14 December 2007
My time as the Anyone Can Host contest runner up was one link of many in a bizarre chain of events. The singing telegram and balloon decoration and gift delivery service and costume and mask and magic supply and joke store that had a five year lease cut to two, needed to be moved by the end of the year.
It was the Saturday before Halloween, busiest day of the year for a costume store. One of my main suppliers who was in town to see the Wagner Ring festival had just dropped in. Then my newly divorced ex wife comes in with our three daughters, the youngest who had just turned four, to tell me they were leaving for France on Monday. Aside from who got the Vitamix, the only issue in the divorce we could not resolve was her taking the kids far away. But given the shambles of my financial state, since she had a house in France and the services of a real lawyer, the judge ruled in her favor. The most difficult moment I have ever had to endure, was saying goodbye the night before they left. Somehow keeping my composure, knowing that if I lost it, matters would get even worse and melt down into a sob fest. They were pretty much there already, but I had to be strong.
Even as I write this, I need to pause and get a tissue. They are all grown up now, yet I missed some precious moments along the way. Sorry to get on such a downer. Not so comedian, yet tragedy must be the integral foil to comedy. To make others laugh, to feel, depends on the size of your heart. The lesson learned was that love can transcend time and distance. This was back before email and instant messenger, when staying in touch was a letter or expensive phone call every few weeks. But when you are constantly thinking of each other, the bond remains.
When I finally got to see them again over a year later, it seemed almost as if we had just been apart for a few days. There is a French proverb, roughly translated: those who love well, suffer well. Perhaps when you fall hard, you either bounce back even higher or stay broken, maybe both. Some may have the contentment of a steady life, without the emotional peaks and valleys, yet love, when tested, gains strength and depth. Have you ever had something taken from you that could never be replaced?
Not that long after she learned to talk, my eldest said:
"I know where dreams come from, they live at the edge of the world"
May there always be love in your heart,