I am going to break from the norm this morning.

As I read the news yesterday about the death of Actor/Comedian Robin Williams, I found myself saddened as if a personal friend had taken his own life.  I am sure that many of you felt the same way.  Williams rise to fame began during my teenage years and continued throughout my adulthood (thus far). Not only did I grow up laughing at someone whom I believed to be one of the most naturally funny men in the world; my daughters and I watched countless hours of his movies and television appearances together.  I may have seen the movie Aladdin at least 30 times with my girls.[lightbox link=”https://jeffcwest.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/robin-williams-2.jpg” thumb=”https://jeffcwest.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/robin-williams-2.jpg” width=”180″ align=”right” title=”robin williams 2″ frame=”true” icon=”image” caption=””]

Robin Williams’ work over the last 40 years has created many wonderful memories for me and my family.  If it were possible, I would thank him for that today.  What greater feeling could an entertainer have than knowing that millions of people have laughed, cried and had great times together because of their work?

I enjoyed Williams so much that I actually hired a Robin Williams impersonator for a large banquet a few years back.

I had found out about the gentleman through a referral and had heard that he was outstanding.  He looked exactly like Robin Williams.  He sounded exactly like Robin Williams.  And most of the 350 people in the room actually thought it was Robin Williams.

He and I had planned a story that I would tell when I introduced him.  I told the crowd about how I had met him during college and that we had some mutual friends.  I continued the prank by saying that I had heard he was going to be in Houston so I contacted him.  Then as a special favor to me, he had agreed to stop by for a little while.

Of course, the story was totally bogus.  However, the impersonator was so good that for weeks, I continued to get questions from people who were in attendance and actually thought it was him.  I suppose they missed the part on stage in which I told his real name.

In my personal meeting style, I have often gone “Robin Williams” on the crowd.  I tend to get funny, fast and furious.  I love to make people laugh.

According to the World Health Organization, over 350 million people suffer from depression.  Although I have not personally had to handle that challenge, I have loved some who did.  I don’t always understand it, but I don’t have to.  I just get to love them.

Tell the people close to you that you love them.  If possible, give them a hug.  Let them know that your world is a better place because they are in it with you.

Smokey Robinson may have said it best.

“Now there’s some sad things known to man
But ain’t too much sadder than
the tears of a clown
When there’s no one around”