Everyone loved to hear my husbands big ‘ole belly laugh. Including me.
It was pure joy and happiness caught up inside a baritone bark, complete with a head tilt and eyes to the sky dance move that would easily have given Elaine a run for her money on the dance floor.
The last few years, as his pain grew stronger, that laugh grew weaker. It did not disappear – but it did get smaller. More restrained. Controlled.
You see, unfortunately the less laughter, the less pain in his head. And his main job at the time was keeping the pain and pressure off his brain at all times…. so the laugh did not leave us but it did change.
I admit I missed it so much that every once in awhile I would go out of my way to try and elicit one of those old school belly laughs.
Fortunately it was not that hard – I knew all his buttons – the good ones (the bad ones are for another post)!
Here were a few fun things that I would do to get a chuckle from Chesnutt: (sometimes on purpose – sometimes to my delight – without even trying).
– Try and fake out the animals that I was still asleep – even though they could hear my “awake” breathing under the covers/pillows. (Erich’s subsequent laughing would then of course, completely give us away).
– Run for garbage and/or recycle guys with additional items to add to their pick up (usually in my pjs and hair all a mess).
– Cook anything. especially something that called for cream of chicken.
– Sing and dance to The Voice
– Yell at the TV when ANY sporting event or political show was on (regardless of having even the least bit of interest in the sport, team, topic etc)
– Occasionally refuse to get dressed or off the couch for 24-48 hours (and watch bad TV and read for hours) – But then run like a little girl to our room anytime the doorbell would ring and make him answer it.
– Make him pack the car for a trip and then repack the car while cussing… every. single. time.* *Note this may appear on a future list about how to push Erich’s “bad” buttons as well. The laughing and jokes only came about 30-45 minutes into our trip…
– Chase Steve (the cat) with the laser light and cause a dog/cat war on who was going to catch that damn light.
– Sing in the shower.
– Step on Albin (our dumb, and always under my feet, youngest schnauzer).
– Harass Hannah and tease her about something that we knew she would get crazy irrational about… but kept on telling her it was going to happen anyway until she slammed a door or yelled at us… 🙂 hehehe
– Trip, fall or bump into _________ (insert ANY inanimate object here). I am pretty sure there are meme’s showing me doing this from security footage at work, as well as multiple nicknames for me from people we know – one nickname that I am ok with is “Grace.” Regardless Erich always found my pain to be funny – so wrong.
– My ability to lose any tool that helped me recover from the above listing – aka crutches, bandages, ice packs etc that would immediately go missing inside our house the moment I needed them. Also, the infamous boot/shoe that he named “DAS BOOT” and decorated with a sharpie by adding that name and each reason I ended up wearing it (I’m pretty sure I wore that at least 4 times in the first 6 years we were married).
– The number of times I would have to run back inside in the mornings after I “left”.
– My imitations of the animals voices and the nicknames that the animals gave us (Albin’s were all sourced from the KFC menu).
– Me and Hannah fighting about anything…(these were moments where I would NOT be pleased he was laughing but secretly enjoy it).
– Get scared during ANY movie we went to and at some point jump and scream in my seat (this also applies to all the cartoon movies we took Hannah to).
– Insert the word “cry” for scared to the above statement; remove jumping and screaming, add snort laughing.
– Make a list of 27 things we were going to accomplish on a Saturday or Sunday and then sit on the porch reveling at its beauty while drinking coffee and reading paper for 4 hours; Then run around house like a crazy person for rest of day trying to get 5 of the 27 things done on the list.
– Try to thumb wrestle him – (it’s always ended differently than I imagined).
-Try to sneak off with a “one kiss goodbye” – He always caught me – and got his other two – He was a 3 kiss kinda man…
That third kiss was always given with a smile, an “I love you” and a laugh… I remember the third kiss the most – which is why he gave them. And probably why I loved his laugh so much.