Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There’s a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can’t I?

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can’t I?


To Eriq.  

Once upon a time, many years ago, you sent me an email out of the blue.  Let me know that something was going on that no one else was talking about.  Reaching out from behind the gates of the Empire to build a bridge.  A bridge of understanding.  You helped me see both sides of an issue.  You helped me see a different viewpoint.  I keep expecting you to pop up on my IM window with a “You got a sec?”  I keep expecting to see you post in a forum or help someone by blogging about some nuance that we never thought of.  I keep expecting to see your Purple shirt.  You see, I have this thing about logo’d shirts.  Microsoft never gave out SBS logo’d shirts.  So I stole the logo and had them made because I was proud to be representing the Small Business Server Product.  So I made SBS MVP logo’d polo shirt at a local embroidery shop and asked everyone else in the group if they wanted one.  Everyone else wanted Navy blue shirts or some other business-y color.  Not you.  No sir.  You wanted Purple.  A bright intense purple color.  

For me, you’ll be my purple.  

So on this day when I’m here in Fresno and your friends and family are in Texas saying goodbye to you, I can’t say goodbye.  I couldn’t even bring myself to order flowers for your funeral because it would make your passing too real.  Yeah, I know.  Lame on my part.  Remind me to send a living plant to Anna to put in her garden and not a funeral display to better honor you.  You see, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to you yet.  Not yet anyway.  Because to me you are still there.  Still there on the other end of an email, still there on the other end of an IM window.  

We live in a weird world where you are still online.  Still have web sites to read http://www.eriqneale.net/faq/cancer/, still have recent twitter posts I can look at.  Still have SBS related web sites that are valuable to people (and will remain intact as long as they are needed).  Still have left behind a legacy of books, and support resources that still give back to people.  

But you aren’t where you are really real to me.  On the other end of an IM window popping up with a question, or me hitting you on IM and asking you “Can I bother?  I need to vent!”.

Tonight on the PBS station they had an American Masters show on Judy Garland.  And when they got to the part where they showcased the Wizard of Oz and she sang Somewhere over the Rainbow, I thought of you, Eriq.  I thought of purple.  I know you are in a better place now.  You are on the other side of that rainbow where you don’t hurt.  You don’t have to take medicine.  Your back isn’t aching anymore.  You are probably wearing a Texas baseball shirt checking out all the other baseball players and planning Mac and Kerio migrations.  I know you are probably worry about Anna, but just like you she’s strong when she needs to be.  

She’s been getting donations for yarn caps in your honor.  I’ll be asking for a special one made, in, what else, Purple. 

You hang in there and I want a hug the next time we meet up.  It may be some years (hopefully) so you’ll have to be patient if you don’t mind. 

P.S. just thought of something ironic.  I’m typing this up on the MacBook Pro laptop that stays downstairs.  Kinda fitting.  Until I see you next, 


2 Thoughts on “Purple

  1. Joy Beland on June 23, 2012 at 9:50 am said:

    Lovely, but hard to read through my tears. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Mike Effertz on June 25, 2012 at 12:24 pm said:

    Very nice, and fitting Susan, yes thank you for sharing.

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