The Tangible Evidence of Hope

Today I sat in the quiet room of the library to try and get some work done. As I sat there another woman came in and sat in front of me.  Whatever she was watching was making her laugh.  She seemed to laugh right when I was just completing a thought. *poof*  I started to get increasingly agitated and annoyed and thought about huffing out or asking her to keep it down.  Each time she laughed I could tell it was one of those uncontrollable ones.  She was trying to keep it quiet but it became worse as she tried to hold it in. I watched from behind as she fanned herself and threw her arms in the air. I just stopped writing and watched. And then I couldn’t stop laughing.

All of the sudden she got up and walked out of the room for a moment. I stared at her computer screen at the table across from me.  I wasn’t trying to snoop but I wanted to know what was so funny. There was an image of the following:

One kind word can change someone’s entire day.

That obviously wasn’t what she was laughing at, but it made me think about what my reaction was going to be.  When she came back in, as she walked past me, I said:

Um…excuse me…ok….I just have to know what was so funny….

She didn’t even pause to think….and gestured with her hand for me to follow her out of the room.  I followed her out of the room. She told me she had given a movie a bad review and she was watching the interviews from it. She’s a movie fanatic. We talked about movies for a while and then parted ways. I sat back down and the writing just came pouring out again.

There are studies that say laughter is really contagious.  Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, right? Well, some of them.

So, I could have huffed out of the room really.  She probably wouldn’t have even have noticed.

I love this definition of laughter:

laughter (noun) the tangible evidence of hope -michael jr. comedian #quote #theyearofjoy #lilblueboo

I got that from Michael Jr.:

Love him.  And I’m even the butt of his joke…I spoke “banjo” as a kid growing up in Clover, S.C.

I think humor is the ultimate saving grace for me. I probably take it overboard at times, cracking jokes and oozing sarcasm at the most inappropriate of moments, then it can become a crutch. But true cheerful, joyful humor has saved me many times over. Sometimes I try to be serious, but I can’t.  And sometimes when I’m being totally serious, people think I’m joking:

Surrogacy Agency: We have a database of pre-screened carriers.
Me: So, you are kind of like for surrogates.
Surrogacy Agency: Well…um…I guess you could say that.
Me: So do you actually meet all the surrogates in person? Because I’ve heard stories about people going to meet their dates and it’s not even the right gender. Sorry, not stories about you….stories about Not that it’s dating. Although, it is kind of like dating if you really think about it.

(total silence)

Surrogacy Agency: I don’t think we’ve ever run into that issue.
Me: Yet…

And so I try to make humor a redeeming quality when I can.

Oh, when I left the woman handed me a post-it note with the movie: August: Osage County.


All posts for the Year of Joy can be found here.

14 days down, only 17 to go.




  1. says

    So I love the story, but I got really excited that you mentioned a surrogacy agency. Does this mean there may be another little one in your family at some point? I know I’m probably being too nosy, but maybe this was your way of quietly mentioning it to those of us who pay attention? Or maybe you already talked about it and I’m dense. Regardless, I’m glad you were able to share laughter with her. :)

  2. Sandy says

    Hi Ashley. I didn’t know you grew up in Clover, SC. Small world, I live in Rock Hill, SC. Just a few miles away! The Bible says laughter does good like a medicine so I try and take a good dose every day. Sure beats crying, don’t it?

  3. says

    I would have had to leave the room because I wouldn’t have been able to stop giggling along with the lady. I love that smiles and laughter are so contagious, makes the world that much better.

  4. Rachel Michelson says

    My favorite laughter, is that laughter when you have to stifle it… And then you laugh even more.