Thursday, April 11, 2013


Recently, Joan Rivers got all fired up and decided she was going to dance on Johnny Carson's.....plaque. She was mad. The kind of mad that made someone want to dance on someone's grave..if they had a grave to dance on. The two funny-makers were close for a long time, but after Joan got her own show, Johnny stopped talking to her...for twenty years. Then he died.

So after discovering that he was cremated and that she, along with most of LA had probably breathed in, swallowed, then pooped out his ashes, she decided to find his memorial plaque and dance on it.

Because the internet is so magical, her search was easy, and she set out to Cha Cha on top of the Daddy of Late Night. When she got to Johnny Carson Park, there he was, his face and name etched in stone and she, still limber enough to Tango all over it. Hell, she could've given some of those ashes she'd inhaled back in a few creative ways, and what could Johnny do about it but watch and maybe haunt her later that night?

With no one but a cameraman and a lone friend to witness, she looked his bust square in the eye, took a deep breath....and reached out and caressed his cheek. She sent her companion to buy some flowers and sat down next to the rock carved desk and cried for Johnny. She told him that she missed him and asked him why he stopped speaking to her. She chatted with him as if not a day had passed and then told her friend that she owed him everything because he gave her her start.

I believe that every person that blesses us with friendship, love, and kindness should be regarded in this same way. We are shaped by every interaction, and the deeper the connection, the more of an effect it has on us. Respect those relationships, and hold onto them tight, because they could be gone at any moment.

Today I was thinking about an old friend named Dwayne. Although he had faults like anyone else, he was a great guy.
A few years ago he died and I was surprised at just how sad it made me. We were very close once upon a time, best friends in fact, but at the time of his passing, we hadn't spoken in about fifteen years. It wasn't because we'd had a falling out...our lives just drifted apart. We met significant others, had babies, and eventually, he moved a few continents away.
The thing about Dwayne was that he was a good person. A really good person. The kind that never considers what's in it for him when he acts on someone's behalf. He was the type to fly under the radar until he passed away....then as he watched from his new vantage point, was surprised to see a line of mourners at his funeral, and shocked to hear that people he didn't even know were still talking about him, years after his death. 

Once he saw a guy beating up his girlfriend. They were in a bad neighborhood, and he didn't know either of them, and without thinking of his personal safety, Dwayne came to the aid of the girl. There was a scuffle, but he was successful in running the guy off. The girl was able to continue packing up her car and leaving that creep for good because of one kind act.

I thought about him while I was on the road today. I was at a red light and I glanced around like I always do: some girl was texting, an elderly gentleman gazed off, his brow furrowed with worry, a
crazy looking dude was poking each of his ten fingers up his nose....but when I casually looked in my rear view, I swore the driver behind me was Dwayne. I did a double take, and realized it wasn't and couldn't be, but thoughts tend to do...mine took over.

I noticed that for me, there's a hole in the world where he belongs. I wasn't feeling like I missed hanging out with him, because we hadn't, for a really long time. It just seemed like there was a little less positive energy floating around than there should be, and while Heaven has gained a tremendous presence, this Earthly plane has lost a little spark.

I remembered how much I respected him for all of the kind words and acts he gifted others with, and how many times I'd wished that I could be more like him. Then I wondered how many of us have that? Is there at least one person that you feel that way about?

But even more importantly, have you lived your life in a way that you will be remembered and respected for your integrity and compassion? What stories will be told about you after you've passed? Will those left behind want to dance around your grave in celebration of what you gave, or will they want to shake their booties ON it, laughing about how much of you was wasted?

 CF Winn is the award-winning author of The COFFEE BREAK SERIES, a quirky group of short stories meant to be read while on break or in the waiting room of the doctor's office. Her first novella, SUKI, is published by Shorehouse Books and has been grabbing hearts and hugging souls all over the United States.

You can now order SUKI in paperback on Amazon or at BOOK REVUE, one of the nation’s largest independent bookstores, by email at or by calling (631) 271-1442.
Learn more about SUKI at BOOK REVUE


Javier A. Robayo said...

I'd love to think that in one way or another, minimal as though it may be, I was able to give someone something to smile about. If I caused the opposite effect, well...then that would explain quite a bit of Karma.
Those who touched us and live in our memories while they watch from above (or below) will always be a part of us. They are the chisel strikes that chipped a little more granite off the precious stone we hope to become.

Eden Baylee said...

Each encounter I have, whether in person or through the many social networks I'm a part of is important. That time is finite is the main reason I can't forge stronger relationships with some, but I'm fortunate for the many friendships I do have.

Whether you believe in heaven/hell, karma, or are an atheist like me, life on earth as we know it, is short.
Long after the memories have faded for someone who has passed, what I remember is how that person made me feel.

For me, simple acts of kindness are a person's greatest legacy.