Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tribute

I heard today that a friend, colleague, and mentor of mine died yesterday, after a longish fight with cancer. He was a 'computer' friend: that's what we had in common, and although he didn't know about this blog, I think he would have liked it. Among other things, he was a passionate parent as well as a dedicated technophile. As a tribute to him, I'll cast out into cyberspace the note I've just written to send to his family.

Dear K--,

I am so sorry to hear that Terry has died. I received the news from P-- C-- today: I haven't seen Terry since I moved away from Edmonton in 2004, although we have exchanged emails, and that the news of his death has hit me so hard is a testament to the strong influence Terry has had on me, and how very much I have valued his friendship. He is already missed.

You may remember me from the O-- Project parties? Skinny, pale, black hair? I also worked for Terry at the T-- lab for several years, and taught for H-- Program, and worked under his direction on the C-- Project. Terry was an intellectually rigorous, but silly person, a joker with a mind like a steel trap. I learned so much from him: about databases, and XML, and all kinds of computer tics and tricks. But I also learned a little more about how to be a decent human being. Terry's curiosity about life, his very strong affection for his family, his zest for travel, and his enthusiasm about computing left a lasting impression on me. More, he was a friend, a trusted confidante to share a beer with, with the gang at Remedy, or at a conference.

I can't imagine the pain and loss you must be feeling, but I wanted to write to tell you how very sorry I am, and how much Terry meant to me. I am so glad to have known him: it has enriched my life immeasurably.


Terry is on the far left, in the white shirt. I'm in the sunglasses. This is in Edmonton, at the very best café for lovers of espresso, at the end of a long day of XML encoding training for workers on the C-- Project.

The world is a sadder place for your absence, Terry.

24 comments:

nomotherearth said...

So sorry for your loss.

cinnamon gurl said...

Sorry for your loss, Mimi, but a lovely tribute.

crazymumma said...

My condolences.

What a wonderful tribute to him.

jen said...

i am sorry for your sadness and happy for your knowing Terry.

Amy U. said...

Sending that note is such a classy thing to do.

I'm sorry you've lost a friend.

Bon said...

that's a lovely tribute Mimi, and will likely mean a lot to his family.

i too am sorry you've lost a friend.

Gwen said...

I'm sorry about Terry.

Lovely tribute to him.

slouching mom said...

that's a beautiful letter that will surely comfort its recipient.

i'm sorry for his loss.

slouching mom said...

I mean your loss, doh.

Omaha Mama said...

Hugs for you.

That was a nice tribute.

And I am so impressed that you also know that so much a computers. A techy and a word nerd? You've got major brains.

Feel better soon.

Omaha Mama said...

about computers. about.

Sorry - I get typo-happy when I feel sad. :-(

Oh, The Joys said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, friend.

kittenpie said...

Oh, I'm sorry to hear, honey. Even if we aren't superclose to someone, they can really make a big impact. I was pretty stunned when one of my best and most inspiring professors dies after I left undergrad - someone with so much, it just seemed wrong to pluck him away. it sounds like Terry was much the same.

Lisa said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. My heart is with you.

Jenifer said...

Sorry for your loss and that is a lovely letter.

NotSoSage said...

So sorry for your loss, Mimi. It takes courage to write a letter like that. Inspiring.

Christine said...

that is so so sad, mimi,

and what a beautiful tribute. just lovely. you must have cared for him very much.

Denguy said...

A lovely letter, I'm sorry for the loss.

Jen M. said...

That was really nice. I'm so sorry.

Beck said...

I'm sorry about your friend - he sounds like he was a wonderful man.

Mad Hatter said...

Hey there,
This was lovely. I am just getting to a computer now and have also written a little piece about Terry. I say P and I yesterday and I received the news when I spent the day with Kath on Tuesday. I'm hoping to take some kind of care package to the house on Saturday. The memorial is on Monday after I leave for home.

All I can think about is K and the boys. He was their everything.

BOSSY said...

Fuck cancer. Bossy knows your pain.

Kyla said...

I am sorry for your loss...for you and for Mad and for everyone else who is missing Terry.


On a completely different note, I've given you a little something over at my place.

motherbumper said...

I'm so sorry for your lose and your letter to the family is beautiful. Sharing what Terry meant to you is a wonderful gift.