Looking Back Part Two: Passion still remains

By Alicia Erlich on 11 Jun 2014 10:53 am EDT

It has been almost a year since my editorial on why I am still an avid BlackBerry fan and how I still remain passionate for the platform. At the time the post made its way to the front page it was the beginning of a tumultuous six months in my life both at work and at home. During this time, however, the one constant that kept my head on straight and the will to persevere was my BlackBerry and writing for CrackBerry.

I bring this topic up once again because not only has my mind had some time to heal and think about the last year but I realized the fourth anniversary of CrackBerry Idol is almost here, that wonderful contest DJ Reyes and I submitted our audition videos to, and the rest, as they say, is history. So I thought I would tell you what makes BlackBerry and the CrackBerry community the best there is.

My original editorial appeared shortly after my Mother's hospitalization for almost three weeks with an initially poor prognosis. Little did we both realize her stay at home would be short lived as she passed away from heart failure in January.

While my co-workers and friends may scoff at my choice to still carry a BlackBerry, it is first and foremost a communication and social tool. Whether it is during difficult times or happy events, at its core it created for me my very own BlackBerry extended family and support system. No matter how I was introduced to these people, BlackBerry Live, CES, or CrackBerry, the relationships I made are what make BlackBerry stand out.

Being able to instantly speak with people from all over the globe essentially proves this platform brings family, friends, and even strangers together in an amazing way.

No other time in my life was this showcased than when I lost my Mother. I could not fathom the support I received from the team at Mobile Nations and from the BlackBerry community. From BBM's, tweets, forums posts, and even BBM video calls, I was never alone even though they could not be there in person. Being able to instantly speak with people from all over the globe essentially proves this platform brings family, friends, and even strangers together in an amazing way.

Another instance is the developers behind OSBB went so far as creating a donation page to help with the funeral costs. It is something that I am truly grateful for and will probably never be able to repay them and the people who responded in my lifetime. For me the strength of the community is what sets it apart from other platforms. I never asked for help, I mean I have a full-time job that pays the bills and puts a roof over my head, but they went out of their way to do this.

My family had been a small nuclear unit comprised of only my parents and me. When my father died tragically in 1996, that brought our number down to two. Having lost another parent after years of caring for her emotionally and medically because of numerous surgeries and conditions, being on my own for the first time was unexpected. Again, individuals I knew on BBM, Twitter, and Facebook and even people I met at BlackBerry Live became my second family and support line.

Now while some of my friends may call the tablets and smartphones that piled up in my household mere toys, for me BlackBerry remains first and foremost a tool for getting things done. Having to keep track of my day job, my articles for Mobile Nations, and all of the medications, doctors' appointments, and aids for my Mother is not an easy task especially when they all happen at the same time. I do carry around an Android and Windows Phone for work but my BlackBerry was the ultimate winner in ease of use, storing calendar entries and reminders, and just about everything else that needed to be done from paying the bills to alerting me that medications were running low.

Focusing on the blog, speaking with developers, and participating in the forums steers my mind towards the future rather than thinking about what could have been.

The one memory that sticks out for me was when Best Buy placed those awful twist ties across the Z10 screen essentially crippling gestures. While my Mother had since moved on to a Samsung Galaxy Note, that didn't stop her from supporting both myself and the platform. She alerted the manager to the issue and directed customers my way for a live demo on my working Z10. She didn't have to do that, but I admired how outspoken she was for things she felt were unfair.

Her presence and support is something I will always miss. Without it I would not be where I am today. I probably would not have had the courage to respond to Kevin's post about CrackBerry Idol as it was she who stated, "What have you go to lose by trying." As a matter of fact, I applied on the very last day using my computer's video camera to record the small clip. I for one am never good with closing statements but I will say this. BlackBerry and CrackBerry have been my rock. No matter how much chaos filled the last few months, they kept me grounded and level-headed. Focusing on the blog, speaking with developers, and participating in the forums steers my mind towards the future rather than thinking about what could have been.

For those who comment about the lack of passion and how some of us use other platforms, know this. I'm a tech girl at heart who will always want to try the latest and greatest gadgets and keep up with new technologies to see how they tick. However, my BlackBerry is one device that will never leave my side.

Topics: Editorial

Reader comments

Looking Back Part Two: Passion still remains


I don't really see why you need to carry multiple devices including an android or windows phone. I have used them all and I use 5 emails regularly, and my Q10 can handle anything and everything masterfully.

