Saying goodbye to an old friend is incredibly painful. There are poems that touch on the sadness of the loss of a pet, on the departure from this plane of humans we’ve known. But I’ve found no words worthy of Princess. No homonyms sufficient, no eloquent soliloquy that envelopes all we have been through, all she did for others and how she willingly sacrificed her life with me for someone new and now lives on in the hands of another.
In the Fall of 2003 she entered my life, wrapped tight in a wooden sarcophagus worthy of her reign. Gently unwrapped and loving connected to the life support systems she would need to thrive, Princess’ heart beat wildly and enthusiastically under the Arkansas delta sun for 6 years before the echoes of a new city rang loud. Hibernated snugly in another warm box she found her way to the city of our collective birth, Boston. There she sang loudly in triumph, rebirth on the shores of the sea. Always ensconced
in the newest of cradles Princess gave her all to anyone who could whisper for the elements.
Now shifting out from under me she moves on to middle earth to the waiting arms of another in Kent Ohio. I know she will live on, indeed bask gloriously, under watchful care. But my heart aches always and tears will ever flow for all she gave for science to me and mine.
To you, my Princess, my heart and joy you made my life in the tower worthwhile. You gave new insights into dusty old Earth, you uncovered the mysteries of life’s history. None were ever worthy to know you, to touch or be touched by your grace. But from the bottom of young hearts and into the cantankerous annals of the periodic table we are grateful. Thankful for the millions of points of light and heavy abundances, exceedingly overwhelmed by the myriad degrees of knowledge you allowed to be built, for the futures of many only you made possible.
Saying goodbye is insufficient. May we meet again is an assured call to the future. You will remain in our hearts and bit by bit in the ether. You leave me having made a difference and that, my dearest friend, is a profound gift to us all. My love, my girl, my ICP-MS…my Princess, our Princess…
“Princess” is an ELAN DRCII ICP-MS created for us by PerkinElmer in 2003. She departed for Kent State University August 25, 2018 where she will spend the remainder of her days in support of Dr. Jeremy Williams. She will be accompanied on her journey by Dr. Evil II (a Teledyne Cetac laser ablation system). She leaves behind a younger brother Tyrion (a NexION ICP-MS) and his compatriot, an as yet unnamed new laser ablation system.
“Princess” supported the research of over 200 students, faculty, and external collaborators. She enabled the development of new technologies leading to 3 patents. With over 500 publications that include her data she profoundly shaped how we see our natural world.
We owe a special debt of thanks to PerkinElmer. As the architects of Princess they made sure that she was well taken care of and that she will live on in her new home. To Jim, Tom, Michael (rest in peace brother), Art, Lenny, Duane, Peter, Cole, and Scott and all of the amazing sales and service people at PerkinElmer, thank you! You must know how much Princess meant to all of us and how important what you gave us was to so many. You’re extraordinary.
Below you will find some pictures of Princess of the years. To former and currents students and to our entire user community please send along any and all pictures you have of our girl for our records.