Taking a moment for friends

Today I found out that a woman that I knew and used to work with died two days ago. She was only 37 and that’s way too young to be gone from this world. Her name was Mandy. She produced a film with me called Ruth’s Journey that was nominated for an Emmy Award and that I had the honor of winning a few awards and even screened at the Berlin Underground Film festival, which I had the pleasure to attend in that wonderful city.

It’s a time when the email tree goes out to everyone who knew her, and we’re reminded of how short and cruel life can be some times.

I sent the sad email to everyone I knew who worked with her. And we all took a moment to realize how short and precious life can be.

And tonight I got an email from my friend Jill that I think encapsulates what we’re all feeling. I know she won’t mind that I’m reprinting it here because I think it reminds us of things we should say to people in our life before it’s too late.

In the last year I have started to tell people how much I love them so they know unequivocally. You Billy — why don’t I just take that opportunity with you now? THANK YOU for being such a memorable and integral part of my life in Chicago. Chicago was really my “college” — it was that experimental and intensely social time of young life that everyone should have. You were a big part of it, and those years are full of memories of you and your apartment and our photo shoot with Marcia; of you on your bike (and immortalized in cement); of seeing movies with you on holidays so we wouldn’t have to leave the city; of your infectious laugh; your fondness for Dao food; your fondness for leggy supermodels; your leather jacket & ever-present satchel; your warmth, fierce intelligence, and abundant wit and sense of humor. And your eye — your amazing, incisive eye for beauty and form. If you or I die tomorrow, let it be known that I loved Billy Sheahan in my life then, and still do…. For all those reasons but — stripped of all that, just because you and I connected on some soul level at certain place & time in our lives that I will always cherish.

Thank you Jill. That means a lot today.

The picture you see here is of me and my friends Mike and Katie who I’ve been spending a lot of time with lately. The times that we have with our friends we some times take for granted. The fun that seems will last forever sometimes ends abruptly.

Let’s all remember that it is taken from us all too soon and it’s times like these that remind us to say “I love you,” to those who are close to us. There may not be a chance to say it tomorrow.

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