I love this photo. It is my Great Grandmother and my Mom sitting in her living room. Mom fell asleep on her Grandma’s lap. This picture sits on my dresser and I see it when I get ready every day. Looking at it you see two sweet, gentle souls comfy and cozy. But these are two of the feistiest women ever put on the earth, sharing a seat, quietly resting. Maybe that was what the photographer was trying to capture, “Look at the wild beasts, resting so quietly! Normally you can never get this close..”. A rare moment caught on film.
My mom returned from her vacation this week. She had trinkets for her daughters, trinkets for her grand kids, even a few friends. My daughter and I had coffee with her on her first morning back and listened to her stories from her trip. We laughed long, hard and loud. Laughter is so precious, so vital. My mom and I laugh and joke as often as possible, she has a fantastic sense of humor, a sharp wit. There is no subject we won’t try to laugh our way through discussing. When she is gone on vacation or I haven’t seen her in a few days, the laughter is what I miss most. It’s the knee-slapping, head-tossing, snorting and bent-over-at-the-waist kind of laughter that you only really share with people you really trust, really know and who truly understand you. Her father was a brilliant story teller, quick with a joke for any situation, marvelous delivery. His laughter alone with it’s volume, it’s depth, it’s ferocity could make you start to laugh, even if you weren’t sure what was so funny. When we would spend the night at his house and Mom would come to pick us up, Papa would walk Mom outside so he could tell her a joke, they would be out in the yard yucking it up and my sister and I would watch and wonder and wish we could hear what they said. I am just grateful that laughter was so important to them, that it was so much a part of growing up for me.
Last night my daughter had her boyfriend over and my husband and I watched a movie with them. When the movie was over, I got up to leave the room, and made a comment about the movie. We have hardwood floors and I was wearing socks and when I stood up from my chair to turn and make my clever comment, I planned to “twirl”, (don’t ask) and the momentum from the swinging of my leg was too much. My twirl was too forceful and I began to lose my balance. I was hopping and stumbling all around the living room, dodging furniture the whole way. Then I got the giggles. It’s moments like these that I am glad I have a sense of humor, that I can laugh at myself. I was the comic relief last night. It brought back fond memories of growing up in my parent’s house and how often my Mom was the comedy show. I was still giggling in bed later that night.
The women in our family are strong, loud, funny, sometimes the butt of the joke. It’s OK, I can carry on the line, I have proven myself worthy.