I miss you, Andy. I miss you a lot. We all do. It's been four years since 9/11 and I still think about you all the time. So many things remind me of you and so many things just aren't the same without you around. The other day, I was walking down 7th Avenue and I saw a guy who looked just like you. My heart stopped beating for what felt like an hour and I thought I was losing my mind.
I miss so many things about you, Andy. I miss having my phone ring precisely as I was walking into the office and hearing your voice on the other end, wishing me a good morning and asking me what we were doing that night. I miss the fact that after we went out together, you'd always call in the morning to recap the evening...and then ask what we were all doing tonight. I miss your unbridled enthusiasm and amazing smile that would never allow any of us to remain depressed or in a funk for very long. I miss how when any of us got into a stupid argument, you were always there to make the peace and remind us all that it was ok for family to fight but it was time to make up now.
As for our crew of friends (whom you always lovingly referred to as "la famiglia"), we're all doing ok. None of us see each other as much. Maybe it's because we're all getting older and are busy with our own lives. But I think it's because you were really the glue that held us all together.
I miss those dinners where you'd force me to come to the Upper East Side to meet up with you, Kyle and Shary. You'd always have a drink waiting for me at the door and, to tell you the truth, I never laughed as much as I did during those dinners. In fact, so many memories of good times and laughter include you. From the time we dressed up in silly costumes and went down to Atlantic City to the night we decided to walk around the city only following the "walk" signs, we had fun, didn't we? And make no mistake, I'll always remember summers out at the beach where we'd stay up late talking and philosophizing about life. In fact, I haven't been out to the beach since. It just wouldn't be the same without you.
I loved the fact that you always challenged yourself and sought out new life experiences. Whether it was by immersing yourself in the work of new artists, travelling to new places or working on your screenplay, you always remained in touch with the world around you. And you always made sure to include all of us. For you, a rewarding life experience didn't really happen unless your friends were around to share it with you. That's a rare character trait, my friend, and it only scratches the surface of what a truly special friend you were.
BossLady and I are doing well. Although it's been over 4 years since we got married, we just got the video and photo album a few months ago. It's taken us that long because every time we sat down to edit it, we'd see your smiling face and it would break our hearts. I can't tell you how many times we tried to work on them but ended up sobbing for hours. Although it was the happiest day of our lives, BossLady and I agree that nobody looked happier for us than you.
Speaking of family...guess what? We have a little daughter who's almost a year old. You'd love her, Andy. In a way, she reminds me a lot of you. She's always got a smile on her face. She loves people. And she's the easiest going kid I've ever seen. The two of you would have had fun together. I could just see Uncle Andy taking the Peanut out for Saturday morning pedicures and window shopping on Madison Avenue. Or maybe you'd be the one dressing her up in a mini football jersey and taking her to Jets games on Sundays. And since I'm artistically illiterate, I'm sure she would have enjoyed playing hooky from school so she could go to the MOMA with you. Like her father, the Peanut would have loved all the different sides of you.
The first year you were gone was tough, Andy. I've never been so depressed in my entire life. I felt like I was literally drowning in sorrow and swimming in waves of grief. I used to call your office every day just to hear your voice. I even left messages so you knew what was going on in all our lives. It was rough on all of us. You have no idea how many lives you touched during the course of your short lifetime. We all grieved together. But ultimately, I think that remembering your spirit was what allowed us to heal. Together, we decided that we'd stop mourning and start celebrating your life. That's why we started the charity in your name. You would have loved it. We're sponsoring some great kids and giving them opportunities in life that they never would have had. They're good kids but, like our beloved Mets, they're underdogs who need a helping hand to get to where they want to be. You'd love them., Andy. You always loved kids and these are some good ones. And we love celebrating you by being involved with them. Once again, your life brings us all together.
I miss you terribly, Andy. The past few anniversaries of your death have been tough. But this year, I'm determined to not cry, mourn or bury myself in a bottle of scotch. Maybe parenthood has made me a little more optimistic about life but I want to remember that terrible day by thinking not only about our friendship but also what a truly amazing person you were. And more than anything, I just want you to know that I'm thinking about you. I always have and I always will.
p.s. Our Mets still suck.
p.p.s. Screw that whole last paragraph, Andy. Seems like my optimism was just a fleeting moment. I cried last night thinking about you and drowned myself in some scotch in your honor. We just got back from Ground Zero this morning. BossLady and I didn't hold it together for very long. We heard the names being read and we just lost it. I miss you, my friend. Wherever you are, save me a seat at the bar.