Laughter was a prominent memory cherished with our parents. Since the passing of both my mother and father, life has not been the same. Our family was fortunate to have loving, caring parents who made countless sacrifices raising six kids, always placing us before their own needs. Money was a struggle; they worked long, hard hours for years to provide; however, they never complained, required little and always looked on life’s bright side.

They had several endearing qualities, including a contagious sense of humor. Even through difficult times, when life was not funny, they found sanity through positive thinking and laughter. They enjoyed life, dancing, music, fun gatherings of family and friends and giving to their community.

After their loss, desire for laughter disappeared and was a forced effort. Days were a challenge, and in my grieving process life was lonely, as they were the pillars for my foundation. However, I chose to spotlight a repetitious message heard by my mother during hard times, that we had two choices every day: to allow a bad day to control us, or rise above, focus on the good and make it the best day.

My mother’s wisdom to persevere and push through voids liberated me from my grieving period. Knowing how resilient my parents were in handling devastating losses motivated me to endure hardships. I discovered a way to keep their spirits alive and close, by telling their stories, memory reflection, teachings and honoring one of their strengths: their sense of humor.

It is comforting to reflect, and our family still exchanges boost-blaster belly laughs whenever reminiscing about their fun, loving and vivacious personalities.

I finally realized the best gift I could give them in return was to continue fulfilling their positive and healthy attitudes. Embracing life with enthusiasm, passion, kindness and a steady flow of laughter were healthy medicines for preserving their lives. Their legacy contributed to recognizing strength and courage for letting go, and accepting life and its opportunities.

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for teaching and inspiring us to utilize those valuable life lessons, and it feels right – we can laugh again!

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