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Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Simple Acts Are What Affects Us The Most

Years ago, I used to travel over various parts of Southern Ontario, here in Canada performing for children & adult audiences. Never, ever be afraid to put yourself out for the good of others. I'm going to tell you why.

I was performing a Christmas show for CFB Kingston, military base for the kids. Actually, I was booked solid that day. I had just finished doing one show & had been driven by military staff across the main compound to another section to perform another show at the other auditorium. We were packed. I had my father - law plus a lady working with me that day, & I'm glad I did. 

Shortly after we had started the show, a call came through for me. The gentleman on the line told me his name & that he had a group of children at one of the churches gathered for their Christmas show. He had had another entertainer booked but they had cancelled on them when they found out that it was a charity show.

He told me the children that were there all had Cystic Fibrosis. I didn't know what to do as I was totally swamped with where I was. He literally begged me to come to the church for the children. No one else would go.

After a few minutes on the phone, I agreed. I had no idea how I was going to pull it off but I had promised I would do what others didn't want for the children, & I'm so glad I did. He was overjoyed. I told my staff what had happened & I let them know they would have to do the show we were in the middle of by themselves. It was ok with them. 

My driver helped me pack up some stock I needed & we headed out for the church. Halfway there, the car broke down. " Oh no." I was stuck with all these children waiting for me. A half hour later or more, I managed to get a cab to finish driving me there. The snow was deep & the day cold, with me in nothing but a clown suit on & huge red clown shoes. 

When I arrived, I went ot the church basement where the show was to take place & there they were, a roomful of children, some on breathing tanks & others not. They couldn't do some of the things in the show because of their condition , so we improvised & made it work with other things. I played guitar, did face painting, animal balloons & magic for them. They clapped,. They laughed  & I saw the joy shining from their young faces. 

At the end of the show, the co-ordinator told me he would be happy to drive me home. He repeatedly thanked me as others there did for coming & doing the show. I didn't understand though as to why he was so grateful. It obviously meant a lot to him. 

We packed up my things & drove to my house. We approached my driveway & stopped, sitting there for the longest time talking. He told me about the children whom I had just left. About Cystic Fibrosis, which at that point I knew nothing about. And then he dropped the bombshell. 

He said, " The reason we are so grateful to you for coming is most of the children you performed for today will not be alive by this time next Christmas. The condition they have will have taken its toll. " 
I was dumbfounded. I didn't know what to say. I was at a loss for words. " Oh my God." I had given those children their very last Christmas. I had given them joy that the would never again know like that. The children were disappointed to see me go. If I had known, I would have stayed longer, just for them. 

I never forgot that day, nor will I ever. It holds a very special place in my heart & so do those children. When I look back, I am so honored to have met those people & performed for them that day. 

Each time I tell this story, I have to hold back the tears. We never know how our actions affect anothers life. We either build each other up or tear each other down. 
The choice is ours.

To all my friends from that special day. Blessings to you.
Bojo the clown.
( Dalton ) xo      

 Dalton Lasher

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