I love to laugh. Who doesn’t, right? I also love to cry. Maybe that’s weird. But it’s true. It’s not that I enjoy feeling sad. There’s just something refreshing and invigorating about feeling emotions so deeply that your body responds by laughing or crying or shrieking or raising the hairs on your arms and neck.
What’s really great is that uncontrollable laughter that brings you to tears. There hasn’t been a whole lot of that in our house in the past year. For a long time after Lewy died it felt wrong to laugh. I felt guilty. Like I was somehow moving on from him and the devastation by laughing. The laughter slowly returned, though. And it felt good. And I embraced it.
But that tear-inducing belly-laughing is still out of the ordinary. It still feels a little strange. And it always reminds me of the major laugh attack I had when I was pregnant with Lewy and the sound of his heartbeat scared our kitty. It was one of those times when you randomly start laughing at something that isn’t even very funny and then you continue to laugh at the fact that you’re laughing. It’s one of my favorite memories of our time with Lewy.
Anyway, I’m off track. What I wanted to tell you is that I had one of those laugh attacks a few nights ago. And it was great.
In the middle of the night in that semi-awake but mostly still asleep state, I mistook Jon for Marshall. I leaned over Jon’s face and stroked his cheek and pulled the hoodie he was wearing off his forehead so that it wouldn’t slip down over his nose or mouth. And even though Jon’s head is about 8 times bigger than my infant son’s and his face is much scruffier and Marshall doesn’t even sleep in the bed with us, it didn’t click at any point that Jon was not Marshall. Not even after Jon opened his eyes and stared back at me wondering what I was doing in his face.
At some point I guess I woke up a little more. We both lay there listening to Marshall stirring in his cradle. Waiting for a clear sign that he was waking up and ready to eat, as it had been nearly four hours since his last meal. Jon asked me what I was doing with his hoodie, and as I tried to explain, I realized how absurd it all was. And I got the giggles. Lots of them. Soon enough the tears were there. Just thinking about it now cracks me up a little.
The next morning it was nice to have a fun memory from the night before to hang onto. It ended up being one of the most difficult nights we’ve had yet with Marshall.
But you can’t complain too much or too long when you get to stare into this face all day.