the years of laughterpublished: 2013-06-15
I am on the phone with my mother. She seems a little surprised that I am calling her for simply no other reason than to catch up. Which means I should call more often. Her voice holds the question mark of anticipation: what is my daughter going to ask, declare, confront this time? Nothing, mom. It’s nothing.
“So how are you though?”
“You just asked me this and I told you I’m fine. I really am fine.”
“Your voice isn’t fine.”
“No. But nothing new there right?”
Actually, perhaps this is the reason I called her, to say just that. Without a but.
Still, she gives me some uncalled for advice on how I’m too do such or so, and not do such or so. A few years ago I would have choked up on the anger and frustration of not being allowed to be wholly, solely, me.
I suppose it takes some of us a little longer to grow up than others.
Suddenly my mother giggles. The giggle turns into a chuckle and then into a roar of laughter.
I ask her, “what?”
She sounds like a little girl when she next explains that my father is hanging up paintings. She’s sure they’ll all be crooked, they always are. She laughs even harder on saying “the other day he attempted to saw 20 cms off a strip of wood. It turned out to be 35 cms.” I can hear the tears of joy in her voice.
While still on the phone with me, she asks my dad how he’s doing. Her voice is laced with endearment and respect.
There were years when my mother was only angry. There were years when my father was entirely self-absorbed. And suddenly there are years of laughter. They have been married for fourty years.