When I read the news of Roger Ebert passing this morning I immediately thought of one of my favorite writers, Andy Ihnatko:
For years, I resisted the thought of writing down a few notes and organizing what I would say when this day came. I think having such a draft on my Mac would have acknowledged that someday, Roger would be going away.
Ebert was a writer before my time and on the other side of the world, yet so many of my favorite writers held him in such love and appreciation. So despite never having a personal connection of note I cannot help but a great sense of loss at his death.
Last week I read his final column for the Chicago Sun Times in which he announced he stepping back from his reviewing for the foreseeable future:
At this point in my life, in addition to writing about movies, I may write about what it's like to cope with health challenges and the limitations they can force upon you. It really stinks that the cancer has returned and that I have spent too many days in the hospital. So on bad days I may write about the vulnerability that accompanies illness. On good days, I may wax ecstatic about a movie so good it transports me beyond illness.
Ebert finished that article with a passage that may echo with his legend for generations to come:
So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I'll see you at the movies.
Thank you for a life well lived, RIP.