Tuesday January 12th, 2010
And Here's To You Mr. Robinson
I woke up this morning ready to get back to work, real work this time as my boss and boss' boss came back to work today. Last week was a laid back week as people were just getting back from the holidays and the bosses were out. Anyway, I got into work today, opened up my email, and saw an email from Jim about being out this week. I opened up the email and he said his father died last night. Oh, terrible news. After a split second, it sunk in. That's not just a friend of mine's dad who died, that's Wylie. I was in shock. Wylie. The jolly, happy, guy who sits next to me at work. The guy who makes all the bad jokes. I couldn't believe it. Before Christmas he was fine. He seemed healthy, no complaints. Last week I was told he was out of the office due to some back pain but he would return to work on Monday. I didn't think anything of it. And, just like that, the office next to mine now sits vacant. I remember one day I asked Wylie what he plans to do when he retires. He looked at me quizzically, and said "Retirement?? Why would I retire? I'm having too much fun." Yes, he would curse at the computer and if he ever found a Microsoft bug he would stop by everyone's cube and describe the bug in great detail and curse some more about Microsoft. That was just his nature. He loved talking about differential equations, discrete mathematics, dark matter, quantum physics, gravitation, and would occasionally throw in some Shakespeare or comment on how boring a book was Madame Bovary. He talked about how we humans need to invent a new mathematics to deal with the current problems in quantum mechanics and how string theory is dead since its mathematics result in an infinite number of solutions, which cannot be proven or dis-proven, and therefore was wrong. He talked about how some evidence points to gravity having increased power at very large distances, on the order of parsecs. He always had something interesting to say. He didn't worry much about social norms or etiquette. At the sushi restaurant he once said, in a not-so-low-voice, how absurd it was to charge so much money for uncooked fish. He was a Republican and believed Obama was ruining our nation and politics was an occasional topic at lunch so it was always more entertaining when Wylie joined us. Not to mention his jokes, usually bad jokes, during group meetings and presentations. He was a lot of fun and he will be missed. Going to his funeral later this week will be a very sad day.
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Tuesday January 12th, 2010

Mary Burleson says:

Wade, So sorry to read about the loss of your coworker. I know how jolting and shocking this can be. Just about a year ago my able assistant and coworker died suddenly and unexpectedly at age 44. We left Friday from work and Monday she collapsed and died. A year later I still struggle with grief and memories. Tough stuff. Thanks for sharing on your blog. I did the same. Somehow it seems to help, expressing thoughts and feelings. So sorry for your loss. I'll be thinking of you.