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Laughter is always welcome

January 28, 2012

Being married to a "Robin Williams act-alike," there is never a dull moment at our house. He always had the gift to make me laugh.

As kids his antics made me smile on the worst of days. I remember as a 14-year-old girl giggling as he did yet another outlandish prank or said another, "I can't believe you just said that witty something." One thing is for sure, if I, and the boys for that matter, ever needed a reason to laugh and smile, it has been the past almost seven months.

Amazing how God's timing is perfect, isn't it? My mom and I were talking the other day and both agreed: "If you cannot see God's hand in bringing Jamie and I back together after 30 years, and at this time, you'd have to be blind."

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The boys easily accepted him, and yes, they are teenagers ... a miracle in itself for two protective guys. Kristin finally relented her third degree of him on July 3 as they talked and laughed ... the very day "before". He called her S.D. in response to her nickname for him: A.D. ....."Almost Daddy." You may remember she nicknamed him that long before we reunited, as he was esteemed the kind of boyfriend I wanted her to have. S.D. stands for "Should've been daughter." Nevertheless, the boys and I enjoy having our very own resident comic these days, and as you will see, there is never a dull moment.

For those of you who do not know, and those who were afraid to ask, yes, Jamie can balance anything on his nose. This is a true story. That was one of the stories my kids had heard throughout the years. He can balance tables, chairs, flagpoles (don't ask him about that one, it didn't end well) and pretty much anything you ask him to try. But, please don't. I mean, please do not ask him to balance something crazy on his nose, 'cause it makes my hands sweat. He balanced a sword the other day. See what I mean? And, the boys cannot believe the agility of this older guy. Yes, to them, we are ancient.

I looked up one day and he was walking across the railing beside the living room - you know one of those step-down living rooms surrounded by railings - and there he was balancing himself across it. "You're gonna break a hip," I keep proclaiming, but to no avail. He keeps walking on things and wonder of wonder, he does flips. When we were kids, he did flips. You know the kind where you stand still and flip - no hands. Coming back to West Virginia, he decided to try it again. Yikes. He succeeded, but not without begs from me to "never, ever try that again!" I mean, we are getting old here and he's out in the yard doing "no handed" flips.

A local church got a "taste" of my comedian husband when they asked us to come and present the ministry of "Kristin's Hope," the ministry in memory of Kristin to bring hope to the children of the Appalachian mountains as well as victims of human trafficking/domestic violence. It just so happened that they also were having a chili contest as well and inquired if we would judge it for them. We talked our dear friends into coming with us and the man judged the contest with Jamie instead of me. (Their name is withheld to protect the guilty.) And, may I say, the man was a partner in war and crime with Jamie that day. Jamie wanted to look the part, so he looked high and low to find sombreros and charmed his way into getting two brand new and authentic ones from a local Mexican restaurant. Not only did they wear sombreros, but they also sang, kinda, sorta danced and gave each the names of Juan and Pedro. It was a great day with loads of fun at the Valley Baptist Church.

Then, there was this morning. It was the wee hours and around 2 a.m. I'd heard Jamie aka "Morgan" to me. I've called him that since we were kids. Anyway, I was awakened to his talking in his sleep - again. This time it had something to do with logging.

I said, "Morgan, wake up."

He flung the covers off as fast as fast, jumped up and grabbed his clothes, and proclaimed, "I have to go get the logs!"

I was horrified as I watched how fast he moved in his sleep. He's not your stereotypical sleep walker moving around all zombie-like. I was wondering what on earth I would do if he took off out the door.

However, my mind eased as he went back to bed as quickly as he got up. And, no, he isn't a logger. He did have quite the traumatic experience logging as a 19-year-old young man. He was hired to cut timber. He did everything from working on a dairy farm to cutting timber to help his widowed mother. Anyway, the old guys he worked for loved to watch how fast and agile Jamie was and how fast he could shimmy down a tree. So, the fellows with the warped sense of humor would send Jamie up a tree to "top" it. As soon as the top fell and before he had descended, they began cutting the tree and laughing hysterically at how fast he could come down and take cover before the entire tree fell. Yeah, that job didn't last long.

We were asked to conduct a grief class with middle school students in Elkins last fall. Jamie and I went in together. I was to teach and Jamie was to provide the comic relief that would be essential in gaining and maintaining this age group. It was a blast. I taught and the kids were awesome, but they especially liked watching professor Morgan with his "bag of tricks." We brought a back scratcher for him to balance on his nose, his hat collection including a chicken hat, and many more. He also did impromptu drawings on the board while I was teaching. I began saying how grief is like waves and we likened it to the ocean. We had brought a boogie board from home and we explained how riding out the wave of grief would bring healing, but fighting against it would not. All of a sudden the kids erupted into laughter. I looked behind me and Jamie had drawn the ocean and a little man swimming and underneath was a great big shark getting ready to eat him. The kids loved it, and truly it made a difficult and emotional subject easier, especially since it was only a couple of months since my girl had died.

At Christmastime, Jamie and I were wrapping presents. I was exhausted, so he said he'd wrap the last couple and for me. Laughter erupted from our room and he appeared with the strangest looking present I've ever seen. He had created a "cat" out of thick paper that had come in one of the boxes and put Joe's girlfriend's lotion inside the tummy. No joke. It looked as if he had wrapped up one of our cats - complete with four legs and a tail. Tucked within its tummy was the gift. Everyone who came to the house stopped dead in their tracks as they passed the Christmas tree and saw that "cat" lying there.

Mealtime is one of the most interesting times of the day for us. Jamie loves that we all sit down for supper every day, and the guys make the most of it, let me tell you. I ended up in tears from laughter last evening. I could barely eat. Kristin and the boys were always very hilarious when we were together, and so Jamie fits right in and takes the comic to a borderline insanity level. That is what comedian Robin Williams says is the proper balance for humor, teetering on the line of insanity.

The Bible states that a merry heart is like a medicine. It helps us to heal. Did you know that laughter can actually help produce feel-good chemicals in your brain? And, so it is true in our home. God is healing our hearts through his presence, His people, his word, his churches and with humor. We thank God he brought A.D. into our lives for "such a time as this." (Reference from the book of Esther)

(Kimberly Morgan, MA, is a wife and mom in Elkins, and is a counselor with Cornerstone Christian Counseling and Kristin's Hope. Contact her at 304-637-1109.)



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