The Truth About Laughing

Your nose will wrinkle. The lines will show. The crows feet fold. I snort, to tell you the truth. The imperfection grows as you open up your spirit to be happy for a moment, unwillingly vulnerable when something is funny or wonderful enough, maybe covering your mouth to hide your teeth, because the older we are, the less pretty our teeth are, you know. You close your mouth and settle your silly noises down as fast as you can because I don't know about you, but I laugh too loud.

Smiling might make wrinkles or you might look pretty goofy. You're probably making your husband delete a photo of that silly, double chinned laugh as he assures you, "You look fine!" But into the digital "garbage can" it goes, never to be seen again.

One day you'll fade. You'll leave the Earth. The child you held so dear will wrap herself in the morning robe you used to wear, just wanting to smell you, be close to you. The smell will fade from the robe in a few days or a week, your shoes will no longer sit next to the mud room door, your coat will be shoved into the closet or donated to someone in need.

Just as your smell fades and your belongings are tucked away, the memory of your laugh will fade. Will they remember what it sounded like or the way your eyes twinkled?  They'll forget the sound, forget the mole on your cheek, they will wish they could see the wrinkles one more time, hear the silly noises bubble through, just to see you open up in laughter, remember how your genuine laughter looked.

They will long to see your laugh again.

The lines, the crow's feet they secretly loved.

Here's the problem. The photos were deleted.

Photos are more important than ink on paper.

One day it's all they will have left.

What will you leave your family?


mommy and me
jay cooke



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