Always, always, always joy and grief collide. Saturday I received the nasty blog comment discussed in my last entry, officiated the wedding of one of the most important people in my life and discovered that Randy Pausch had died.
Randy Pausch for those of you who don’t know, was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who became well-known thanks to Oprah (the closest thing to royalty we have in this country) who showed an annotated version of his last lecture. I watched it before I knew how sick I was but knew something was seriously wrong and I was so moved by his humor and his deep love for his family. Randy died of pancreatic cancer and is survived by a wife and three children. I recommend watching the whole lecture on youtube , which is much richer than the Oprah excerpts.
I think I owe Randy Pausch a debt of gratitude because he showed me a way to face certain death with humor, good nature and acceptance. He showed me that the work you do in the world is still important – maybe just as important or even more important than the private drama you face. Finally, he got me thinking immediately of the notion of a “safety net” for my son’s impending free fall. He expressed it all so eloquently and so humorously and he struck me as a prince among men – more proof that the universe is arbitrary. Einstein said god didn’t play dice with the universe but we can see by his hair and sartorial choices he didn’t know everything.
The anonymous person from the last blog has apologized for what he said and I am choosing to publish that comment as a gesture of good faith though I can’t for the life of me find the humor in his post and I am know to have an okay sense of humor. Still, everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt.
Now for the joy. My heart and eyes are full of Lisa today. Lisa looking breathtaking in her gold and plum sari standing next to Alan in his wine colored shirt and orchid lei. Both of them drunk with love. The food was delicious, the dancing exuberant, the music great and the company a delightful mélange of both their worlds. I loved looking out and seeing improv friends, writing friends, work friends , yoga friends, DMCers, and actors from the last show she and I did together all in one place. I loved that Alan had a catholic nun do the blessing of the Ketubah and thought it was adorable that she called it a “Tekubah.” I loved watching them dance, watching them be lifted onto chairs, watching Mac “Rick Roll” Evan by singing the Rick Astely song for him. I loved dancing with Dennis who held me up so securely so I could attempt to boogie a bit and I deeply appreciated Sofia letting me lean on her, buckling my sandals, putting on my necklaces then coming over to help me undress.
Finally, I loved being in the presence of two people who believe in ever lasting love. They gave a gift to all of us.