But I agree not many criticize you specifically Alicia, your articles always seem to have a lot of passion and support for the Blackberries and security we all love. Beautiful story.

Posted by Antoniius via my sexy Gold and White Q10.

Thank you. To answer your question, I have always made it a personal choice not to activate my private phone on my work network. I did not want to run the risk of losing all of my data as I was required to sign a waiver allowing them the ability to wipe my device remotely, so I picked up an Android. As for the Windows phone they were testing them and since the IT department knew of my predilection for tech and smartphones, asked me to test the device for them. Hence the reason why I have so many OS's on hand.

Very cool I can understand that. I'm a techy at heart too ;)

I have a soft spot for windows phone too, but in a world of no privacy and security blackberry is a diamond in the ruff :)

Posted by Antoniius via my sexy Gold and White Q10.

Sincerest condolences on the passing of your mom. I'm sure she would be proud that you are carrying still supporting the best platform out there.

Posted via CB10

I wish you all the best and I completely understand what you are going through.

I lost my kid brother Jimmy in December 2012 from a bad heart. He was the type that would give you the shirt off his back and I think about him very day of my life.

Send from my lovely z30 on T Mobile USA

Your reflection on your loss is a wonderful reminder that while the gadgets and other nerdy things we all obsess over are what bring us together it is the community and common interests we share that make any hobby or interest rewarding.

I'll paraphrase both Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain. Talking separately about the obsession with food culture they've both expressed the idea that the type of food we sit down and eat and share on social media isn't important. The details and sometimes how good it is even isn't important. It is the relationship you share with the person sitting across from you and enjoying the meal, the journey, with you.

It isn't the thing you like - it is the relationship you have with others enjoying the thing with you. Thank you for sharing your story.

The spirit of BlackBerry never dies! Respect was given to all fans, especially to the editor!

Posted via CB10

I'm actually planning on getting my mom her very first smartphone. A BlackBerry Z10 for her birthday. Your story was very touching and reminds us that every moment in life is precious.

Thank you

Posted via CB10

Great article!! My sincere condolences for your mother.

I am also passionate about technology and I have several devices, but my Q10 is by far my favorite.

Thanks. Is not easy to talk about the lost of a loved one.
We loves our BlackBerry but what make it very special is how we use it to share something special with our family and friends.
I lost my Mom last year, and today is not easy to talk about that. But thanks God for the special moments we shared with our loved ones.

God Bless You!

Thanks for sharing with us, and thanks for taking the chance to be the idol, always enjoy your articles. Most importantly sorry for your loss.

Great read. Very personal sense of the real reason we are all Crackberry addicts as well as blackberry. #communityloveandsupport

Posted via CB10

That is one awesome piece of writing. My condolences, I cannot imagine what I would do or how I would react if I lost my mother.

Keep up the good work and keep your head up high! Sounds like your mother was a fighter, and you're doing her proud by standing firm.

Posted via CB10

4 years now since the passing of my father and I think about him everyday!

Thank you for sharing your personal experience and my condolences for your loss.

Posted via CB10

True life, love, sadness, a story that shakes every one of us. Unity and support are great human values, and technology was used by a great girl to share and express the sorrow and the best.
All my best wishes along with my consideration.
Best regards,
Razvan from Paris, France

Posted via CB10

Hugs!!! Know your mom is always with you! I miss my mommy too! She has been gone since 05'.

Posted from my big beautiful BlackBerry Z30!!! I love this phone!!

I commend you on your bravery, thanks for opening up Alicia. CB is really a community like no other.

My sincerest condolences, Alicia. Thank you for that personal, touching and well-written article. I have wondered where you have been and missed you. Hopefully in the future we will hear from you more frequently.
I agree with your view of the CrackBerry Nation. Caring and generosity are core values of true members.

Posted via CB from "Z" best

Great story Alicia. Even more so because it is similar to mine. I lost my mom tragically after a diagnosis of cancer and within a month she was gone. Couple months later I found CrackBerry and I can not tell you how much it has helped me..making new friends and having a focus that was much needed. And everything about being in communication with family and friends around the globe is why I love BlackBerry..thanks for sharing.

Sent from my sexy white Z30

Great article Alicia :-)

BlackBerry owner since 2004. Currently rocking white Z10; Black Q10 & 64gb PlayBook

We live in a world where people love objects and hate people. How difficult is to understand that technology is supposed to make human connection better, bring them closer and together.

Posted via CB10 on my Z30

Thanks for sharing, Alicia. I'm sorry to hear of the recent passing of your mother.

