Have you heard about ‘comic relief’?
It made me think that one way of financing An Saol could be to organise ‘comic relief’ sessions, real comic stand-up comedian sessions, telling stories from the ‘inside’. OK, you would need to have a good story-teller, and you would need an audience with a special kind of humour. But I am sure to have enough material to cover not just one night, but a weekly session over a year at least.
Renting and living in an apartment in Germany (think: ‘Durchzug’), going on ‘therapeutic’ walks in the park, negotiating with nurses the next shave, preparing for the HIQA visit, being the dedicated ‘hand-desinfection’ nurse, person-‘zuständig’ – the list is endless.
I’d love to do this. Really. And as a father who has gone through all of this myself, I probably could do it without being accused of lacking respect. It just requires a slight adjustment in perspective and: ‘boom’ – you’d have tears of laughters on everbody’s cheeks and their body would be shaken by uncontrollable fits of laughter. It is that tragic.
They say everything can be replaced
They say every distance is not near
So I remember every face
Of every man who put me here
I see my light come shining
From the west down to the east
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released
(There is a nice version of this by Bob Dylan and Norah Jone on youtube – BUT by far, by far the coolest version of this song by the coolest people ever is that from The Last Waltz – they don’t make music like this anymore, featuring: Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Ronnie Wood, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Neil Diamond, Ronnie Hawkins and Van Morrison.)
Pádraig today was in his wheelchair when I arrived at the hospital. The therapists wanted to fit his more sophisticated headrest which he has had for many months. It is so much better and provides so much more support for his head than the airplane-type rest that is so short and sits so far back that we always have to get cushions to fill the gap between headrest and head.
Pádraig keeps trying really hard to talk. It’s hard, still, to make out words, but sure he is trying very much. Any day now, any day, there will be words.
In the meantime, I’ll keep dreaming of my first comic relief session on stage in the Laughter Lounge – knowing and remembering perfectly well that one piece of advice my son gave me, not once but several times, was to never ever try and tell a joke. At least not in English:) – When I tried before, and here I’m honest, people were politley waiting for the punch line of my first ‘joke’ when I had already moved on not to the second, but the third.