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Posted 2016-05-27T02:02:56Z

Your Touching Words

My Dear family and friends,

Your words mean so much to me, I can only say that I am overwhelmed by what I read from you all. I realize how incredibly lucky I am to have such a special group of people by my side, people who so willingly share their love, support, humor, thoughts and prayers. You have truly helped me, Roxanne, Conor, Cole, my mother, sister, and brother to face this disease and its toll.

Your messages bring great memories, tears and laughter, all of which help ease the pain in ways and places the medication can't reach. Some of you have much better memories than I have - or maybe they are just more selective.

In the five months since my diagnosis, I have begun to even more realize and thank God for the people who choose to work with folks with my condition, what strength and innate compassion that it takes. Never really feeling deserving of such care, lo and behold, I find it all around me in some measure, from my family, who has literally put their lives on hold for me, to great friends, old and new whose messages lift my spirits, to my teammates and dear friends at work - you are all beautiful souls.

With the strongest, most loving soul, Roxanne, beside me and the collaborative "group hug" I actually feel from all of you, this journey is far less painful and worrisome that it could be.

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Comments (10)

  • Heather Boore
    Heather Boore

    Such powerful heartfelt words. You always have had an incredible ability to express how you feel. Love you Dan!!!!

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Margery Allen
    Margery Allen

    Thanks, Dan. Your kind heart reminds me of my father's who never stopped loving my mom. I couldn't hold you and Roxanne in higher esteem. What a catch! The greatest part is that you brought her back to Illinois! So happy to know you both.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Mary K. Sierra
    Mary K. Sierra

    Dan, thank you for the time you made to share such prayer-full thoughts. I have started doing something, recently, inspired by those, like you, who have seen the other side of this crazy life on earth. I say: I love you...eye to eye...with full intensity. I may scare some, however, I don't want to regret that I have not shared how I truly feel about a person. In this busy-ness world, I want to pause and allow that moment of basking in true love. Also, I must tell you that I shared my initial message to you with my sister, Rebecca. She was going to share with her intimate Academy/Spalding posse. A great group of truly supportive women, who have always been there for each other. Take care and keep holding on to those you love and the memories of those who love YOU! All my best.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Clare Zell
    Clare Zell

    Dan, I have come to believe even more so that the "good" ones are always called home too early, or so we may think. But I'm sure there is a much greater plan, and I know that as hard as it is for you and all of us that love you, what's coming next is beyond worth it. Your spirit and your outlook are truly inspiring and have really made me, and I'm sure many others, just step back and reflect on our lives and what really matters. We are so lucky to know such wonderful people, experience such golden moments, and live as much as we can. The lump in my throat only means that I have a lot of things to love and be thankful for. :) Missing you daily. Love Clare

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Elizabeth Smittkamp
    Elizabeth Smittkamp

    Dan, just a reminder of how much I have always admired your many talents. You have advised many of my cooking adventures, provided helpful hints about jewelry and repairs and taught about historical aspects of the PSO. You are a renaissance man! And what fun we had when we were the staff of the PSO. Work was a pleasure, and it was the HEYDAY for the orchestra. (Things have never been the same since). I have so many wonderful and humorous memories of those days. You and your family are in my daily prayers--you already know how much we love you, but it never hurts to say it again. Beth Smittkamp

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Leigh Seddon
    Leigh Seddon

    Dan - I'm thinking about you always and so glad that even though I am 1.000 miles away, you have family all around you. Your life has and is still creating wonderful ripples in our universe that has brought love, friendship, and intellect to everyone around you. These ripples will go on forever and that is a wonder and a blessing. My thoughts and love are with you, Roxanne, Conor, and Cole. - Leigh

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Bruce Colligan
    Bruce Colligan

    You are a good one my friend. You make the world a better place for all you know and touch. Always wanted to work with you in a show! God bless you.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Amy Cusack
    Amy Cusack

    I love you so much. My ding-dong-dumb dog will be stumbling to greet longer because he's old, just because he is a goofy klutz. (Help him with the wings...or whatever.) Peace and love. So much love.

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Sean McGowan
    Sean McGowan

    Aspell clan et. al., As it is wont to do, life trudges on. I tried sending this message six damn times from my phone last night, and crap kept popping up as I was typing. So, I waited until i was at a real keyboard. My brother Mike's (meager) estate is soon to be released form the clutches of "the blood sucking lawyers" (see The Money Pit for that reference), and divided amongst my sibs and I. My parents' house has just sold, and bit by bit, the business of saying "goodbye" to my absent family members proceeds. Your recent post was on my birthday.- I tell people that they can always remember my birthday because it is John Wayne's, Stevie Nicks', and Sir Alec Guiness' birthdays as well.- And the gestalt of birth/life/death came home to me. Dan: I will always remember how it was your outspoken political views as far back as grade school, that helped to awaken my own liberal leanings. Your wit, intelligence, and enthusiasm for life kept things interesting whenever you were around. Roxie: Your devotion to your marriage and to my friend, has always inspired me. I really got to know you right after my divorce and the love you two share gave me hope. You fed me for a year's worth of mondays, at least, making it a favored time in my life. I still tell the story of my friend who bought a house at a garage sale. Conor and Cole: I regret that I have had such sparse interactions with you. Your parents had limitless pride in sharing family stories. Stories of antique guns, Christianity in a nutshell, (I think it was Cole's Christmas diorama that inspired your poppa to come up with that phrase), Guitar hero, and more. Bill: ask Dan about "Help me move, Dan!" It broke us (the 8th grade class at Seared Heart Institute of Technology) up into laughter every time one of us said it. Ann: Dan's tale of chasing you around with a stick dipped in dog poop taunting you with "Giftie, giftie!" Momma Aspell: Like a second mother to the group of us, you gave us our dear friend. Through Dan, all of you have enriched my existance. I cannot express how much you have benefited me

    4 years ago · Reply
  • Gretchen Wirtz Primeau
    Gretchen Wirtz Primeau

    Dan... Thinking about you and sending lots of prayers to you and your family! Good Company is NOT the same without you! Nobody knows Broadway and entertainment like you! We miss you lots!!! Love, Gretchen

    4 years ago · Reply