This I Believe

Emily - Allentown, Pennsylvania
Entered on March 19, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

“Laughter is the brush that sweeps away the cobwebs of your heart.” -Cartoonist Mort Walker

Laughter is something that entered my life at birth. Manners were important, but without a good joke or a big smile, one was lost in my family. When I was little, I remember going to family dinners at my grandparents’ house in Florida. Each aunt or uncle would tell a story. “And then we said…” Every time, mountains of laughter would erupt from the room. I loved how the noise would bounce off the walls and how it seemed to fill the room. I laughed too, with no idea what was so funny. It was always a comforting noise.

As I grew up, I learned the beauty of laughter. I would meet people and make jokes about how I was the neglected middle child. I could joke about almost anything and I loved the feeling that I made someone smile. When I was younger, it was simple gratification and something to pass the time. As we moved from city to city, I could easily find a friendly face with a quick joke.

The older I got, the more I started to understand the power of laughter. After my grandmother died, my dad, my aunts and my grandfather each stood up and told a favorite story. Through their tears and laughter, they found a sense of comfort. I never forgot the smiles on their faces as they told their special stories about my grandmother. They went through the same experience when my grandfather died. The smiles and laughter brought them together.

During the roughest parts of my life, laughter has brought me back to a sense of feeling. After my first relationship ended, I cried to my friends until one of them said something that made me laugh so hard that I snorted. Those snorts of laughter are what get me by in life. Health studies also show that laughter lowers blood pressure and can help prevent heart disease, along with numerous other health problems; so, the more I laugh, the longer I will be around!

The other day I was with my aunt and my younger cousins at a store. I had been having a rough week emotionally. I went to pick up my cousin and when we turned around we ended up knocking over a whole stand of chocolate. The next thing I knew, my aunt and I were on the ground laughing. Our situation turned into jokes and memories about our family. The laughter spread like wildfire, taking over my whole body.

Now I realize the best relationships can find laughter in the weirdest situations. The roughest times in my life are saved by little bits of laughter. It is the laughter that reminds me that life is so worth living. Every little chuckle is a return to a better place and a hope for an incredible future. I believe laughter can save us from our darkest moments in life.