Laugh Until You Cry
~ Amy Lignor
I was a kid. I had the best family imaginable, yet I felt out of place. The only thing I could really do well was make up jokes when others weren’t feeling all that good. Even today, as my Mom struggles with retirement and getting older, she’ll cry at times because she feels like a burden (which, by the way, she is not).
But even at those times, I can tell a joke, or change my voice in such a way that makes the tears go away and she laughs again, forgetting that feeling of sadness that she had just a moment before. I love that gift. I also love writing characters in books that are sarcastic, and can throw out a line that makes you laugh even at the most suspenseful moments. I like that because I truly believe, that ‘laughter is the best medicine’. I don’t like tears, unless they come when you have laughed so hard you can’t stop crying; those are great tears – the tears that happen when your abdomen hurts and you can’t catch your breath because of the laughter. I know tears are necessary for some – they make you feel better. But I never felt that way. Having a laugh actually does eject the bad – it’s almost like the bad can’t touch you as long as you’re smiling back at it.
When I was a kid I suffered from depression. Although, back then, the doctor stated I was just trying to get out of going to school. But there was a face, a voice, a presence that made me pull out of that darkness, and that was Robin Williams. I was young. I had no idea he was addicted to anything, nor would I have cared. He made me become addicted to laughter – to caring about others and pulling them out of their sadness so they could enjoy the day. Growing up, whenever I got down on myself or felt the weight of the world on my shoulders, all I had to do was watch some old ‘Mork & Mindy’s’, or ‘Comic Relief’, or the stand-ups that I had purchased on DVD. I watched them over and over again – knowing the jokes by heart, but still laughing every single time.
I’m not going to preach or tell you I know anything about addiction. I believe that only the ones who have to deal with it every day can speak about it – no offense to these so-called T.V. experts and celebrity doctors who wish to constantly talk about something they’ve never battled. I can speak to the weight of depression, and the feeling that even though everyone around you is laughing, and you did your job for the ones you care for, that there’s a darkness inside you that won’t go away.
Robin Williams helped me with that, and thanks to the world of media he will continue to. His caring and out of this world ability to make people laugh until
they cried is something no one else does – or will ever do. His shoes cannot be filled; and shouldn’t be. When you have been in the presence of the master, no one else could do his job justice.
I write this because I, like millions of others, will miss Robin Williams more than anything. We will miss the excitement that occurred when he took the stage, because you knew he was going to outshine everyone and the laughter he was about to provide you would be a precious thing to hold onto. He was the most caring soul, attempting to help one and all and making it his job to bring back the smile that had left our faces for a while.
It will not surprise me if the weather is rainy; it won’t surprise me if there’s flooding. Robin Williams is now standing in Heaven – hopefully smiling himself and not worried anymore. And it is a given that he will be telling joke after joke…until everyone ‘up there’ laughs so hard, they cry.
Rest in Peace, Sir. And thank you for the peace you gave me.
Until Next Time,