ďWhen I Think About SuzanneĒ


When I think about Suzanne, I try to remember when I first saw her and I canít, not exactly. I remember the experience itself vividly, but I canít recall exactly when it was or where we were. It might have been when I was speaking at a conference that Billís newsletter, Inside Healthcare Computing, was putting on in Portland, Maine. Or maybe it was somewhere else. It doesnít really matter. What matters for me, what I always reach for in my memory, is the experience: a flash of a smile, a gaze as clear as sunshine, a breezy, slightly teasing voice, a warm hand. A glow. Itís one of those moments that, over time, becomes detached from its context and remembered only by touching the immediate experience itself. I can relive it just by closing my eyes.


The classical Greeks had no idea of the immortal soul, at least not quite as we have. To them, one lived on only in the memory of others, who would tell and retell the story of his life. Perhaps thatís the way that Suzanne lives with me Ė as a long memory embracing years of friendship, of all the times when I envied Billís fortune in having Suzanne so close, really envied both of them for their almost perfect happiness together.


I can bring all those years back even now by remembering that first moment: ďHi! Iím Suzanne!Ē I remember the years in the way that we bring a song back to memory by first calling up a few familiar notes.We hear them in our minds and repeat them, connecting them to more and more notes until, suddenly, all the music comes flooding back.


I will never forget Suzanne. As long as I can remember, she will be here.


--Philip Lohman