Serious News and Serious GratitudePosted on Mon, Jun 27, 2016


Dear Family and Friends,

I love you all very much. Thank you for the outpouring of support of emails, cards, photos and everything else. They have meant the absolute world to me in the past few weeks. I set out in my life to make an impact in this world – a Ben-shaped dent – by making the world laugh. I wanted to help people realize we are all connected and never alone in sharing our human experience.

Because I always thought I’d do that through my acting, I thought it would take the form of film and theatre, reaching out to the audience. Your emails showed me I somehow managed to do it by just being a part of other people’s lives. I’m absolutely blown away. Thank you.

After six years of battling this stupid cancer, it looks like we’re coming down to the end of it. A few weeks ago we learned a tumor had finally penetrated the epidural wall and had severed the nerves in my spine. I am currently paralyzed from my sternum down. If you had told me this would happen a few months ago, I would have thought it the most horrific thing ever. Don’t get me wrong, it really sucks. However, these past few weeks have given me time to make peace with my life. And your stories have helped me do that. I have never felt so much love in my life.

I’m currently in an excellent Hospice Care Hospital up in the Bronx called Calvary. I am receiving the best care it’s possible to receive in New York City area. The staff here is marvelous, and I am very well taken care of. I think this might be the second time I’ve ever even been to the Bronx. But this farm boy from Pennsylvania made it all the way here, which amuses me to no end.

And I’m happy. I don’t know what happens next, but whatever it is, I know it will be incredible. I’ve accepted this as what does come next for all of us. Whatever your faith or beliefs are, this is the ultimate transition. The completion of one journey and on to something new. After 40 years of doing basically whatever I wanted to do, I’m ready. They have been a fantastic 40 years. And I wouldn’t trade the last nine for anything.

Kristin has shown me what love is and can be. I could not have asked for a more powerful, talented, or stronger partner. Her love (and patience) has inspired me to be aspire greater, how to reach out to other people, and to be the best me I could be, which I didn’t even know I had in me. And her guidance in parenting Izzy taught me how to be a father, often just by watching her be a mother.

She has been the driving force behind all of our creative endeavors. Our movies and plays were her babies and I got to be her partner in crime. Without her creativity, vision and spirit, I wouldn’t have started or ever finished any of them, including The Zipperleg Chronicles.

I am the luckiest man alive to have met and be loved by such an incredible person.

We don’t know the timeline of how the rest of the disease will progress, or the path it will take. I am tired a lot of the time, so unfortunately, I’m not going to be available for a lot of visitors. And please know that your emails are cherished, even if I very often don’t always have the energy to respond to them. I hope these emails speak for me when I’m too tired to reply individually.

See the joy in life every day, and know you are loved.

Categorized as Zipperlist Updates

About the Author

An actor trained in physical theater, living in New York City, livin' the dream. I am married to an amazing woman without whom I'd probably be dead by now, and step-dad to the irrepressible Izzy! I sculpt masks, I juggle, I act, I design graphically-type-stuff, and when offered the choice between two evils, I take the one I've never tried before. I listen, I fly planes, I bike to the beach, I am a tea brewing ninja, I design new board games with my daughter, and I tell stories... too many stories. And while I used to be trying to learn to juggle my work, living in this city, my dreams, my wife, but now I am reminded every day they are all one, all my life, and every day is one more day I get to live it.
All Content © Zipperleg Chronicles 2013 - Except for most of the photos, those are taken from the Internet. Sorry.
I am not a doctor, so none of my ramblings should be taken as medical fact.
Your milage may vary.