When Marty and I first got together some 40 years ago we laughed, a lot. We laughed with each other, at each other and we laughed at the world. I don’t know if it was our new, young love, youth or our too often altered states but we did laugh a whole lot.
Somewhere along our journey we, meaning me, lost part of that laughter. It didn’t mean we were unhappy it just meant we, meaning me, were too busy living and doing life to stop and laugh with each other. We, meaning me, forgot to revel in the day, we, meaning me, forgot to look for the joy and humor life offers.
I don’t think that’s particularly unusual. You get focused on raising a family, developing and succeeding in a career while the verve of youth wanes and gets pushed aside by the realities of paying bills and doing yard work.
I mean really, life requires a serious and focused approach to everything. Maybe……..actually that’s kinda bull. A serious life requires laughter.
I think I got so consumed with living and with my own imagined self importance I lost myself. My work, my career, my desire to raise perfect children in a perfect home with a perfect family made me take my own life and what I was doing too serious and I lost part of my laughter. I was important and important people didn’t laugh very much because they had to think about some serious shit and you can’t laugh if you are thinking about serious shit.
Marty and the strokes brought me back to myself. After living through impending death I found parts of me that I didn’t realize I had lost. Marty’s survival helped me remember what was important.
Today, Marty and I laugh a lot. We laugh in the face of irreparable brain injury, kiss my ass CVA.
Our new life has many new issues, some more critical than any of the life issues of years past. Being away from the work a day world makes life easier, having already raised perfect children helps, today we laugh not only at stupid stuff but the scary stuff.
We laugh at the movies, we laugh at the TV, we laugh at our grandchildren, we laugh at our children parenting our grandchildren a lot and mostly we laugh at each other. Marty is still the funniest person she knows and I have found the goofy part of my soul that I lost so many years ago and I love to make her laugh, even at my own expense, especially at my own expense.
Marty loves to laugh and it’s seriously the best thing in the world when she gets really tickled and has a laugh that starts high and moves low and goes on so long we both end up coughing and laughing at the same time. I have learned not to make her laugh when she has a full mouth, Gator-Aid burns when it comes out your nose.
The strokes hurt, they hurt both of us deeply and we have lived through some very serious times in the last four years. In a side miracle I have managed to find something in myself I didn’t realize I had lost, my sense of humor. As strange as it may seem I somehow feel more whole, I somehow feel I am a better companion, I somehow feel I am a better human being than I was ten years ago.
Our journey, with Marty as my Sherpa, has taken me back to the very basic root beliefs that we all need to love more, forgive more, be more tolerant, laugh more and hug a lot. I have really tried to adopt the whole, “and the greatest of these is love” thing. Our God seemed serious about that and it really feels a lot better than judging.
Hey, don’t get me wrong. I can still be a supreme stuffed shirt and I don’t like to do things on the spur of the moment, it makes me tense. I get anxious over some stupid things and some really important things and I can and do frown with the best of them. I still like to occasionally tangle with a telephone solicitor or point out in as many derogatory words as I can to describe really crappy customer service.
But, when I get off the phone or walk away from the offending clerk I generally look at Marty and laugh about it.