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  • Writer's pictureSue Schleifer

Laughing and Crying

I have rejoined a book group that I had to leave when I moved from Oakland, CA to Lafayette, LA more than ten years ago. It was just one of many activities, friends, and favorite places that I left behind when we moved.

Since the COVID pandemic began I have been able to rejoin, find, and start new groups now that our lives are more virtual than ever before. And, my life is enriched by that. We find moments to laugh, cry, read together, learn, discuss, and support one another.

It seems that I have always been quick to cry and laugh. As teens, my sister and I would laugh after we cried at a sappy commercial on TV. One time we attempted ice skating at a rink in Santa Rosa, CA, and we laughed so hard that I peed in my pants. I had to take off my jacket and wrap it around my waist for the rest of the evening.

My new/old book group is reading Fredrik Backman’s, My grandmother asked me to tell you she’s sorry. I am listening to the audio book as I walk in the neighborhood. I am especially enjoying walking now that we have had a few days of fall. I put on my sunglasses and hat so that perhaps other walkers won’t notice the tears that stream down my face. These might appear just after I have laughed out loud. It is that kind of book, and I am that kind of person.

Perhaps it is also the times we are living in. Some days/some moments I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I feel like my emotions are being tugged in many directions. And then, just as in the book, I have a sweet moment with my husband or an especially heartfelt conversation with a coaching client, or a great line appears in my head as I am working on my new play. Moments of clarity also appear.

I am trying to be present for it all.


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