14 days to go: If you need a laugh
I’ve always said that Reed came into the world looking like a little old man. He continued carrying an old soul inside a youthful body his whole life. We have a picture of him in bib overalls and a denim fisherman’s hat when he was about 3 or 4 months old. Other than his size, you would have thought he was ready for the retirement center.
Despite his little old guy appearance, it was a face that this momma loved. He was always wise beyond his years and was comfortable conversing with anyone. One of the sweetest compliments we received at his memorial service was from a grandpa of one of his friends that said, “Reed was over at our house, and we had an hour long conversation. I couldn’t believe that a 12-year-old could keep up with an old guy like me, but he did.” It made us smile. Old soul – youthful body.
One thing about people who possess an old spirit is that they recognize when someone else is hurting. The response to that hurt is as diverse as the 96 crayon box of Crayola’s. For my little old man, his responses ranged from a tender hand holding to giant bear hugs. Yet, his favorite method of comforting others was to make you laugh. Often it was laugh until you cried tears of joy.
When you needed a laugh, he was always there with some kind of humor. Different than his brother who does great stand-up, Reed’s humor often involved slapstick routines. Think 3 Stooges and early Chevy Chase work. When he first saw “Grandpa”, the Six Flags character that danced, imitation became a sincere form of flattery. Reed didn’t mind when told him that he resembled that character, in fact, it only encouraged him to learn his “routine” even more.
I could be having the worse day ever, and Reed would clear a space on the floor. The next thing I would hear is, “Hey Mom!” When I looked up, the “dance” was on. It was always an instant mood lifter. As a people, we are good at laughing at ourselves. It was no different for Reed. When the “performance” ended, Reed would laugh as hard as the rest of us. The dance never got old. It became one of those beloved favorites like a much loved blanket or pair of shoes. Snuggly comfort – that created that warm fuzzy feeling inside.
It amazes me that Reed’s Run has always been a instrument for reaching out with our faith and for fundraising. However, I think that God meant it for a different purpose for our family.
Psalm 30:11 You have turned my sorrow into dancing.
Laughing as he would have wanted us to do, we will never be as good a dancers as Reed, but we will definitely laugh while trying. So if you ever need a laugh, just picture Reed doing the old man dance. Trust me, laughter is certainly good for your soul!