You never forget your first one. That’s what they say, at least.

It’s true to a large extent, as most clichés are. But sometimes you simply can’t forget your first, because it follows you throughout your life; in some cases haunting, in other times as a gilded reminder of a glorious, golden past. It’s the rock star in twilight, still singing the old standard to bring the house down.

Seven years ago, I stepped into an entirely different world when my first documentary, “Ola: Health is Everything,” premiered. …

There’s something about the word cancer that forces you to look within and without, coalescing communities of friends and coworkers, doctors and caregivers to slowly, then suddenly, bring the weight of the world to bear against this random dysfunction of life. It is a word at once both paralyzing and energizing; it freezes time, forever demarcating the before and the after, and fills you with an impulse to fight, to destroy, to do whatever it takes. It forces you to finally see.

So this week, just days before Thanksgiving, when a friend said that she’d been diagnosed with an aggressive…

“You aren’t going to Vegas.”

I’d been planning to attend a five-day communications conference this week, had for months anticipated being up in the air after so long. I’d been craving a short respite so that I could forget the tension and stress of the past three months, and to steady myself for the next eighteen.

I’m not a huge fan of the city itself, but being away for a few days was to be my solace, despite the work event. …

I’ve long since retired and my son’s moved away, I called him up just the other day, I said I’d like to see you if you don’t mind, He said, I’d love to Dad if I could find the time.

I’ve come to Las Vegas to say hello to my Dad after far too long, this man who was always a part of my life but also a man I never really knew. Understandable, really, since he left when I was five and spent the next forty years meandering into and out of my life.

I’ve come to Las Vegas…

Matthew Nagato

Writer | Director | Producer | Community Advocate. Founder, Lumos Media LLC

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