Published 9:03 am Wednesday, February 21, 2018

What is laughter? Webster says laughter is an expression or appearance of merriment or amusement.

The best sound in the world to me is laughter. The kind of laughing that comes from deep down in your belly. The kind of laughing that makes those around you start laughing because your laugh is contagious. The kind of laughing that for that moment, whatever you are going through is pushed aside and you are filled with joy.

When I am out and about and I hear people laughing it always brings a smile to my face. There’s something about laughter that can brighten a person’s day. Even in the saddest times laughter can lessen the pain for a moment.

When my children were young they use to drive my husband and me crazy. Every time we turned around one of them was doing something. We would fuss at them and send them in their room. A little while later we would hear so much laughter coming from their rooms that we would go check it out. All my kids would be in one room laughing and imitating some of the things their dad and I said to them. My husband and I would listen outside the door and go back in our room and crack up laughing. Even though they drove us crazy, their laughter was music to our ears.

I’m not good at telling jokes but my kids think I’m one of the funniest people alive because I get in some good zingers every now and then. I guess my kids got their sense of humor from their dad because he tells the best jokes around. Even his truths can turn into jokes because he loves to embellish, especially when he has an audience. He will tell jokes all day if you will listen.

When we lived in New York our elderly neighbor Mr. Metz loved listening to Charles’ jokes. He would come over and my husband would tell him a joke that would have him roaring with laughter. I think Charles made sure that he had a new joke to tell Mr. Metz every time he came over because he realized how much the neighbor looked forward to hearing them.

You can find laughter almost anywhere. Pastor Joel Osteen starts every sermon off with a joke and the congregation loves it. At my grandson’s wedding the bride’s father said something funny to the groom when the pastor asked who gives this woman away. At my son’s home going we sent him off with love and laughter which is the same way I pray my family sends me off. I don’t want anyone weeping and wailing over me, instead I want people telling jokes and I want the folks in attendance to laugh, laugh, and laugh some more because laughter can heal wounds and bring joy into your heart. In other words, laughter is food for the soul. Be Bless in Jesus’ Name.

Mary Simmons is a columnist for The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch. She can be reached at