Papa on Laughing While Dodging Bullets

 In Stories From My Life

When I’m working through something, I come to my father for advice. As one of my very best friends, he often doesn’t fix my problem for me, but tells me a story instead.

Today, this is the story he told.
“When I was filming (for NBC network news) in a war zone in El Salvador with Joe Valley (his soundman), gunfire broke out in the streets. Back at the van, they shot and killed our driver.

Joe and I were hiding in the bushes, crouching low, near a house, knocking on their door and asking in Spanish for someone to let us in. All the doors were locked. The streets cleared except for the gunmen.

You could hear the gunfire and it was close. The people in the house were afraid and wouldn’t let us in.

So while we were waiting, hiding in the bushes, trying to figure out what to do, I started telling some jokes to Joe. He looked very concerned at all that was happening.

While I told jokes, he looked at me like I was crazy. But I wasn’t being crazy, I was just not letting the fear get to me: keeping a clear mind, remaining calm, figuring out my next move.

Eventually someone let us in their house and we were safe.

So when you feel afraid or don’t know what to do: keep calm, tell a joke or two and move forward. Things will open up as you do.”

My father is my Hero. Sometimes as a solo mom, making certain decisions feels scary. Papa’s always there to empower us with wit, wisdom and hope.

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