This I Believe

Tina - Centennial, Colorado
Entered on November 19, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

Life has many miracles. I believe that the greatest one is laughter. Have you ever spent a whole day just reminiscing and cracking jokes with old friends? What about the feeling of making another person laugh? To me, these are some of the best things life has to offer. I often wonder why people have such an extraordinary reaction to life’s little quirks, and why that sound has the ability to make everyone feel good.

I am usually a very happy person. I love to laugh. I guess you could say it is one of my hobbies. I surround myself with happy, laughing people; in fact, with most of my friends I could make a book out of all the inside jokes and experiences we have shared.

When my grandmother died in December of 2003, I thought that perhaps I couldn’t laugh, that I couldn’t be happy. However, it is true what they say; remember the good times. Before the end of the reception I was laughing, and it had this wonderful affect on me. It still felt like a funeral, but suddenly I wasn’t so glum. I also had this feeling that Grandma would not have liked people sitting around being sorry and sad, because she was never like that. She had bad days, just like everyone else, but usually the only time she was serious was when the Atlanta Braves were losing. She couldn’t stay mad at my brother and me for long, either. Once she was ticked so she set a bottle of ketchup on the table with a little extra force, but then all three of us were laughing because it burst the plastic and ketchup flew everywhere. And when she died, the rest of her family remembered some funny stories, too. My grandmother’s brothers and sisters told anecdotes about the mischief they had gotten into as children, because they all lived in a small town and there were fourteen of them. One story I particularly remember was that once some of the boys stole the curfew siren while my grandma and her sister distracted the police officer. The next day, he gave the two of them candy for being such sweet girls. This story still makes me laugh. While it is a sad kind of laugh, because I miss my grandmother, it is funny to imagine her as a mischievous girl in on a prank. Laughter is a healing power. Hearing stories and remembering the funny things that Grandma used to do, such as yelling so loud at the football players on TV that it would frighten the cats away, has helped me move on, to remember the good times rather than the cancer that killed her. This is why I believe in the power of laughter.