16 years go by in a flash when you’re not looking.
I still hear your voice, you know. It’s one of the most soothing sounds in life. Seriously!!! Hahahaha and not disembodied as I go through my day – though it does happen from time to time. Picture it: I’ll see something funny on the subway, and you’re narrating it like Troy McClure. It just takes the hilarity to a whole new level.
You didn’t cure some rare disease or anything but you do this thing many can’t: you genuinely make me laugh out loud without even trying. That’s genius. That’s a gift. And you STILL have that. I don’t even know where to begin right now!
Phil, I was 16 years old. 16! I was older than your kids! I heard the news & I don’t even think it’s fully sunk in. I would seek comfort in your Franks (-enstein & Sinatra). Those sketches are burned into my memory from your SNL days. The Monorail episode of The Simpsons? Do you realize how much of a classic that is right now??? Like, now, in 2014. It’s gotta be in the top 5 episodes of the series and the show is STILL ON THE AIR. Aw man, then there was Newsradio. I miss having you on every week. It was so good for me (I’m being totally selfish here…haha!) And just like that *snap* …you were gone. They had to write it into the show because it was so sudden. So hard to watch. This sitcom I love, full of fictional characters had to mourn the fictional death of Bill McNeal while the real people who played these roles were still mourning the death of you. Brain. Implosion. It was too much! The line between fantasy & reality was so murky. It still gives me shivers. The magic was gone from the show. It wasn’t the same. At least it wasn’t for me.
You and I never had the chance to meet so I’ll never be able to explain how or why you’re one of my favourite people. And today is particularly hard for a girl (me) who still finds such joy in the world of television. It’s not the life for everyone but it’s my life and you were a huge part of that.
So on this date, as I’ve done every year, I’ll think of your humour. I’ll think of your laugh when you were really, truly laughing as yourself and not a character. I’ll think of your talent. I’ll think about all the things you put out into the world so a kid like me could have a break from whatever was on my mind. I’ll think about your entire family you were forced to leave behind. And I’ll think of the ABSOLUTE senselessness of gun violence in this world. Things still haven’t changed, Phil. Things have actually become exponentially worse. Parents are losing their children and children are becoming orphans and no one is doing anything to make a change. It’s beyond frustrating and a little bit ironic (trying to fit a pop culture reference in from when you were still here…I’m thoughtful that way) for me to find solace in an old clip of you doing what you do best.
You’ve been frozen in time and I get to enjoy you whenever I like.
Phil, I really miss you.
And thank you…for the laughs.