“I never wanted to write these words down for you. With the pages of phrases of things we’ll never do…”
–Say Hello to Heaven by Temple of The Dog
Today, I wear this shirt (that my dad gave me) in honor of one of my heroes, Greg Montalbano. Greg and I both grew up in Westboro, went to Saint John’s in Shrewsbury (he was 3 years behind me in the same grade as my brother Tom), and were diagnosed with cancer when we were in our teens. After a 13 year courageous and public battle with this horrible disease, Greg passed away last August. Although the feelings I have of knowing Greg and his story can’t really be put into words, Greg has inspired me to do whatever I can to celebrate life every day and try to make my life as extraordinary as his was. Thinking of Greg gives me bouts of “Survivor’s Guilt”, but also moves me past these feelings of “Why did I survive?”…I know he wouldn’t want me to feel bad for still being here physically, and I know he has touched so many lives that his spirit continues and will continue to be here.
Today, Saint John’s is dedicating a monument for Greg before their 3:15 baseball game against Westboro. Also on June 12th, the baseball field Greg, my brothers and I, and countless kids from Westboro played on will be renamed in Greg’s honor. Greg was simply an amazing person who made a great impression on everyone who had the luck of knowing him. Whether he was hurling another strikeout, fighting cancer, or making people laugh, he did it with heart. I feel honored to be writing about him today, and I am glad fields at Saint John’s and Westboro will assure he will not be forgotten.
If you would like to read more about Greg, here are some links:
And a radio broadcast: