Friday, July 1, 2016

It's Okay to Laugh: (Crying is Cool Too)

I have a confession, I’m an easy crier; it’s a curse I tell you. Much like my laughter comes easy, so do my tears. A sad movie is a given, if you make me really angry – then too, but heck even a sappy happy ending causes equal waterworks. I was ashamed of myself recently when I got teary-eyed during a stupid commercial. It wasn’t even that Sarah McLachlan SPCA commercial (I change the channel as soon as I hear the song’s first chord or else I’ll be blowing my nose for the next half hour); it was for Lowe’s – the home improvement store. I wanted to slap myself, but in all fairness, search for Lowe’s “Home Love” commercial and tell me if that doesn’t give you the feels. Anyway, it doesn’t take much to make me cry, so when you give me a beautiful love story, one involving soul mates somehow finding each other in this great big world whom life in all its capriciousness separate, I’ll give you a puddle of my tears on the floor. It's Okay to Laugh: (Crying is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny Purmort is a beautifully written memoir guaranteed to make you do both.

From the publisher: “Twenty-seven-year-old Nora McInerny Purmort bounced from boyfriend to dopey “boyfriend” until she met Aaron—a charismatic art director and comic-book nerd who once made Nora laugh so hard she pulled a muscle. When Aaron was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, they refused to let it limit their love. They got engaged on Aaron’s hospital bed and had a baby boy while he was on chemo. In the period that followed, Nora and Aaron packed fifty years of marriage into the three they got, spending their time on what really matters: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, each other, and Beyoncé. A few months later, Aaron died in Nora’s arms. The obituary they wrote during Aaron’s hospice care revealing his true identity as Spider-Man touched the nation. With It’s Okay to Laugh, Nora puts a young, fresh twist on the subjects of mortality and resilience.”

This was an amazing read; funny, poignant, and real. I don’t know if it’s permissible to be heartbroken over a lost love that isn’t your own, but I was. In reading Nora and Aaron’s story, I fell in love with them, I fell in love with their love story, because this book is just that – as Nora eloquently states “it’s not a cancer story, it’s a love story. With some cancer.” Honestly, it seems they shared the kind of love to which the rest of us aspire, and while their tale of love and loss could be maudlin or melancholy, it is never that. It is sad at times, heartbreaking at others, but also beautiful, uplifting and inspiring.

Nora is an amazing author – funny, witty and brutally honest. Her humor breathes life into every moment she shares with us. Yet in her grief she generously reminds us of how darn lucky we are. How even in times of tragedy and heartbreak there are blessings to be counted. Nora reminds us that it’s okay to laugh, or cry, or rage at whatever raw deal life puts before us, but to have faith that in the end everything will be okay.

It’s Okay to Laugh reminds us that life can be so stupidly unfair yet so amazingly beautiful (like a beautiful rose with some sucky thorns). So read this book and when life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile and remember to H.O.P.E. (hold on, pain ends).