2004 Messages

Posted by Kelly September 2004:

Thoughts of You Everyday

I think of you almost every day Ann, sometimes fleetingly, other times for a long time. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers
always. The passing of time makes it easier to remember you with less sadness, but it will never dim my memory of you.

Love you and miss you,



Posted by
Jenny September 2004:

Gary Nelson

In the fall of 2001, I was living in Minneapolis. I was working part time, waiting tables at the Marriott in downtown. On a very quiet Friday night, I had only one table of two women and a man to wait on. The two women picked out a bottle of Shiraz to drink, and the man ordered a drink. They were very kind, and had a closeness to each other that you do not see often in family. They took their time in the meal, had smiles, but there was a sadness.

The gentleman asked questions about me, and learned that I had finished graduate school in music performance and was starting a studio of flute students. He was very interested in this, and asked how many years he would have to practice to become a concert pianist, and if it would be possible to do so at his age. I didn't say it wouldn't be impossible, however very ambitious. He chuckled. Not wanting to hover the table (they were the only ones in the restaurant, and it's hard not to hover), I waited near the host stand after clearing the dinner plates and dropping the check. The gentleman came up to me and handed a credit card to me.

He said, "Jenny, I want to thank you. You were just what we needed tonight." He paused, and continued on. "We're in town for the memorial service of my daughter." He told me about his daughter, an employee of Cantor Fitzgerald, a graduate of Carleton College. I learned that she was the same age as me. He stood before me, with tears in his eyes, and I felt his love for his daughter. In him I saw a bit of my dad and his love for me. I've waited many tables. I've been fortunate to meet many wonderful people, and have been touched by many strangers who I will never see again, but I will never forget. I like to think that I give a bit of myself to people that I meet. It was an honor to wait on Mr. Nelson that night, his wife, and friend. I was able to share a bit of myself that night, but received much more in return, something worth more than the generous tip left for me on the table. I learned about Ann Nelson, and saw a father's love for his daughter.

I found the website about Ann tonight, found pictures of her and family. I learned that there is now a concert hall in her name. This makes me smile, and wonder when Mr. Nelson will be on stage to give his first piano performance. I want to be in the audience to applaud a great father and his daughter.

My thoughts and prayers to you, Ann's family and friends.



Posted Anonymous September 2004:

The Past Does Not Suit Her


The past tense does not suit her.
We speak of her in the tense of current time.
She dwells in the present.
She is beautiful.
She is smiling.
She is loved.
She is of action.
Is of the moment.
Is of living now, and here.
The past tense does not suit her.

The past tense does not suit her.
We can not speak of her in only now.
She wears the future well.
She will always be beautiful.
She will ever be smiling.
She will never be without love.
She will live her life to the fullest.
She will always know that she cannot predict
What the future holds.
The past tense does not suit her.

The past tense does not suit her.
But now we have no choice in diction.
She is held out of now forever, without consent.
She was beautiful.
She was always smiling.
She was loved.
She has lost all her possibilities.
Of present
Or future,
But the past tense does not suit her.

The past tense does not suit her.
We cannot lose her in "would be" or "was".
She must be kept in "is" and "will".
She is beautiful.
She is smiling.
She is loved.
If only in memories...
She will always be beautiful.
She will always be smiling.
She will always be loved.
As long as those memories don't fade into the past


Posted by
Dave Hoppe May 2004:

Happy Birthday

Ann and I used to take great delight in teasing each other about the fact that neither of us was particularly good at remembering the date of the other's birthday. Ann was especially good at giving me pop quizzes: "When's my birthday, Hoppe?" could come out of her mouth at any time of year. If I got it wrong, which I did all too frequently, she was merciless in her verbal punishment of me. Of course it never bothered Ann in the slightest that she couldn't remember MY birthday. One year I made it until about 8 o'clock p.m. before she remembered that that day was my birthday.

Fortunately, my own daughter, Emilia, was born on May 17th, Ann's birthday. This cleared up my memory problem immediately, and gave Ann the great delight of telling me how honored she was that I had seen fit to have my daughter born on HER birthday.

Of course it did nothing to improve Ann's memory, but when I called her on 5/17/01, she told me, with a huge smile in her voice, "Oh Hoppe, you've made my WHOLE day!". I can still hear that happy, giggling voice inside my head.

Happy Birthday, Ann.

P.S. And just in case you forgot, it's September 5th.


Posted by
Eric Lockovitch May 2004:

Happy Birthday

Today is your 33rd Birthday. I remember the week long parties we would have for your birthdays. There was always another party to be had. I miss our times together and our celebrations. I’m always thinking of you and happy birthday Ann.




Posted by
Paul Murphy March 2004:







Paul A. Murphy


Posted by
Jessica Davis February 2004:



I was Ann's roommate senior year at Wayland. She was a lot of fun to live with. I was always on a diet and Ann was really supportive. She gave me a pair of her designer jeans and told me to use them as incentive to lose the weight and fit into them one day. She was just that kind of person. We never fought. We never got on each other's nerves. She was so smart and pretty, and I loved her dearly. I was glad to have known her for the two years that I did. I was sorry that we lost touch after high school. I never even knew that we were living in Chicago at the same time.

It was definitely my loss. I know she brought many people a lot of happiness. That was just her way. I never saw her unhappy. I never saw her cry. I never saw her talk bad about anyone. She could do no wrong. It was almost like she was a saint. That's how good she was. The world has definitely lost one of the good ones. I know she's looking down on us and doing her good from a much better place now. That's...just...her...way.

Jessica Davis

Our Past, Present and Future

A time when the blinders
Will fall helpless from our eyes
Once more we’ll see the spirits of our past
Once more their presence will be fully realized.cont.