If you've ever been in a room with me, there's a good chance you've heard me laughing. We may never have spoken, but you would still remember the full body laugh that starts in my soul. And it's genuine. (We won't talk about the people who find it obnoxious.)
The problem is, I lost my laugh. In the days after the fire, I still had humor despite my tears. I could take one major life trauma and still access my laugh. But then there was the Bell's Palsy and the PTSD and the undiagnosed Lyme. By the time we moved home six months after the fire, the laughter was gone. It had been replaced by silent tears and usually loud, angry rants. Frustration echoed through my hallways, most often directed at whatever was in my way, even though the objects of my anger were never really why I was mad. How do you yell at a fire? A bacteria? Nightmares?
I was at a doctor appointment today, and the office manager commented that it was good to hear me laugh again, that it had been a long time since they had heard that unforgettable noise. It's strange. That laughter is a part of who I am, but it sounded foreign even to me the last two years. When I caught myself laughing, I noticed it in a way I hadn't before because it was so rare. I find myself in those moments more and more now, which I think means they are becoming less rare. Laughter. The sound of normal.