So much to say, but I’m at a loss for words.

Blank PageIt’s 11:48pm on a Tuesday, December 8, 2015.  The podcast crew recorded our Year in Review for AnimeCons TV earlier tonight to wrap our seventh season.  After some In-N-Out, my wife and I relaxed with episodes of The Muppets, Supergirl, and Agents of Shield.  She headed to bed and it’s time for me to face something I know I have to do…I want to do…  I have to write a letter, most likely a final letter, to one of my greatest friends.

We have known about her terminal stomach cancer for nearly a year now.  She was originally given six months.  In April, around 20 of us went to Walt Disney World to have a good time with her.  We called it “LizzuCon” in her honor.  In July, I was coincidentally flown in as a guest of an anime convention in her city, but unfortunately she was not well enough for a visit.

Today, a mutual friend informed me that “things are reaching critical mass” and if I wanted to send a last message, “the next day would be the time to do it.”

I wanted to mail a handwritten letter.  I sat here staring at the blank sheet wondering what to write.  …and is a mailed letter even going to reach her in time?  I probably should have asked earlier, but I respond to the message, “I’m afraid to ask this because I may not want to hear the answer, but should I e-mail the message or do you think I’d still be able to mail a handwritten letter?”

It’s 3am there, so I didn’t expect a reply until morning…but up it popped.  “I…think you’d better send an email. Quickly.”

Uh oh.

I still don’t know what to say.  What do I say to a dear friend who has had an undeniable impact on my life?  Without her, I wouldn’t have the same friends, would likely not have ended up in the same job, and would never have met my wife.  One major affect without her is that Anime Boston would not exist.  The affects ripple outwards too and affect others as well.  Without exaggeration, I can confidently say that tens of thousands of lives have been indirectly and positively affected by this one person.  She may not even be aware.  Does she want to hear it?  I don’t know.

I’m trying to put myself in her situation.  Do I mention old times?  Do I talk about what’s going on presently?  Should I bring up my future plans?  I don’t know.  I’m not in her situation and can’t even imagine.

I guess I’ll just start writing and figure it out as I go…much like this blog post.

This post will be saved as a draft.  I think I’ll intentionally set this to publish in five years.

Lizz, I’m sure I’ll still be missing you.

Thank you.

Here’s what I sent…

Hey Lizz,
Greetings from California!  I’m still not used to the mild winters out here or seeing Christmas decorations on palm trees, but Svet and I are enjoying Petaluma.  She has been meeting new artists and old friends out here and I am loving my job at working with people from the old TechTV.  (Fortunately, the mild fanboy moments of “I used to watch you on TV!” have long since passed.)
My first trip to California was for Anime Expo 2000 and after a rough start for me (when I missed the luggage check-in cut-off for my flight), we had so much fun there.  From our first cosplay to waiting for autographs and meeting “Isamu Dyson” in person, it is still one of my favorite conventions…even 145 conventions later.  (146 if you count LizzuCon, the best con ever!)
Of course, if you hadn’t suggested attending Anime Expo as an alternative to returning to a mediocre-at-best BotCon, who knows where I’d be.  I wouldn’t have become obsessed with cons and started and I certainly wouldn’t have been there to found (or name) Anime Boston.  I’d also never have ended up at a tiny little anime con in Vermont where I met Svet.
A few weeks back, Svet and I drove up to the top of Mount Tam with a picnic lunch and a bottle of wine.  (We’re probably not supposed to drink in state parks.  Oops.)  It’s about 1,300 feet shorter than Mount Diablo, but we’ll make our way over there next time.  Maybe there will be snow on the peak by then.  Having lived in Russia or Canada all her life, Svet is always saying she misses the snow.  I like to point out she’d like it a lot less if she had to shovel it!
We’ll raise a glass to you when we visit Mount Diablo…even if we have to do it discreetly so we don’t get arrested.
December 8, 2020

Tags: ,