“Knock, knock,” I said.
“Who’s there?” my buddy Duane asked reluctantly.
“Duane,” my smile was swallowing my face.
“Duane who?” he frowned.
“Duane the bathtub I’m drowning!” I barely got the punchline out before I burst into a belly laugh.
Duane squinted, cocked his head sideways and nodded a couple of times quickly, “Very funny,” he said, but he wasn’t anywhere near laughing. A few people within earshot did though.
“Duane the bathtub I’m Drowning,” I repeated the punchline to milk the last few laughs out of myself and the audience. Duane didn’t laugh. My guess, is that if someone told him that knock knock joke now, he’d laugh. But that was a long time ago.
I still love to laugh, I think it’s good for the body and mind, but I shy away from the laughing at other’s expense nowadays.
* * *
* * *
There are plenty of things to mourn in this life. The common denominator seems to be loss. Of course, some losses are greater than others – even if they’re temporary. At the climax of mourning there are tears. Those are the times when mourning is too much to be contained within us, inside our souls. The unseen pain is manifested outside of us, in weeping.
* * *
I penned a tribute to my dad, to his character and strength, across his good days and the plenty of bad ones, that made up his life. My dad was a man of few words and no tears. Sometime after I’d penned the tribute my parents were in town for a visit. I read it to him. That was the first time I ever saw tears in my dad’s eyes. Those are the rare type of tears that don’t come from mourning.
Several years later when the preacher read those words of tribute at my dad’s funeral, tears of mourning rolled down my face.
It is a wise person that considers the punchline of their life. A person that ponders a life, counts the cost of actions and the value of forgiveness and God’s grace. “There’s a time to weep, a time to laugh. A time to mourn and a time to dance.” But… rarely in that order.