In the last issue of the alumni magazine from Case Western Reserve University, where I did my graduate work, I found an entry in the “In Memory” column that stunned me.
Tanya was my closest friend in graduate school. She was several years younger than I and an undergraduate, but it didn’t matter — all of us computer science women tended to hang out together. We shared a love of crafts, especially stitchery, cats, and cooking; we had similar personalities and senses of humor. We were lab partners for several courses and worked exceptionally well together. When one of us would get sick of the grind, we’d take a break for a bit and go shopping and do girl stuff.
I moved back to Atlanta and eventually finished my degree; she graduated with both her B.S. and M.S. and moved to Columbus to work for what is now Lucent Technologies. Neither of us was that good at constantly staying in touch, but every year or two we’d touch base via email and get caught up on each other’s lives, almost as if it was still the early 1980s in Cleveland.
I had not heard about her illness, so it was shocking to see her name as I read through the magazine. It has taken me days to be able to write this entry, and I still have a hard time realizing that I’ll never see her smiling face in this lifetime. She’s another person that I’ll always wish that my husband had gotten to meet, just to know another part of my prior life.
Tanya, you made the world a better place in the too-short time you were with us, and you are missed.