I love the sound of your laughter.
I remember hearing this from my Uncle Bob this past Christmas and I don’t know why, but I’ve thought about those words since. I think it’s important to laugh, to smile, and to just live our lives. I also think that we mean a lot more to people than we realize most of the time too. That was how I felt on Friday when people kept telling me they would miss me around the building at work. Many people stopped me in the hall or stopped by the office on Friday and expressed this. I’ve also friended a lot of people in the building on Facebook as well because of it.
People have a stigma they attach to social media these days and I have a love/hate affair with it myself. I tend not to share when I’m hurting online. I tend to only share the good things online, especially on Facebook. After all, I don’t need a reminder a year later that something rather shitty happened in my life or remember I was in an argument with someone else. In fact, the other day I wrote something in such a way that when Facebook reminded me of my words I debated if they were in fact my words. I even went as far to copy and paste them into Google thinking they were the lyrics to a song.
The reason I’m bringing this up this week is because despite all the bad I’ve lived a rather blessed life. Yes, there have been moments I didn’t think I’d be able to make it through, but I’m still standing. Depression and anxiety be damned. I’m still here. And honestly my goal is to become as social as I’ve become with being alone. My goal is to make sure those in my life know I care about them just as much as they care about me. Even though I hope to some degree they already do know such about me. Because the truth is I do care. I care about the people in my life more than they know. I think about them even when it might not seem that way.
And of course I bring that up because lately I have thought about my Uncle Bob. I’ve found his name on my lips and myself telling stories about him over the years. I laughed the other day as a friend said she would not try oysters, octopus, squid, and such. And because of friends I’ve tried two of three of those things. I know that squid I don’t mind, but octopus I don’t care for really. My uncle smiled when I told him I tried that two Thanksgivings ago and he said, “You didn’t like it because it’s too chewy right?” I’ve been amazed ever since he knew me that well to know that was the reason.
He’s also the reason I tried rare steak. I’ve found that I enjoyed it far more than I ever thought I would and that is part of the reason I’ve changed my steak order to medium over the years. It really does taste better that way and with a squirt of lemon. He’s always made me think about trying things out of my comfort zone. And at one point he reminded me that even if I did not use my art degree at first, or the writing, that it was okay but try not to let those dreams good. After all, I went to college for those subjects for a reason. His words have always been kind over the years.
His words were especially kind when my mother passed away. I was so confused in the funeral home, picking out the simplest of things. And I remember him pulling me to the side and telling me to go with my heart and not let anyone influence my decisions. We stood in front of the vaults that morning and he said which one do you think she would want. I knew it was the black one. Everything else was a bit too girly for my mother’s tastes. So black it was. And in that moment he squeezed my shoulder and we moved onto the next item on the list per se.
I also remember saying that my Godson was so strong during all this, he was five going on six then. And Bob reminded me that he wasn’t the only one that was strong. He reminded me that I was by far stronger than I wanted to give myself credit for at the time. In hindsight he was right. I went into planning mode until there was nothing else left to plan. But from the moment I couldn’t plan anymore I loss any composure I had left. Yet the next month or so I kept thinking I was stronger than I thought. It was enough to get me to go to the doctor and get help. I never admitted this to him or anyone else, but it’s true.
My Uncle Bob was the kind of man who treated you like you were somebody no matter the amount of money in your pocket. He was a living example about who someone should strive to be. He was kind. He was humble. He was so many things, but most of all he was always himself. My Uncle Bob let his light shine for all of us around him. I’m certain that I’m not the only one he affected with his words over the years. In fact, I feel that my uncle affected so many people’s lives that even God loss count. He truly lived an amazing life and he will continue to live on in all of us through his words, his past embraces, and the wisdom he instilled in our hearts over the years. And of course I’m going to remember to always find a reason to laugh.