There are several days a year when I ask my husband to play “Bring your wife to work day.” Some days I do it out of convenience and other days I do it because I need a reminder about what matters most. On these days, I go to work with him as a hospital clown, where I will suspend reality for an hour and jump head first into my husband’s clown world.
Coming to work with him allows me to peek into the lives of families experiencing the painful struggle of childhood illness. Here I witness the portrait of true heartbreak; when parents have to watch the children they brought into the world, children they love more than anything, endure pain and sometimes face death, before ever getting a chance at life.
I come to work with my husband and I am instantly reminded how if we have our health, we have EVERYTHING because without it, we have nothing and exist in a prison of our bodies. Health is the ultimate trump card.
An added bonus, when I go to work with my husband, I get to relive the moment I met him almost 12 years ago.
Just this morning, my daughter asked me, “Did you fall in love with daddy as soon as you saw him?”
I thought about it and how he and I have an ongoing joke of who flirted with who first (duh, he did). “While we really liked each other right away,” I said, “but it’s when we started talking that we realized we had so much in common.”
What I didn’t say was, as I sat Indian-style on the floor with the other children attending the 3-year-old’s birthday party, our eyes connected and locked and for the rest of the show, they would re-meet many times.
Whenever I get to relive the experience as an audience member of one of his shows, I’m equally in awe of his tremendous talent merging children’s humor with adult jokes in a stand-up comedy manner. Even when I look away, (to check my phone or scribble these notes), I feel his gaze pass over me and I know when I look up my eyes will meet with his and the magic light, directly powered by his heart will ignite, and the world, along with my heartbeat stops for a split second and I remember this is what it is all about it surpasses words. Love is the biggest cliché of all.
My immigrant upbringing made me pragmatic more than romantic. My parents perpetually preached, “that’s only in the movies”, and whenever I brought up “fairytale love,” “happily ever after,” or “dreams come true,” they would remind me “real life is not a Disney movie.”
They would say that and yet I’ve always been the type who wants the best of everything and I want to experience life with the saturation filter dialed way up. I couldn’t have envisioned my true love would wear a clown outfit with a vest and polka-dot tie rather than a suit and tie, yet here I sit, siphoning off the medicine of laughter he’s providing to the kids, and using that as fuel for myself.