We all have childhood memories ingrained within our minds. We are also influenced by our parents to enjoy various elements of the entertainment industry. And I can remember when my father showed me “Mork and Mindy” for the first time. I also remember the excitement of seeing the actress on “The Crazy Ones” because of the reunion that was taking place before my eyes. I recall seeing “Aladdin” three times at the theater. And until I was in college that was the film I had seen the most in theaters. I even remember the people who I viewed the film with almost twenty years later. There are some memories in life that never fade, but more importantly there are some people who manage to reach our hearts without much effort at all. Robin Williams is one of those people. Robin Williams will always be important to me. While so many people have talked about his troubles, I choose not to do so today. Instead I am going to take a moment to share my memories, making this probably one of the more unorthodox articles I will ever write.
The truth is there were three comedians my father always pushed on me as a child. Those comedians were Jerry Lewis, Steve Martin, and Robin Williams. On some days I look back at when he and my mother took me on my second viewing of “Aladdin,” and think he was more excited to view the feature than I was at the time. The Robin Williams connection between my father and I has never wavered. In fact, we deleted shows on our DVR at one point because we knew they would be on demand to make room for “The Crazy Ones.” Alongside my most recent memories of the talented comedian, there are numerous past memories I have of viewing various of Williams films.
I remember viewing Ferngully: The Last Rainforest in my first grade classroom and running home to tell my dad about Batty Koda’s insane and hilarious antics. I’m also positive this was the first time I knowingly recognized an actor’s voice in an animated feature. When finding my copy of the film about a week ago, I waved it around with my copy of “Death to Smoochy,” which was oddly enough paired with subconsciously. My dad smiled as he pretended not to remember the feature. I feel it brought back the initial memory we shared of the film together as he asked me to tell him more that day after school back in 1992. And much like the day I initially my dad smiled at me and let me go on to remind him about the movie once more. Now I can’t help but look back and want to thank Robin Williams for being able to create such a memory between father and daughter. I’m just sorry it took a year to gather my thoughts to do so.
And I will end by saying this. Over the past couple of decades, a lot of jokes have been made here and there at his expense. I suppose that is the case with most pop culture these days. At the end of the day, the one sentiment that holds true is that Robin Williams was one of the most talented comedians and an all-around good human being. And the truth is there are not many people others can say that about anymore in this world. Maybe that is why this loss is so profound for so many people. So now we have to ask ourselves two questions.
What’s wrong with death sir? What are we so mortally afraid of? Why can’t we treat death with a certain amount of humanity and dignity, and decency, and God forbid, maybe even humor. Death is not the enemy gentlemen. If we’re going to fight a disease, let’s fight one of the most terrible diseases of all, indifference. – Patch Adams
So at the this time I ask you all to take a moment and remember a comedian that always tried to make us laugh despite his own troubles in life. And if you’re feeling generous, also take a moment to donate to MHA today.
RIP Robin Williams, you’ll always be missed.