An open letter to Jason

Above is a photo of my old dorm at Emerson College (sold by the college it is apparently one of the most expensive condos in Boston.)

When I think of college I think of 100 Beacon, the dorm where I lived, and my friends, many of whom moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment industry just like I did in the early 1990s.

There are some friends that I honestly can't recall how we met, but it feels like we have been friends forever.  That is how I feel about many of my fellow Emersonians, including my friend Jason.

Jason is one of those friends who you will always be friends with, that no matter how many years have passed, you will pick up just where you left off the last time you have seen them, even if you can't recall how long ago that was.

Jason was the first person I went to Las Vegas with.  Riding in his white Mazda Miata, convinced that we would never survive the trip in such a small vehicle.  Obviously we did.

Coming from Emerson, a school renowned for its tv and film production it made myself and others laugh when Jason became a production accountant for feature films (Emersonians are not known for their math skills, its kind of an inside joke.)

I don't recall the year that I met his then girlfriend Sharon, but I do remember it was in a production office, perhaps on the Paramount lot.  Weird how some memories stick with you and others float away.

Today I was on facebook during the show.  I read something from one of my college classmates living in LA:

Last night, A friend passed away after a long battle with cancer. She was loved and will be missed. She leaves behind a loving and dedicated husband, my good friend. Sometimes I get so caught up in my daily life that I tend to lose touch with what's really important. Cherish what you have and let your family and friends know that you love them. Life's too short.

It took me a few minutes to realize he was talking about Jason's wife Sharon, who had been battling cancer for quite some time.

Now as a cancer survivor people always try to shield you from others cancer.

I had no idea how bad it was with Jason's wife.

Until today.

I moved away from Los Angeles in 2004, so Jason and I only really connect, like most people, via email and facebook, the way of the world now I suppose.

I know Sharon and he loved each other, I could tell when I met her oh so long ago. 

If I could make it to LA to see my friend (finances or lack thereof are a stumbling block)  I would tell him to remember the good times, that is what Sharon would have wanted.

Waking up tomorrow will be hard I know.

I have lost many friends to cancer but not someone that lived within my heart and soul.

The sun may shine brightly, but everything may seem dark, because she is not there.

For some reason Sharon's loss resonated deeply within me.  Probably because you are my friend, and I know you are hurting.

I read your facebook note to Sharon, and it was hard to fight back the tears:

Dear Sharon, To quote your favorite singer, "I will always love you." I will forever miss your smile and your company. You were the best dinner date I ever had. Somehow you managed to comfort *me* when you were suffering. It was a privilege to be your husband. I learned a lot from you. The house is not the same without you. Misty and the bunny miss you terribly. May you finally rest in peace without pain, pills or chemo. Say hi to Two Sox for me, I know he is by your side. I love you, I miss you.

There are moments in life that we will never forget, people that we will cherish and good times we will hold on to.
Please remember those in your time of sorrow.  

I think it was you who crashed through a screen door in an apartment in the valley, (either you or Del Conte, I can't recall) and you who I chat with over facebook, talking about movies, and your famous boss.

It may be dark tomorrow for you, and in the days ahead, but know that Sharon is smiling down upon you, free from pain from cancer and chemo, healthy and happy and guiding you for the rest of your days.

It is because of friends like you, your wife Sharon, I will continue to fight, I will continue to advocate, it is a long and winding road, and sometimes I feel like an ant sized David against a universe sized Goliath, but that doesn't stop me.

Some friends of mine here wonder why I go go go all the time.  Some of my friends call me "a machine."  That is because I know what it is like to have your world stop, be put on hold for cancer, treatment and the shit that goes with it.  Not knowing if you will ever do what you used to do ever again. 

I play every hockey shift like it may be my last. 

Because you never know it just might be.

Most people don't like to hear those bad 4 letter words that can get you in trouble with your boss, your teacher, words you shouldn't say in front of children.

There is one word I wish didn't exist.

Its a six letter word




The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational purposes and does not constitute the practice of medicine. We encourage all visitors to see a licensed physician or nutritionist if they have any concerns regarding health issues related to diet, personal image and any other topics discussed on this site. Neither the owners or employees of nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.