)
You can blame it on the rain"