Michael was twelve years old when he was diagnosed with cancer. Therefore, we met with Soleil Rouge clowns in Grenoble Hospital.
Initially he did not noticed them. When the clowns entered in his bed room, Michael lowered his head and stayed focused on his game boy, he looked at them "wrongly", ignored them. Then the clowns were asking me why I had come alone, or where did I have forgotten my son ... I saw Michael lowering his head and smiling. He told me that he did not want to laugh because he was too old for that. He was so busy ignoring them, that the anguish he could feel when he was waiting for a visit or cares disappeared. For me, Michael’s mother, this waiting moment became a "pleasant" moment. I could see the smaller children playing and laughing thanks to the clowns. During the hospitalization periods, the clowns used to come and to say hello to Michael despite his refusal to see them. The code, for them to leave, was: "get out bitch" but not at low voice. The first weeks Michael took a long time to get these three words out because screaming and saying dirty words, even to clowns and in front of me, was very difficult for him. Then, after a certain amount of time, because it was the only way to get rid of clowns, he began to "deliver the code" with more or less anger depending on his mood and the frustration he felt that day. Since then, every time we were in hospital, if it was "the clowns day", the day would begin with a billboard redaction. This game has lasted 20 months! Michael has shown so much imagination for bilboards and clowns to circumvent the vetoes. So we had clowns "hidden" in doctors, dancers, with noses wrapped in toilet bathroom tissue, dressed in "civilian", in shorts and panty, with or without makeup ....
I remember a billboard : “ forbidden to clowns
makeup or not
with a red nose or another color nose
girl or boy
disguised or not
alone or several
with accessories or not "
During his transplant, the clowns and Michael could see each other through a window, because they could not enter the room, so he was able to taunt them for two months.
He was making funny faces, pulling his tongue…
And, one day, the door was open; the clowns organized a fair in his room. I laughed so much that Michael asked me to stop laughing otherwise they would never leave. As I was still laughing, they said to Michael: “Are we able to throw a roll of toilet paper on your mother?” I received the roll in the face. Michael laughed out loud. After two months of confinement and pain, what a happiness to see him laughing!!! He loved to tell this sketch and did not deprived of it.
For years Michael, the clowns and I became comrades in the struggle . We shared uncontrollable fits of laughter in unbearable moments.
Play and connivance were put in place between us. Their coming in Michael’s room allowed us to forget, for few moments, where we were and why we were there.
It allowed us to create happy moments and joyful recollections. I thank the clowns for all these shared moments and to be here with us parents and children. Their visits are priceless. It is an oxygen breath and happiness for all.
Thank you Soleil Rouge