When Maggots Become Butterflies Or My Favorite Email Ever Received

When Maggots Become Butterflies? Or… My Favorite Email Ever Received

A few notes to begin;

  1. You have every right to accuse me of this being one of the laziest soapboxes ever written. Suck it, I was in Reno this weekend acting like a 21-year-old. And having sex with a 21-year-old.

  2. There are two titles because I couldn’t decide, and the first has a question mark because I think it’s completely cheesy, but the truth of the matter is that I’m tired and hungover from the events described above so again, with all due love and respect, please suck it.

And now, on with the soapbox:

As promised, the show will begin to return to its more normal format this week, meaning, that while we’ll still, as always, share our personal lives in ways that most shows can’t even comprehend let alone execute, we won’t focus entirely, as we seemingly have, on the recent end of my relationship of almost 4 years and my greatest dog ever, Shep, being put down. Life goes on, and so must we. More and more news stories and topics of the day will make their way into our daily shows and life will return to relative normalcy.

With that said, one of the things I have mentioned multiple times over the past week is my respect and appreciation for the way the RAD audience has rallied around and behind me. I have written and spoken for years of the bond this show has with its’ lovable maggots, but for whatever reason, I didn’t expect to get the warm and almost completely supportive response I did to the events of my life recently. Maybe I think I don’t deserve the good treatment…I’ll add that to my therapist’s already long list of projects.

I received this email last Thursday from a maggot whose name shall be withheld at this time. While I may read it on air, it was such a powerful, wonderful letter I felt it needed to be printed for all to see. It isn’t just what she wrote, but the fact that it’s a perfect cumulative example of the kind of letters I have received, and I genuinely appreciate it. Too many of you give me too much credit for all that you have accomplished and at this moment in my life, I need to hear some of it, and I have. Thank you all so much:

Dear Rob,

I started listening in 1999 when I was a senior in high school. Like most seniors, I couldn’t wait to get out of the house and begin my transition into adulthood (I refuse to be grouped with millennials). Like most seniors, I was young, dumb, inexperienced, curious and impressionable-that is where you came in. I practically raised my parents so I couldn’t turn to them for advice. Instead, I relied on Rob Williams-the morning DJ from the local rock station.

Rob, you have had a profound impact on the person I have become. In high school, I found a job working as a receptionist for a small law firm. After graduation I continued working for this firm and started attending night classes at the junior college. I wanted to finish my education, but your staunch stance on work experience encouraged me to continue working; after all, an education is almost valueless without experience. I continued working full-time and attending classes for nearly a decade when I finally graduated with my degree in Business Management and worked as the firm’s senior paralegal. Meanwhile, in your life, you were busy dating, getting engaged, getting married, buying a home for your mom, buying a really nice home for yourself, getting a new dog, getting new producers, driving your old Vette around, going on expensive shopping trips, meeting Maggots at live shows, trying to figure out what is in Dawn’s uterus (still a mystery to us all), espousing useful (and sometimes useless) opinions on current events, local news and a few presidential elections, etc., and I can’t forget the morning the twin towers went down. You stayed on the show-you stayed with us and I think because, for whatever reason, you felt like you had an obligation to help your listeners get through what was happening on that tragic day. I will never forget that.

Fast forward to the not-so-distant past, where both of us were living significantly different lives. After ten years of employment with the same firm, I decided I needed a change, so I started working for another law firm. About a year into that job, I decided that I needed to start getting paid the money I was earning, so I enrolled in law school. Juggling full-time work, commuting and attending law school at night brought about more breakdowns than I’d like to acknowledge, but somehow I made it through; despite a couple of lay-offs and working as an unpaid intern. I never relied on the government or my parents to pay my bills-I relied on you (figuratively, that is). You’re the epitome of reaping the rewards from hard work. You taught me that no matter how hard it gets, you have to continue pressing forward and working. Happiness is never given to you, you have to earn it.

While I was juggling work and school, you were going through a divorce, building your own studio, new producers, raising Shep and getting a new dog, moving out of your beautiful home, still paying for the home your mom lives in, starting a new relationship, working on your bald spot, working out more, trading out the hold Corvette for a new one, a complete overhaul of your morning show and I can assume losing a long-term friend, still contemplating what’s in Dawn’s uterus (although I think you gave up on that because you finally realized it was a lost cause), renting in the ghetto, moving into a beautiful house in the country, etc., which leads us to the here and the now…..

Last week when the show temporarily went off the air, I sensed that it had something to do with your relationship. I didn’t think you two decided to get married because I don’t think you would have gone off the air, so I deduced that you had broken up. My heart hurt for you-I hate that shit, a lot. I especially hate dealing with the aftermath. Although well-intended, I hate when friends tell me “their loss” or “that person wasn’t good enough for you” or “you’ll find somebody better.” I’ve never been married, but I’ve experienced my fair share of heart break and when my friends tell me that shit, I want to say NO! it’s not their loss and NO! I won’t find somebody better! I’m not going to tell you any of that-because I don’t know whether or not that stuff is true. I don’t know if you will find someone better, but I will tell you and what I want for you, is that someday your heart won’t ache by the loss of your relationship. I hope someday your heart is healed so you can love again.

Now on to the whole reason I wrote you this lengthy email-Shep. I can’t think about Shep without crying, like I am right now. When I saw your post on Tuesday night-I felt so much pain. The thought of him passing away in your arms physically hurt my heart. I rescued a dog in September of last year and immediately held him after I read your post. There are two quotes I have heard that sum up the way I feel about my dog. The first is from an anonymous person who said “until one has a relationship with an animal, part of one’s soul remains unawaken” and the next came from a close friend of mine as he said in passing “if I could marry my dog, I would.” I completely agree with both of those statements. I also completely agree with you when you say that the only bad part about a dog is they break your heart.

You’re not alone. I have never met you and I may never meet you, but I know you. You have been there when I needed you and now in your time of need, I’m here for you, not in the “I’ll give you gonorrhea kind of way, but in the way of when you ache, I ache.

Being Rob Williams was not given to you, you created Rob Williams. You understand that no matter what happens today, the sun will rise tomorrow and it is entirely within your control how you live it. With that, I look forward to listening to tomorrow’s show.

With as much empathy I can muster through an email….

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