When I hear him laugh, it is impossible and I do mean impossible – not to smile. Most often I am on the phone to my precious first daughter (because I am blessed to have two) when I hear his blast of a laugh in the background. He is not a baby or a toddler, although on certain days my daughter may beg to differ. The belly laugh belongs to my ‘son in law’.
That formal title does not sit comfortably with me but of course I do understand the origins. He did not come into our life in a traditional or formal mode. I recall arriving home from school and unloading groceries (even now I am forever unloading food and living items) and was trying to flick on the news. The television would not ‘load’ as the VCR (yeah that is how long ago it was)…which had been tuned via the tv – was gone. Missing.
My sweet and precious first year university student had happily ‘lent’ our VCR to a “friend” and what stayed with me – was how very quick she was to offer to head back to uni to retrieve the video box so we could resume normal viewing in our house.
Years later – the ‘friend’ is her husband, our Greg – because we’ve toughed out too much stuff to be talking son-in-law.
To get back to the famous Gregory laughter – and it is phenomenal but wrenchingly it is so much more. Our young Greg, a gentle, sweet, funny and wonderful young man has endured (because he just had to) one of life’s deepest losses and has done so at a tender age. Greg and his amazing Dad, along with two brothers had to lose their Julie, their beautiful Mum.
I did not know Julie well. I wish I had. I know we would have been great mates. I know we would have had so much wicked fun especially at Greg’s expense.
The point is, now – more than ever, when I hear Greg’s laugh – yes, I smile because his laugh is truly beyond infectious but now my heart warms, it’s a glow that I feel deeply – as I just know his laughter goes straight to his adoring Mum.