There are a few sounds that instantaneously change my mood for the better: the ocean surf, Pachelbel's Canon in D, the sweet song of this bird outside my bedroom window, the wind through aspen leaves, "Groove is in the Heart" by Dee-Lite, and my Daddy's laugh. It has been such a blessing to be able to hear my Daddy laugh lately. Really its infectious. And its not just the sound of his laughter but his complete facial expression, especially the way his face turns beet red and his eyes squint when he's trying really hard not to laugh.
We are blessed to live so close that we are able just to drop by often. A few days ago I found one of Dad's CDs in my garage, a Bill Cosby comedy act. I knew he would love it and it just might be the "medicine" he needed to keep his mind off his nausea, headaches, and exhaustion. The kids and I brought it to him and he invited us to listen with him. He told us how when he was a boy his family would sit around the record player listening to Bill Cosby and his tales of boyhood and fatherhood. As we listened I loved watching my Daddy laugh with my boys on the sofa. I'm pretty sure they got some new mischievous ideas about what to do in their bedroom at night. The comedy act was full of amusement that hit real close to home. In truth they didn't need Bill Cosby for new ideas. For one thing they all sleep in the same room, so its chalk full of nightly giggles and loud bangs, and for another thing, they could just get all sorts of ideas straight out of grandpa's boyhood stories -- most of which have not been revealed to us kids and are anxiously awaited to be told each time my Dad's brothers are around. We pry for more stories of my grandparents coming home to all the furniture being moved to the roof or a newly placed picture over a fresh hole in the wall.
I am grateful for laughter. And thankfully we have plenty of it in our family. I love that we have fun when we are together. I think being together at my parents' house is another good form of medicine for my Dad. It is hard to see him struggle, but I think only us adults notice. As grandpa, he's still the same!