In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other:”
And she laughed ’til she cried.
One of the most memorable things my mother ever said to me during my childhood was, “Sometimes you’ve got to either laugh or cry, and I would just rather laugh.” It should be noted that this frame of mind comes amidst a peculiarly high number of tragedies and mishaps happening to one family: friends and family refer to this as our “curse” (we jokingly apologize when bad things happen to them, since it must just be the ol’ family curse rubbing off).
Her phrase usually comes to mind during those weeks when, for example, three vehicles get totaled at fault of the other person; both brothers get hit or nearly hit by flying radiators from 18-wheelers while trying to drive to Arkansas for a family friend’s wedding (big bro was the best man) while our mother ended up violently ill with the flu during the Texas-California-Arkansas road trip to pick up said best man after flying radiator destroyed car’s will to drive; or I end up being stalked by a violent criminal who had just happened to live in my unit in the past and had a particular affinity for my doorway, stranded at the airport on my birthday by a (soon-to-be-former) romantic interest, with a sliced-open arm due to an apparently errant bedspring when I attempted to plug in my phone charger…etc.
As a result, we have learned to laugh even when to others, it may seem quite inappropriate. Though this is a story for another time, one of the funniest family memories of my childhood actually occurred during my paternal grandfather’s funeral. This would seem disrespectful and even downright horrendous to some, but for us, it was a testament to the fact that life, love, emotions, and family ties are very rarely neat or predictable.
I have learned that I can’t will ridiculous, tragic, or infuriating things away; they’re a necessary and unavoidable part of life. However, I can control how I let those things mold me and my approach to living and loving. Tears and laughter–one much maligned and the other oft heralded–are therapeutic in their own ways, whether or not others find them to be appropriately timed; thus, she laughed ’til she cried.