This month’s feature comes from the Reverend Dr. Richard Laribee, friend of the Center.

One of my friends is a young man with a wicked sense of humor that brings joy to those blessed to know him. Not only does he see humor—especially irony—everywhere and in everything, but he often sees the humor that the rest of us miss. Happily for us, he not only sees the humor, but loves to share it with his friends, making the worlds a brighter place for us.

Because cerebral palsy impairs his speech, my friend communicates primarily through gestures, such as a well-timed rolling of his eyes or shaking of his head. And once he gets you laughing, he’ll join in with the best, most wonderful, raucous laughing imaginable.

One sunny afternoon when we were first getting to know one another, we meandered around the neighborhood, he in his motorized wheelchair, I walking beside him. Toward the end of our outing as I finished telling him a little about my life as an Episcopal priest, we came to a rough patch of broken sidewalk.   As he carefully maneuvered his motorized wheelchair between two potholes, a wheel suddenly slipped and fell into one of the holes. I shouted something unprintable, terrified he was going to fall. Fortunately the heavy machine didn’t fall over, and he managed to drive out of the hole. Once the danger passed and my heart rate returned to normal, I said to him, “Way to go… you made the priest swear!”

And he laughed and laughed and laughed—that wonderful, raucous laugh. Which made me laugh too.

That’s what Grace looks like.

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