Robin William’s brought light into nearly every circumstance. Visiting troops over seas, raising money for the homeless and just making us laugh from our easy chairs. His comedic genius lightened our loads but couldn’t lighten his. When Robin appeared in a Saint Jude Children’s Hospital commercial with my hero Brennan Simkins I could not have been prouder of him. You see Brennan was in a desperate fight for survival from childhood cancer that struck him days before his seventh birthday. Seeing him laugh with Robin dispelled sadness and worry, if just for a moment.
Why the example of kids who struggled with the worst life offered didn’t sustain him in his darkness is a mystery. How the man who played his role so convincingly in Good Will Hunting could kill himself haunts me. How? Why? Could anything have sustained him until the worst of the depression passed? We’ll never know. I do know this: friendship, true, faithful friendship that is not concerned with getting back, that gives freely is what sustains me. When I’m low a call or email from a friend, an unexpected, unscheduled visit does wonders to remind me why life is worth living. So does reflecting on the courage of young kids like Brennan who mouthed these words over and over while he fought through terrible sickness – “I can do this, I can do this, I can do this.”
Lastly, and most importantly the words “…even the darkness is not dark to you O Lord” sustains me.
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