The first was inside Shaws Market in Webster. I walked in the front door wearing my Red Sox hat. This old man with a limp walked past me. He asked, “you’re wearing the hat, what do you think of the team?” I was in a foul mood and wanted to make some nasty comments when I finally responded: They owe us a big favor. “You bet your ass, they do” He said and laughed. That cheered me up knowing that I am not the only angry New England Sports fan.
The second gem was at my lowest point, after meeting with the surgeons the other day. It was a very difficult conversation that completely knocked the wind out of me. The nurse practitioner and surgeon allowed Laura and me to have some time alone in the room before they moved us to another office where we would meet with the second surgeon. I sat in a chair beside Laura with Zoë in my arms, thinking about the conversation we just had and the worst case scenario that could come from the procedure. My emotions were overwhelming. As hard as I fought to stuff them inside, the harder they fought to break free. Finally I began to sob. It was all too much to handle. Zoë is too young and innocent to be dealing with cancer. As I cried, looking down at Zoë’s precious face, hoping that I get the opportunity to watch her grow up and graduate college or see her get married and start her own family, I cried even more.
That’s when it happened. She laughed. I am not talking about a grunt or some other random noise she makes when she smiles, but a full on string of laughter. Her laughter made me cry, because she didn’t understand how sad I was feeling. And when I cried more, not holding anything back, she laughed even more. She had never laughed like that before. You can guess that we continued this pattern for a while, where she would have an outburst of laughter and I’d have an outburst of crying. It started as a vicious cycle that stung me like acid on an open wound. But it was so ridiculous that it had Laura and I laughing.
I might forget the old man, but I never forget Zoë’s laughter.
Even faced with death, laughter is the best medicine.