Through Sickness and In Health, Even in August

Being an educational and healthcare keynote speaker, August is a busy month for me and this August was no exception. I was gone 19 days visiting 12 states, three of them twice and not only did I have all the usual hassles of travel including late flights, eating alone, and TSA searching my bags (If they aren’t any better at finding explosives than they are at repacking my stuff, people are going to die.), I also struggled with two cracked ribs suffered in a bicycle accident just before leaving on this marathon of travel and work.

The second night, in an effort to relieve the pain of my ribs for a better night’s sleep I took two aspirin and drank six ounces of beer. I always worry about something happening to me while alone in a hotel room, so I reported my self-medication to my wife, Twyla, that night before going to bed. She made me cringe in pain from laughter when she said, “You’ll be just another comedian found dead in his hotel room from drugs and alcohol.”

A week later I’m in New Orleans remembering a book I read about the history of Galveston, Texas which was founded by the Lafitte brothers, the pirates, who’d gotten kicked out of New Orleans. Walking down Bourbon Street late one night returning to my hotel after my show I was thinking, “What would you have to do to get kicked out of New Orleans?”
Forty eight hours later, after being an educational keynote speaker for the Big Horn County Schools in Basin, Wyoming, I’m driving to Salt Lake City to catch a flight to Oregon. This is 420 of the most beautiful, yet desolate miles you will ever drive. Three hours into it, I met Wyoming State Trooper, Officer Aullman, who was kind enough to stop me to let me know I was driving 10 miles over the speed limit. He was the most polite, pleasant young man, saying, “Mr. Rader, I hate to stop you.”

I go, “I’m not. I’m happy to see another human being. I have spent the last hour thinking maybe I had slipped into an episode of the Twilight Zone.”

My August odyssey ended in Kansas doing a benefit for the MS Achievement Center. The MS Achievement Center (http://www.msachievement.org/) enhances the body, mind, and spirit of people with Multiple Sclerosis by providing activities and programs, but the main thing it provides is hope for a brighter future. The audience was filled with people suffering from different degrees of this crippling disease, some using canes or walkers to others stricken to wheel chairs, but almost all had a loved one there with them. I was touched by the fact these spouses had truly made the commitment of “through sickness and in health.” Crawling into bed late that night, I was thankful for not only my health (including my healing ribs), but for Twyla who has been there every step of the way in this journey of mine.

Known as the “World’s Cleanest” comedian and speaker, Kent Rader helps people learn and experience how laughter matters in reducing stress. Kent is the winner of the Branson Comedy Festival and co-stars in The Baby Boomer Comedy Show, Clean Comedy For People Born Before Seatbelts. (You may watch Kent’s segment on Comcast’s Who’s Laughing Now at below). www.kentraderspeaks.com

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