Why I Value My Mom's Laugh

When I think of the funniest people I know, they all share the same outlook on life. They are fearless in their pursuit of joy. Their outlooks on life are complicated. Their history is filled wih adversity, hardships, and often times trauma yet they still manage to find the funny, wit, joy, and/or irony in any situation. They advocate for experiences and memories over material possessions and status and for that I'm very, very grateful. 

As I sat editing my trip to the New York City Marathon Expo with my Mom, I couldn't help but feel really, really grateful. It was only seven years ago that I laid in bed next to her and asked myself if we'd ever be able to smile again. Describing our loss is impossible. It's the closest I've ever been to feeling hollow, lifeless and hopeless and there are still days where I struggle to get out of bed. 

The first few years after my younger brother Scott passed away, people would ask me how my Mom and my Dad were doing. I never really knew what to say. I'd smile and say that they were doing their best but secretly, I wanted to tell them that they hadn't killed themselves yet, but stay tuned. (I still to this day don't understand how they survive it.) I didn't think my Mom would ever be the same again.  

Sometimes really terrible things happen. And people feel like they need to apologize and tell you that they're sorry that whatever it is happened to you. You smile, say bad things happen every day, and hope someone else will bring up the weather. But it's these truly devastating life events that also give me the most hope. I see my life completely differently because of my loss. 

It took a long time for my Mom to smile or make other people laugh again. Years in fact. I cherish videos like this one, of my Mom joking and making me laugh because I didn't think I was going to get that ever again. 

I really appreciate the funny people in my life because they do something that most people can't, they see the world for what it is and they aren't afraid to make fun of it or themselves. I always run from people who take themselves too seriously because life is hard enough without the added pressure of having to be perfect. Sometimes it takes great bravery and vulnerability to make someone laugh. I cherish those people.

Well, this wasn't at all what I set out to say. I was just going to write a sentence about how funny my Mom is and then share that video but I somehow fell down a little rabbit hole of gratefulness. Regardless, enjoy a laugh today and maybe take a look at the people you surround yourself with. Do they make you happy? Do they listen to you and care about your point of view? Do they make you laugh regardless of the situation? Do they see the world for what it is? Do they listen? If they don't, step away. Don't cut them off entirely, just take a tiny break. The only way we'll survive the next few years is if we all seek out people who build us up, fill us with hope, and make us laugh. The more laughs, the better.

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

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Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.