Without laughing

Written by on October 1, 2007 in Conversations on the Healing Journey with 0 Comments

“I can watch this without laughing”, my father said.

We were watching Red Skelton show, my favorite. Along with the Wonderful World of Color, Walt Disney’s Sunday night show, Red Skelton was the highlight of my week. In that short time segment, I was transported to a world of fun and laughter, of wonder and delight.

My dad sat there stone faced to show us how Red Skelton couldn’t move him to even crack a smile.

We all followed suit. None of us laughed outloud after that. None of us even laughed within. Each of us had to imitate my dad. To bust out laughing would be falling short in my father’s eyes ( not as strong as him) or worse yet, defying him by suggesting that it’s wrong to even try not to laugh.

It’s “funny”…out of all the things my dad did, I think taking away our right and our ability to enjoy Red Skelton and to laugh at his show, or any other comedy show afterwards, as if refusing to laugh was some kind of victory, is probably one of the most hurtful things he did to us. Even if he never laid a hand on any of his children, doing that was mean and hurt each one of us deeply. We were robbed of the right to find delight in something.

But the fact that he was so abusive in other ways, and our world was already filled with so much pain that most of us were already so numb in our attempts to deal with the oppressiveness of it, for him to take away that one hour a week where we could actually be delighted in something, was just plain evil.

Maybe he was jealous. We all were taken by Red Skelton. We just loved him, how cute he was, how his eyes sparkled, his wonderful laughter and how he blessed us at the end of each show. We all adored him.

Can’t have that.

What a gift it was for me to sit there with my daughter and reclaim my stolen laughter, to share it with her and to listen to the sound of her “little girl” giggling at this wonderful man’s silliness and comedic artistry.

My dad thought it something great to be able to refuse to laugh.

I think it’s great that somewhere along the line, I refused to believe that anymore.

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About the Author

About the Author: Demian Yumei, author, singer/songwriter and artist activist, using spoken, written word and original songs in her human rights activism. Demian is a traveler on the healing journey with a lifelong love affair with the creative process. .


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