July 31, 2020. Depending on which calendar you were looking at, we were supposed to be in Colorado. On our way back east for the last couple months of our adventure. But God had other plans, and unfortunately on that Friday morning, Andrew Luckett passed away after a short but incredibly courageous battle with cancer.
At the beginning of the year, Andy and I parted ways as partners, both romantically and professionally. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever been through, but I’m also incredibly grateful that it happened that way, because it led to him being able to spend all of this time with his family, receiving treatments and fighting hard to beat this terrible disease. It’s amazing to see even in the worst of times that we are part of something bigger, and as trite as it sounds that everything happens for a reason.
For those of you who didn't have the pleasure of knowing Andy, you should know that the world is darker without him. Ever since the day that we met in school, he made me laugh. He was always making silly faces or doing impressions or quoting movies. We bonded over our love of Batman and The Big Lebowski. During our screenwriting program, we spent many nights sitting in my car after class just having these deep, meaningful conversations about life, relationships, family. He had such an amazing way of making you feel that no matter what you said, anything at all, that it was valuable and important. It didn’t matter if he knew you for five minutes or twenty years, you were the focus of his attention and you were his friend.
We spent just about a year together as a couple, transitioning from friends and screenwriting buddies to partners planning our future together. I know now that our time together wasn’t easy for him, especially knowing that leaving for a nearly year-long cross-country adventure was coming up soon and it was going to be so much work for both of us. It was a big task to prepare for, but also a lot to do once we were to hit the road. Through all of that added stress and responsibility, he was always encouraging. He never suggested that this idea was too ambitious or that we couldn’t make it happen. He thought it was important and timely and he believed it would be a success in uniting people across the country.
Like the rest of Andy’s friends and family, I am heartbroken and lost knowing that he’s gone. It’s hard to fathom how to move forward. At this time, I’m not sure how to proceed with the project in a way that honors him. No matter what changes and iterations this project experienced, Andy was part of it. Since day one, years ago. Nothing feels good enough now. Someday, perhaps, I'll be able to carry on in a way that makes him proud.
For now, I want to sign off by reminding you to hug your loved ones extra tight. If you can’t do that right now because of COVID, then let this be a reminder to video chat with them, call them, write them... connect with them in any way you can. Have meaningful conversations. Laugh together. Believe in something and support the people you care about when they talk about things they are passionate about. Believe in yourself and your dreams, too. Tell people you love them. Everyone. The world needs more love.
Lastly, if you are interested in doing something in his memory, please consider making donations to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital in honor of Andrew Luckett, a cause that was dear to his heart. And if you are so inclined, please send your thoughts and prayers to Andy's family, especially his parents, and his many friends during this time of grieving.