Not only in dreams

Only in dreams

We see what it means

Reach out our hands

Hold on to hers

But when we wake

It's all been erased

And so it seems

Only in dreams

--chorus of Weezer's "Only in Dreams," words and music by Rivers Cuomo

I've never listened to the rock band Weezer so I can't say whether I have missed anything. But I can honestly say I was touched by the lines above when I went a-googling the lyrics of the band, which was the hands-down favorite of my late colleague Terry Nguyen.

My search was for a kind of link if you will back to Terry so I could somehow, hopefully fittingly, commemerate his tragic death one year ago June 1st and, above all, to illuminate the short yet shining life he led.

Then it struck me that the best way to recall Terry at this time would be to share with you some of his own words.

The passage below was penned as part of an essay Terry wrote in 2007 to win one of the Young Leaders Scholarships presented by the American Society of Business Publications Editors to promising young journalists. He won that prestigious honor but died shortly before it was to be bestowed.

Please pause for a moment and reflect on what this wonderful young man, just 27 at his passing, had to say when he recalled an incident that helped inspire him to be a journalist:

“I vividly remember at UConn [The University of Connecticut] working on a story that had moved me more than any other. A music student was performing a practice recital in front of her classmates when she collapsed onstage and died shortly thereafter. I learned that she played the trumpet with a prosthetic arm. I spoke with her friends, her teachers, university officials, and her father -- who at times fought through tears to speak to me. For obvious reasons, it was an extremely sensitive topic, and I got no sleep the night my article was sent to the printer.

“I bring this particular story up because I learned very early in my career the value of journalism. What I wrote has an impact on how a deceased person will be remembered, and that article is most likely sitting in a scrapbook right now. This example illustrates why I believe journalism is truly a public service -- one that‘s worth preserving with integrity at whatever cost.”


Terrence M. "Terry" Nguyen