Sometimes I can almost hear it.
One morning, just before I fully awoke, I heard her voice as clear as any sound I'm hearing now. It was like heavenly music, the most beautiful melody. It literally filled me. I gleaned energy from the memory of that sound all day and when my head hit the pillow that night, I hoped I would hear more. For about two weeks after she died, I could feel it, as if it were coming from somewhere deep inside me. Her smiles, her giggles, her laughter reverberated from within. I can't describe it, but I knew - I felt - I experienced - her complete and total joy. As it is with nearly all of our deepest, most profound experiences, this was and is inexpressible.
Risa was nurtured in a home filled with laughter. Some might argue there was too much of it. If Whitakers are accused of riding the edge, whatever that edge might be: of propriety, of dignity, of intelligence, etc., the catalyst is gonna be humor.
A Laughing Matter
It's no wonder we find comfort in the following:
"I divide the causes of human laughter into Joy, Fun, the Joke Proper, and Flippancy. You will see the first among friends and lovers reunited on the eve of a holiday.... the smallest witticisms produce laughter at such a time shows that they are not the real cause. Something like it is expressed in music and something like it occurs in Heaven. Fun is closely related to Joy - a sort of emotional froth arising from the play instinct. It promotes charity, courage, contentment." C.S. Lewis
~ Mahadev Apte
The Benefits of Laughter
Laughter on the Brain
"Mirth is God's medicine. Everybody ought to bathe in it."
~Henry Ward Beecher
"At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities."
"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter."
"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people." ~Victor Borge
"What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul." ~Yiddish Prover
"A man isn't poor if he can still laugh."
"Remember, men need laughter sometimes more than food." ~Anna Fellows Johnston
"Laughter is the sensation of feeling good all over and showing it principally in one place." ~Josh Billings
"A laugh is a smile that bursts." ~Mary H. Waldrip
"Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face." ~Victor Hugo
"Laughter on one's lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life." ~Hugh Sidey
"It's my cancer and I can laugh if I want to."
~ Risa Melody Whitaker
How do we say "I love you" more than words can express? How do we describe the kaleidoscope of joy we feel while in your presence? How do we explain the value of your friendship? . . . We laugh with you.
Is there a name for one who sprinkles mirth like pixie dust as she flits along beside you?
We called her Risa.