Was shown sad news yesterday. By now, I am sure the whole world knows that yesterday we lost Robin Williams. In a purported suicide, the inspiration for three generations and more is gone. I feel privileged he was there in my life, from the very first moment they premiered the character of "Mork From Ork" on "Happy Day's" pitting his magic finger against the Fonz's "Cool"! I was enthralled, and thrilled they gave him his own show. His humor was inspirational, and only much later through interviews and some of his stand up (most notably the impossible to find "Live at the Met") was it alluded to just how many demons he fought on a day to day basis.
Last night, after Angela, tears rolling down her cheeks, brought in her phone, grabbed my hand and with a great deal of regret, showed me the news report. At first, she thought it was one of her online friends pulling a very sick joke, but the wires lit up with the news. After all was said and done, she fervently requested that we lay in bed, hold one another and watch his masterful film "What Dreams May Come". How prophetic that movie was.
Ironically enough, this news came at a time of our own personal traumas.
This past Friday was my 47th birthday. While out for an enjoyable evening of dinner, a movie and a drink, I didn't feel right. Somewhat...disconnected. Unreal. We have been going through a lot of stress over the last few months. Work, home, money...you name it. Something went "Pop!" Saturday morning, still feeling somewhat short winded and dizzy, it being a Saturday, I needed to go in. Although, Kaleb did open and I went in late. At this point, whatever was going on, I thought I could just work it out. I extend my apologies, to anyone coming in the store or whom I may have talked to, if I seems a little "Strange". I have vague recollection of talking to a few folks and Uncle Chip coming in to give me a belated present. Yes, I confirmed this morning that he did indeed do that. Around noon, whatever was going on, became to much and I was near collapse. I had Kaleb call me a cab and rushed me to the Emergency room, where I subsequently collapsed.
In technical terms, it was a stress related anxiety attack bringing on an acute "Cardiac Event". Apparently, while in somewhat of a stupor, I babbled on incoherently, lost all sense of time and made some odd statements. This ended up having me transferred to a recovery center in Lutz. I came to, around 5pm, wondering were I was, they filled me in and said I was being sent out for observation. By Sunday morning, having rested, I felt OK, just very sore and tired. It took them until seeing the doctor there, to determine I was OK to go home and discharged me at one pm. However, as I was in LUTZ, an hour or so from home, they needed to call and pay for a cab to bring me home. Of course, as a final stress inducing indignity, they lost ALL my personal belongings! Yes. Shoes, socks, smokes, lighter and $510.90 in cash!!! They were apologetic, but not to concerned enough to find me another pair of shoes, as I had to go home in green hospital socks! And of course, at their persistence, they said to call yesterday morning to find out if they located anything, to which several calls were made by me, to no avail, and no return call. In a word, we are screwed!
A long way around the facts, but I tell you this story to say, that were it not for humor like Robin Williams, an event like this may have really pushed me over the edge, but his irreverent humor, (as well as words of wisdom from my Father) has kept a strong sense of sardonic humor in me, so I can look at an event like this, laugh and say "figures!"
Ironically enough, prior to this event, dealing with issues, on my Facebook page last week I shared a song from "Mork and Mindy" sung by Robin, entitled "This Heart Is Closed, For Alterations" as a way to cope.
We briefly turned on the TV last night, getting ready for the movie, and of course all the pretty people were speculating and rumor mongering over whys and what's, all grabbing a moment of air time, furthering their own agenda, over the loss of an Icon. Angela came out of the bathroom, disgusted and said "Turn it off!"
See, it doesn't really matter why, or what. He's gone. That's all that matters. A strong man, fighting for so long and so hard, lost his battle. A final lesson, taught, that we NEED to hold on to what we have!
I've read all the messages, heard all the well wishing, and people offering up their most favorite Robin Williams moments. All, very good examples of the man and his frenetic energy for delivering humor! But the one thing he did, the one movie no one expected, that holds the MOST reverence to me would HAVE to be "One Hour Photo". One of his few dramatic roles, the movie spoke to me in ways very personal. Here he portrays a very unsuspecting, docile "Every man" operating the photo counter at a local supermarket. He BRILLIANTLY shows the manic, obsessiveness with a young family, husband, wife and son. You think it borders on murderous intent, but merely the protectiveness of a man who has become personally, deeply involved in their lives through the photo's they take. Once he discovers the husband is having an affair, it pushes him over the brink of sanity, as he wants to protect and "save" his "family"! THIS is an idea I can REALLY wrap my hands around! If you have not seen it, watch it with a careful eye for subtlety!
Mister Williams, thank you from the deepest of my heart for all you gave ALL of our lives of yourself, and your talent!