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This Esther Day hits different.
This Star Won't Go Out:
Join us tonight for the Esther Day livestream: It's at 8 PM eastern time.

Happy Esther Day, everyone.

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Good morning Hank, it's Thursday, August 3rd. It's Esther Day, and I love you.

Esther Day is a holiday founded by Esther Earl, our friend and a long time nerdfighter, who died of cancer in 2010 when she was 16. And she wanted Esther Day, her holiday, to be about the other kinds of love. The love that we don't celebrate on Valentine's Day. Love between family and friends, and especially taking the time to say I love you when it's hard to say it. Now, I don't want to flatter myself and say that I was in any way involved with the creation of Esther Day, but I do suspect that part of what Esther was thinking was, “My gosh, it's hard for these two nerds to say I love you to each other, and so I'm gonna start a holiday where they have to do it at least once a year.”

But it has been hard over the years, like, I'm about to confess something super big brothery and embarrassing, but sometimes when we were, like, just out of college or you were still in college and we would have, like, our occasional once a year or once every six month phone call. We always have these great phone calls. We talk for like 45 minutes. We'd have, like, broad ranging conversations about all kinds of things, and then, when it came time to hang up I would want to say I love you and I wouldn't, and then, I would just be like, “Alright, well, take care” and then you'd hang up and then-and then after we hung up, I would say, "I love you." But now I'm functionally forced to say it to you once a year, and actually we have been saying I love you more in private, haven't we Hank? Because this year's yesterday, uh, no two ways about it, hits different.

Your cancer diagnosis has reminded us that life is fragile, and also that we are very fortunate to be in life with the people we're in it with. It's also helped me to remember the cost of not saying I love you. I need the people in my life to know that I love them and I need to know that I am loved. Esther saw that at 16 better than I did in 2010, and so she gave us the gift of this holiday and this opportunity to tell the people in our lives we care about that we care about them. But I don't just love you Hank, I also really deeply admire you. There's a lot of gifts that have been given to me in my life, but very few of them stack up with the one that I received on May 5th, 1980. I'm gonna-I'm gonna try a different way.

Look, I've always known that cancer sucks. Our dad had cancer twice when we were little. It had a huge impact on his life, on our lives, uh, I've seen cancer up close in in friends and in the lives of people like Esther and her family. Uh, so I didn't need you to get cancer to know that cancer sucks, uh, but I have-I have been reminded anew how difficult it is for the person living with cancer, for the people supporting them when our structures, our societal structures, are not set up to support patients and their families effectively.

And after Esther died, her family set up a charity called This Star Won't Go Out that provides direct financial support to families of kids living with cancer. And I understand better than ever just how much difference supporting This Star Won't Go Out can make in the lives of those families. Because, like, Hank we don't need money. That's not a source of stress. It wasn't a big deal for you to be able to leave your job on a moment's notice for an indefinite period of time, but for the vast majority of people, all of that and so much more isn't easy.

This Star Won't Go Out provides such an essential service for families like that, so in addition to encouraging you to say I love you to the people in your life you love, especially when it's hard, I encourage you to check out This Star Won't Go Out and donate if you can. Link in the doobly-doo. Also.

Hank, this summer has sucked and I have this intense need to add "but" to the end of every negative sentence. Like, "This summer has sucked, but I've gotten closer to my brother." That's true, but there are better ways where we could have gotten closer, y'know? Or "This summer has sucked but I learned a lot," which is also true. You do learn a lot when you get promoted from unpaid social media intern to temporary and reluctant CEO. I would have rather learned those lessons in a different way though. But here's a but I can feel good about. Nope. Here's a but I can get behind. Definitely not. Um, alright, here's a butt that works for me? No, frick. I'm just gonna say it instead of intro-ing it. This summer has sucked massively, but I have seen up close how much love matters. How much the love of your colleagues at DFTBA and Complexly matters. How much the love of your spouse and your kid matters. How much the love of your family and your friends matter.

What we really need in this world, and all in the end we can really give each other, is accompaniment and attention. To walk with each other and to listen to each other so that none of us has to go through everything that we will have to go through alone. And so, I've been reminded just how much all those kinds of love matter and how wise Esther was at the age of 16 to start, of all holidays, this one.

Hank, I love you so much. Happy Esther Day. I will see you tomorrow.