She’s still making me laugh

A few weeks after Gail died I was roaming the house looking at pictures of the two of us. I saw a particular favorite on a bookshelf and picked up the frame. It was a surprise to see the characters hiding behind it obviously waiting for me to discover them. Gail had done it again.

The traveling rabbit that made Gail and me smile many times.

The traveling rabbit that made Gail and me smile many times.

There he was, a skinny and familiar flexible rubber rabbit dancing with our five-inch-tall Mr. Bill doll. The rabbit was holding a carrot in one hand and reaching out his other gloved paw to keep his balance with the cylindrical plastic man in red with the perpetual look of surprise. I laughed out loud. Then, I cried out loud while still smiling.

The rabbit has had a habit of turning up in unusual and amusing places ever since it appeared in a surprise Easter basket Gail gave me on a trip to New Orleans in 1992. Amazingly, Gail was able to pack the basket in a suitcase without my knowledge until Easter Sunday when she gave it to me in our room at the Ponchartrain Hotel. The bag had been checked and handled by airport luggage crews in Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans. Miraculously, the basket and the rabbit inside had made the trip unscathed and undetected by me until she unwrapped them that morning.

Over the next two decades at home in Nashville, I would find that rabbit hiding in my sock drawer or behind my alarm clock. We would laugh and say, “How did he get there? That rabbit sure can move around!”

A day or two later, Gail would find it clinging to her makeup mirror or in a pair of shoes she had picked out to wear on a given day. He would appear lurking in the silverware drawer, clinging to a doorknob, or looking over a lampshade as if he were waiting to climb out from the inside. We got more and more creative about where the rabbit would show up and which one of us would be the recipient of his next surprise appearance.

Finding the rabbit dancing with Mr. Bill made me laugh again.

Finding the rabbit dancing with Mr. Bill made me laugh again.

In the days after Gail’s death, that plastic bunny never occurred to me. I had been consumed with sadness and the labyrinth of insurance, benefits, and trying to go on with my life. Those things continue with me now, but unexpectedly finding that rabbit gave me a much needed laugh and a reminder to think of more cheerful times. It also gave me pause to remember that Gail was always looking out for my happiness and to believe that she is still making me smile.

Click here to view video of The Gail by Les Kerr.
Text and photos copyright 2014 by Les Kerr.

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About Les Kerr

Les Kerr is a songwriter, recording artist, journalist and author originally from the Gulf Coast now based in Nashville, Tennessee. Learn More about Les at www.leskerr.com
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13 Responses to She’s still making me laugh

  1. Tommy Turner says:

    Your a Hoot and soo is Gail’
    Thanks for being “you” Les!
    yes I believe Less is more.
    ha ha ha
    Tommy

  2. Tammy Vice says:

    Loved this! Thank you for sharing the smiles. Memories of Mr. Bill brought some extra grins as well. Telling my age. 😉

  3. She will always make you smile. Cheers!

  4. Funny and sweet… thanks for sharing.

  5. hugh says:

    Sweet story, Les. Mr. Rabbit is of those precious and on-going things that only a fun-loving, and fun-sharing couple can relate to – those other-wise silly little things that “only the two can understand and share” … over years and years of living together as one happy couple!

  6. Becky (Pearson) Myers says:

    Hi, Les! Although we didn’t know each other in high school, having graduated together “sort of” gives us a bond!! 😀 I read your post today and just wanted to write you to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your thoughts and also to tell you that my prayers are with you during this journey of grief that you find yourself on. I have traveled down this road, having been widowed in 1990, so I can relate to where you are. There are few words that haven’t already been spoken and no words are adequate that can make the journey any less painful. It is one that has to be taken but I can tell you that it won’t always seem so lonely and sad. Life will never be the same as it was the day your beautiful wife left this world but you will eventually find a different “normal.” You are blessed to have your music to be of some comfort and from what I can gather from comments that have been made, you have many friends who are there whenever you need them. There will never be a day that Gail will not cross your mind…something will remind you of her every single day of your life. That’s totally understandable and unless a person has walked down the same path that you are, they won’t understand that. I have two daughters and a grandson that remind me every day of my husband. I still have days when I burst out in tears over a song that I hear. These are things that will eventually become a part of that “new normal”….and you will be able to have more good days than “not so good” ones!

    God bless you, Les…you are in my prayers! Have fun at the reunion! Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it but I know that everybody is going to have a great time! Take care of yourself and keep playing!

    Becky (Pearson) Myers

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