To me, nothing is as soothing as humor, especially when it bathes over pain. I think Mark Twain said something like, show me someone with a sense of humor and I will show you someone who knows what is serious. This becomes obvious when you come face to face with someone without a sense of humor…

That the boys have developed a sense of humor with many shades has not been lost on me. To live, love, learn and laugh seems a good reminder to hang in the kitchen (or in any room, but laughter is most needed at mealtimes in our home due to culinary skills—or lack of). Laughter is not the least of these four Ls and they all need each other. And all require intention, attention and a chance to expand the heart and soul. Thankfully we have had many chances to laugh together.

joshua-sortino-m-XLNFYdiVw-unsplash sea glass

Pain and humor are good friends. In 2006 I said good-bye to a beloved endeavor. I played and competed my whole life, but my body said, “no more.” But the ending didn’t mean the effects were over. The old bones got worse over the years, and my gait like a man many years my senior. Not pretty. I remember Evan as a three-year-old spontaneously imitating me to perfection, complete with the hunch, limp, grunts and groans. “Oy!” gasped the preschool senior citizen. The juxtaposition of his supple youth and his impression was priceless. I laughed so hard it hurt. Or should I say hurt in places that usually didn’t…

Recently, in honor of our 32nd year together, Melanie and I spent a day at the beach, one of our favorite places on earth. A place that nourishes our hearts and souls. We walked for miles along the shore, gazed in awe at a dolphin pod playing and having Sunday brunch, collected shells and sea glass, shared stories and laughs. I haven’t walked that far in years…

At one point, Melanie requested I video her running using the slow motion feature on her phone. More laughs and then I asked her to do the same for me. After the initial shock she agreed. Well, it was more of a jog, a very slow one (really didn’t need the slo-mo treatment), but a shining moment for this man of flesh, bone and titanium.  First time in years…

But the kicker is Melanie sent the video to the boys and I will remember their response more than the glorious Wright-Brother like flight along the North Carolina sand: “Whoa! What is Usain Bolt doing in Wilmington?”

I laughed so hard it hurt….

And Usain, the fastest man ever to run on this planet, has nothing to fear.


Photo Credit: Joshua Sortino (

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About Dr. John Panepinto

Direction. Execution. Evolution. Each day can be an expression of living with purpose and focusing on what matters most. My sites share this theme of vision, living in our most important roles and responsibilities from imagination and creativity in a simple, practical way. I am committed to educating and serving, founded in principles of development, that people can use and practice in their every day lives.