He... left me one more memory to hold on to.

[excerpts from an e-mail]

It's been a while since I've written, this is Anne, Omer's friend from College. I hope you won't mind me writing again and sharing a bit, if I could.

On random impulse I visited the omershenker.net site today, and read up on some of the updated notes and thoughts, which prompted me to send a note. I hope it may be comforting to you and the family, although I know it must be painful too, to know that Omer's friends still remember and think of him, even now. Every so often thoughts and memories pop up, sometimes unexpectedly. Your thoughts on Omer's birthday reminded me of when he was surprised in an IM conversation to find someone who was actually younger than he was (my birthday's a month later); the details of his life reminded me of how he used to say he knew a lot of Asians in high school and that time when he actually knew something about Chinese tradition that I didn't even know myself :) and sometimes, walking back from the CS lab to my dorm (the same one I lived in last year, when Omer was about 2 minutes away in Cabel), I'll remember when I called him one night in the lab around 2:30am or so (knowing he'd probably be up :)), and asked him if he could walk me back since it was late. He didn't hesitate, and left me one more memory to hold on to.

I had a close cousin my age who died suddenly just a few years ago, and during that grief process learned that when people talk about "moving on", it doesn't mean trying to forget the very memories that make up all you have left, or trying not to keep track of random anniversaries about the person, but somehow taking on each day--living, choosing to live in the perpetual onslaught of passing time and new experiences--in that loss. So I like thinking about the stats Omer would put on his profile, the conversations we had about our respective past lives going through gifted schools or being gifted students, the really hilarious comments he'd make while working on my computer. I can't switch to my Linux OS without thinking about him partitioning it on my PC, and I cherish the memories even in the obvious sadness in which it rests.

Anne Huang - September 26, 2004

Omer Shenker, 1983-2004

Copyright 2004-2008, Mark & Naomi Shenker. All rights reserved.