by paul bennett

Dear Charles-

Back in 1997 I ran an online forum for artists and programmers. One day this fellow came in using the nickname "Anon".
All I could see of this fellow was an icon and a nickname in text. But he soon proved himself to our group as an outstanding individual with good thoughts.
Given his maturity, I thought this Anon fellow was in this 20's/30's but it turned out he was just a teenager (the internet is vague as to who is really what sometimes).

Later, Anon confided in my that his name was Rett. We became good friends, rooted in our mutual love for art and icon design. He was a beloved member of our group for years.
Then he disappeared around 2004 and I couldn't find out what happened to him. I figured he lost interest in the group or something. But evidently that was not entirely the case.

On occasion, Rett would speak a bit about his condition, but rarely. You see, online you can be anything. And Anon was superman in our part of cyberspace.
In cyberspace he had no cancer. He was wise. Powerful. Compassionate. Generous. And he commanded respect merely by the way he composed himself--very much the way he was in real life.

One weekend I was in Dallas with my wife and I had the privilege to finally meet Rhett...and you and your wife as well. It was one of those moments when you knew you were in the presence of greatness. We had a great dinner together and it was truly a radiant evening. I'll never forget it.

Words can't express how much his passing away has effected me. He was a constant online companion of mine for about 5-6 years. I'm crushed and crying as I write this very letter.
I just received the news of his passing on April 5th 2007. I made a post on my site remembering Rett.

Lately, I have been involved with a charity ( to help cancer victims and I think of Rett every time I work on the site now.

Anyway, I offer my sincerest condolences for your loss of Rett. Nothing I say could console, but I want you to know that you and your wife brought goodness into the world.
All of us that knew Rett will always be in your debt. Thank you. If there is anything I can do for you, please let me know.

Here is a song for you that reminds me of Rett.

Take care,

Paul Bennett



Copyright © 2010
Charles Nearburg
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