31 December 2007


Hell of a year

Times Square Ball at Flickr.comSome good things happened in my life in 2007. My kids took their first trip to Disneyland, and at the same time I made my first visit to the NAMM Show next door, which is like Disneyland for music geeks. I finally saw The Police in concert. My wife threw me a great birthday party. One of my best friends became pregnant with her first child, due in February 2008.

But otherwise it's been pretty rough. Back in January 2007, I first got my cancer diagnosis, and since then I've had four surgeries (one major), two rounds of chemotherapy (the second one is half-way over now), six weeks of daily radiation treatments, and almost a month in hospital, during which I dropped down more than 50 pounds below my normal weight.

To top it off, the year ended with the deaths of my mom's longtime friend, world figures Oscar Peterson and Benazir Bhutto, and my friend Martin, whom I'd known for more than 20 years. All role models, all flawed in their ways.

NOTE: I've now set up a memorial page for Martin, including links to articles about him, copies of the notes from his eulogy speakers, and photos from his memorial event on January 6, 2008.

And yet. And yet.

I have two very different yet wonderful daughters now approaching adolescence, and a wife who is by far my best friend and confidant. I have faced death and, so far, beaten it back. I have things I yet want to do, but also know that if I don't get to do them, I'm satisfied with what I've already accomplished in my life.

I'm glad to see 2007 gone, no doubt. I'm more optimistic now to see the end of 2008 than I was at some times during this past year. I'm surprisingly clear in how I see my place in the world. That's something of a gift.

Next Sunday there will be a memorial for Martin, who did not see the end of this year. I've been asked to speak briefly about his modeming and BBS days. One thing I know of him is that he was always trying to find new ways to have fun, and to be happy.

In my mind, we all have our lives and our families and friends, and we each must try to be happy, because they are all we have. Happy 2008 to you.

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Dear Derek,

It's a long time I read you though your blog site, your geeky experiences but mainly though your personal life. Day after day, I was incredibly astonished with your courage while you're facing such difficulties.

I kept silence during all this time, but was feeling very confused and angry. We've never met personally, but I consider you as a friend of mine. This feeling is for sure shared by many people who read you.

But today, I decide to make just a little step. I just want to wish you and your relatives a very good, healthy and happy new year.

With all my sympathy,

Fran├žois Lebrun (Lyon, France)
Happy New Year Derek! I am looking forward to your New Year's Day blog posts in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 .....

John Meadows
2008 will be a helluva year for you, Derek and I am looking forward to hanging out with you to celebrate it.

It has been great "getting to know" you through the Internet. I wish for you much improved health in 2008 and long life in the years beyond.

Your friend in Music and Macs,

thanks for putting that up so eloquently! i was JUST sending another online pal a note sort of about you and air after reading her hat tip on her blog post yesterday... i was thinking how i had been in sunny socal visitng my brother when you guys were out there too - being all excited about the L&L show y'all posted that talked about "how" to do podcasting, how much the two of you inspire me and then - of course - all the stuff that followed with your diagnosis and choosing to share that.

i'm another one of those folks y'all have never met in person, but i feel like you are friends of mine on the beautiful west coast (home sweet home)! may this new year will bring all of you joy and love - and when are we all going to disneyland?????


I've been reading your blog most of the year. I admire your strength and humour, and enjoy the geekery and music.
Much happiness and health to you and your family for 2008.

Hi Derek,

I'm loving this post. It is so great that first off you list the few good things that this year has to offer, but I guess this does reflect your personality. I, too, feel like a friend of yours through reading your blog (and your wife's and your dad's) and you have become a role model of sorts as well.
Happy 2008 to you and the family.