Laughter in the Walls on my 61st Birthday

My day is winding down and I am writing this after having had a day of wonderful blessings from so many family and friends, near and far. Birthdays are sort of great but as one starts to realize you have much less time to live than you have already lived, well, it’s kind of a huge siren call.

Coming home tonight I walked around our home, inside and out, and just listened to the quiet of the side of our house and backyard where so many memories were created with our boys as they were growing—kicking soccer balls, playing football and bocce, and ‘playing war’ around the spacious area around our property.  As one listens to the quiet, one wonders where did all the laughter go.  It’s still there, I think, but in another form, and I need to slow myself down to ‘hear it’ again.

I suppose it’s stored up and hopefully treasured in each heart that once occupied the space of our home.

My bride of almost 38 years and I have both recently celebrated key milestone birthdays. I’m not allowed to mention her number but it’s one less than mine.  These days when we are on our own, our sentences often begin with…”Do you remember when….?” and then we’ll go off on some beautiful memory that created a laugh, a concern, a joy, a cheer, a prayer or two, or just an overall pleasant experience that we carry around with us as a way to nourish our own emotions as life moves so quickly past us.

In reviewing the day an old poem came to mind. They are not my words but the words of the late Bob Benson reflecting on his own memories of days gone by and although the scenario of his life was different than ours, the emotions are the same.

It’s simply called Laughter in the Walls, and every time I read it, a tear comes to my eye. I recall reading it over 30 years ago. Now 30 plus years later and 3 adult sons, two daughters in ‘love’ and 2 grand kids later, the poem still speaks to the deepest  part of my soul.

On this 61st birthday I was reminded to cherish every relationship, every moment of what’s left of my life.  And I don’t want to just reflect on the past laughter but continue to create more laughter in the walls of our home into the future.

Laughter in the Walls by Bob Benson

by Bob Benson

I pass a lot of houses
on my way home.
Some pretty,
some expensive,
some inviting.

But my heart always skips a beat
when I turn down the road
and see my house
nestled against the hill.

I guess I’m especially proud
of the house
and the way it looks
because I drew the plans myself.
It started out large enough for us–
I even had a study;
two teenage boys
now reside in there.
And it had a guest room;
my girl and nine dolls
are permanent guests.
It had a small room
Peg had hoped
would be her sewing room,
the two boys swinging
on the Dutch door
have claimed this room as their own.
So it really doesn’t look right now
as if I’m much of an architect.
But it will get larger again.

One by one they will go away–
to work, to college,
to service,
to their own houses.
And then there will be room–
a guest room, a study,
and a sewing room–
just for the two of us.

But it won’t be empty.
Every corner, every room,
every nick in the coffee table
will be crowded
with memories.
Memories of picnics,
parties, Christmases,
bedside vigils, summers,
fires, winters, going barefoot,
leaving for vacation, cats,
conversations, black eyes,
graduations, first dates,
ball games, arguments,
washing dishes, bicycles,
dogs, boat rides,
getting home from vacation,
meals, rabbits,
and a thousand other things
that fill the lives
of those who would raise five.

And Peg and I
will sit quietly by the fire
and listen to the
laughter in the walls.

About coachdelmonte

I am an ACC (Associate Certified Coach) with the International Coaching Federation and graduate of Coach U International, focusing on personal, ministry and professional coaching with a focus on getting solid, timely and focused results. If you are interested in a complimentary session to see if partnering with me would assist you in becoming your best version of yourself, contact me at

Posted on May 4, 2014, in family. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Awe, that is beautiful Poppa Luch. You are so rich in love from all your sons, daughters and grandkids. You invest in relationships and that’s what matters most. God calls us to love Him and others. You are a shining example of that.

    Happy Birthday to the great Luciano Del Monte

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