Boots To My Roots = Choose Joy!

by Tania Staps, Tastemaker in Residence

Last week was an especially hard week for me. Hearing the news of Robin Williams passing left me simply heartbroken. Echoing the words of Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg...."there are No words." I do not believe I have ever cried that hard for someone I had never met. But then wasn’t that his gift? He made each of us feel as if he was speaking directly to us, like he new us. I grew up with Mork and Mindy. I loved all of his work, but I especially loved who he was offscreen. His was a bright light that so tragically went out last Monday. We will surely never see another like him again.  

In the world of entertainment, if you are in it long enough, you realize how small it really is. I know several people who knew Robin Williams and each one spoke so highly of him. Most of the people I know work behind the scenes. Nobody knows them, but you would recognize their work because most of the celebrities would not look the way they do without these amazing people. 

The one thing you learn very quickly working behind the scenes is how to be invisible but very available at any time you are needed on set. You also learn that unfortunately not all people in front of the camera are kind and generous. So when you meet someone who is both, you take notice. I have heard from several of my colleagues that Robin Williams was always that kind, generous and engaging personality.  

When I heard about his passing, I just could not believe it and my heart immediately broke. I have lived through someone very close to me committing suicide and it haunted me for years. In fact it has only been recently that I have been able to put it behind me. So I do not know if I reacted to this news because of that or because I too have suffered with depression for years, and know all to well what comes with it. Robin’s wife has stated that he also suffered with Parkinson's Disease; which is tragic in and of itself but when combined with depression, it seems too lethal. 

My heart goes out to his family and I will continue to pray for them. My hope is that they too will come to the acceptance and peaceful place I have arrived at when dealing with a beloved ones suicide. I know that on this side of glory we will never really know why. But I do know what it feels like to receive peace beyond all understanding!

Philippians 4:7
And the Peace of God which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

I seriously do not know where I would be without this truth. We do not know why sometimes, but if I did not know the Who that holds all of the whys in the universe; I don't know where I would be. 

So, this week I want to highlight two words. They are self explanatory but sometimes hard to do. Choose Joy. There. Two words, a short complete sentence, a simple task that seems so hard to do. In the light of what happened last week, I want to offer even more compassion to people who suffer from the loss of someone who committed suicide or who is struggling with suicide themselves. I choose to remember the vast amount of joy this precious man brought to this world and celebrate his life. I will also hold this verse in my heart...

Nehemiah 8:10b
And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

So, no matter your circumstance...Choose Joy and see what happens.

Until next time,

"Nanu nanu"