“A smile starts on the lips, A grin spreads to the eyes, A chuckle comes from the belly; But a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, Overflows, and bubbles all around.”
Carolyn Birmingham -
It's been a really long time since I've heard Allen's true, full, belly laugh. It's been so long in fact that I think I may have forgotten what it sounded like. However, the last couple of months, I've been noticing it creeping back in to our lives. At first, it really caught me off guard. It sounded almost foreign to my ears. I listened and relished the sound.
Today we had a neighborhood block picnic at our house. It was the annual HOA meeting so we volunteered to have it at our house so that everyone could see the house and the kids could enjoy the pool. It was a beautiful day for it and I think most of the neighbors were here. We had our meeting, ate, played, showed them the house and just got to know everyone. It was really a great time. As people were starting to leave, I noticed a group of the men in the garage with Allen checking out the project truck. He was so excited showing them the truck and the progress they have made. It is so amazing to see him putting himself out there again, to engage in conversations, to interact with people and even more amazing that they are people he really doesn't know that well. This is a huge thing for him. But, even better than all of that, is hearing him laugh. That true, deep, joyful laugh that has been missing for a very long time. I heard it many times throughout the afternoon today, and each time I took note. I relish the sound each time I hear it. It stands out to me. It reminds me of where we've been and how far we've come. I hope that this is something that I will cherish the rest of my life. We tend to take so much for granted in this world, and I hope that this is something that I never will.
As I sit and think about the sound of Allen's laugh, I find myself wondering if this is the way his laugh has always sounded, or if it truly has changed. It sounds so foreign to me, but I am not sure if that's because it has changed like most everything else about him, or if it's just been so long since I've truly heard it that it sounds so new again. At first, I thought it had changed. However, after thinking about it, I'm not convinced it has. I've written before about his voice changing so it very well could be that the sound of his laugh has changed just as his voice did. I'm leaning more towards the fact that it has just been too long since I've heard it that I notice it again. Absence does make the heart grow fonder! Either way, I'll take it and cherish it as often as I can get it!