Posted via CB10

When I read articles like this it makes me loves this site even more what a lovely touch and what a beautiful picture.

Posted via CB10

I enjoyed the article but I was more impressed with your ability to share a very personal moment with everyone. I have not yet felt that loss but my wife has with the loss of her mother when she was only 8 years old.
Be thankful of the time you had...I wish you all the best

Posted via CB10

I too, like to fool around with the latest devices and all, but I always will remain with blackberry.

Posted via CrackBerry 10 (CB10) application using my BlackBerry Q10.

As you know I and the rest of OSBB have been here for you and will continue to be. We appreciate having such a a great, caring person as yourself in our lives; as much you you appreciate us in yours.
We did what we did as a friend, and know you would do the same for us.
We have shared each other struggles with each other, and I am sure we will continue.
Stay strong and keep your head up. Remember I'm only a BBM away.


BB10 App developer, Cystic Fibrosis Advocate. What OS I'm on is my business, so get off my nuts.

Great story Alicia. Thanks so much for a wonderful read and sharing with the community here.

Posted via CB10

Stay strong and good luck in these difficult moments. Sooner or later we all have to face our own mortality and that of those we love.

My condolences and may your mother rest in peace!

All the best to you!

Cartman says: Screw you guys I'm going home!

Wonderful well-written piece. I too agree that it is terrific to have a body of folks who can lift you when family members pass. The human spirit always amazes me. BlackBerry is and will always be an amazing communication device. Praying for comfort and peace as you grieve.

STA-100-3 v

Thank you for this. Beautiful to read about your special relationship with your mom. And what BlackBerry and the community means to you. Lets hope our beloved brand will persevere and remain an integral part of our lives.

Sent from my Q10 or Z10.

Your mom sounds like she was really special Alicia! You seem to take right after her! Thank you for sharing - Blessings and BlackBerry force be with you!

Posted via CB10

Lovely post, Alicia. Condolences again on your loss. I lost both parents way too young also. But I carry them inside now - I am who I am because of them, and that will never change. And now you have an extended family here at CB. :-)

Posted with my Q10, SQN100-2, Radio

Beautiful article Alicia. I'm glad you are part of the team. Not just the BlackBerry team, but a part of our global community.

Will eventually be posted via CB10 on my Z70

Way to go Alicia, great story. Thanks for sharing, it's a lot of personal information and that makes it passionate. You've gone through the most difficult situation possible and managed to move on and make the best of it.

Posted via CB10 on my Z10

Thankyou for the article. It is a reminder that to experience and come through hard times is to be human.

Also, it reminds me that when a brand is created, it can take on a life and form communities around itself.

We are all here because we enjoy, or are curious about, our version of the BlackBerry experience. I hope BlackBerry keeps this in mind, particularly as it focuses on the enterprise market. The things you say about BlackBerry helping manage your life (without adverts or intrusion), keeping contact with those around you, and reaching out to your communities are a big part of the BlackBerry consumer experience for me. That, and distinctive design.

Wishing everyone on this forum the very best. Tom

Posted via CB10

Than you for sharing Alicia.

You have just reminded me of how great full I should be to the creator that I have my parents still around.

We all on borrowed time. I'm glad that there were members of this community that were there for you during this difficult time.

May the Almighty continuously give you the strength to bear the loss.

Posted from my awesome HUB enabled  Z10

Thanks for sharing your story. It brought tears to my eyes. Not for sorrow but that you were able to feel the good from everyone around you and not just those that were physically near you.

If you don't mind my asking, what did you use to track medications and their schedule? I need to find a solution to help with my dad and kind of gave up looking through the Android apps available to my Z10.

Thanks again.

Posted via CB10

I'm so sorry for your loss Alicia, I can't even imagine how difficult your last 6 months have been.

Thank you for sharing your story and containing to do all that you do! It was so great meeting you last year at BB Live and the Mobile Nations NYC meetup.

Tech girls FTW!

- Christina Warren

Alicia sorry for ur loss sweetheart. God bless you n ur fly. I stand by n vouch for everyword of urs n it's truly taken. BlackBerry are legacy devices and now with the os10 it's totally a different ball game.

Posted via CB10

Thanks for sharing, and I'm sorry for the untimely loss of both of your parents! You clearly put a lot of love into caring for your Mom!

I value your writing and your optimism and always finding the positive in your app reviews, which are fair and quite helpful to us "app shoppers".

Posted via CB10