Monday, June 21, 2010

MEP Partner and Friend

One of the few bright spots in this tragic time has been the opportunity to get to better know Mike and Denise Cetta. They are truly wonderful people. They both spent three hours at my house going through family photos to make the memorial videos and then put together a bike rack I had ordered. When Mike came back to pick up additional photos, he added a right click to Thai's Mac, valiantly attempted to fix my basement shower before family came, and figured out how to work our ridiculously complicated media system, something that only Thai truly understood before. (To save money, Thai had bought our projection TV directly from Japan. So yes, all the buttons on the projector and the remote are labelled in Japanese which never bothered Thai, but makes using it a guessing game for the rest of us.) So thank you to you both for all you've done for us and I hope you're having a wonderful time in Italy. This was Mike's speech at the memorial:

Hey Thai.

We are all puzzled how this could happen to a man like you. I know it is no surprise but you will be missed by your partners, your friends, your mom, Jesse, Kat, and perhaps most of all, by your sons. We are all going to miss you.

You were an interesting man. I’m not sure anyone truly understood you – but everyone appreciated how you thought, who you were. Your uniqueness, your passion.

At times I thought I knew you well – I could guess when you would speak up in a meeting. I knew your car was a mess and your shoes were old. I knew you’d be late for your shifts, your scrubs wouldn’t be tucked in and your white coat wouldn’t be so white. You’d have a 20 ounce coffee and probably some Chipotle. Before you’d start working you’d engage me in a conversation I had little understanding of – world economy or fractals – I’d go off to my shift in a haze of awe and confusion at the power of your intellect. I felt a great sense of accomplishment if I could simply grasp PART of what you were talking about… it was a real victory for me.

I don’t know if you put sugar in your coffee or when you went to bed – but I do know your mind never slept.

Forgive me for a moment while I indulge your guests here today. I saw your computer last week and couldn’t help to smile when I saw your desktop. Not too surprising…a graph.

And I can’t help myself to show everybody this photo I took last year. I looked into your briefcase and saw a tangle of cords. Hoisting it high, I took this priceless photograph at arms length. A pen, 3 sets of headphones, a mouse and a yo-yo…now if that isn’t quintessential Thai…

Thank you for our time together. Our bike rides through Poolesville and a two-hour education on the global debt crisis and how China owns the US. Or our run on the Eastern Shore and the tale of your mother’s childhood. Thank you for telling it like it is. Thank you for keeping us all honest. Thank you for keeping us intellectually engaged.

I suppose the irony behind all this is that it wouldn’t have been a surprise to you – perhaps you could have predicted it. You’d have some sort of graph, somewhere, tucked away.

Thank you for being a friend and a mentor. Thank you for being an intellectually curious person. I want to thank you for being an amazing son and brother. I want to thank you for being a tremendous husband to your wife and father to your sons. You’ve made a contribution to this world and your legacy will last. You, Thai, are not just another dot on the graph or statistical point (although you may have argued otherwise). You are unique and your soul will live on.

We will carry you with us forever my friend. We love you.

1 comment:

  1. "A pen, 3 sets of headphones, a mouse and a yo-yo…now if that isn’t quintessential Thai…"

    Funny :)