I heart Fudd

Stratched into the metal railing of a bridge are the words, "I "heart" Fudd." I was 13 years old, and for that week I did indeed love Fudd. Twenty-three years later I am waking up on an icy morning knowing I still love him, as do many, many others.

Today at 11AM I will attending the funeral of my classmate (whose nickname I never learned the origin - probably will today), aged 36, husband and father. He died last weekend of a heart attack. I learned the news on the modern day grapevine, Facebook. I couldn't believe what I was reading. A friend's status said she was saddened by a classmate's sudden passing. I did some investigating by browsing other profiles. Each hour another classmate's status was changed to reflect their shock as the word spread. The Class of 1990, along with hundreds of others in this community, was dumbfounded and grieving. Within hours there was a memorial page put up for him. At my last look 168 members had joined with almost all writing messages to their lost friend (or to his wife and daughter). His own profile page has countless other notes of love, written, no doubt, with the hope Fudd can still log on from wherever he is. His guest book linked to his online newspaper obituary is also over flowing with words of thanks and love for this man.

Fudd lived on the same bus route as me during school and I can remember the giggly wiggles I would get in my stomach when he "let" me sit next to him. He was always funny and sweet. I can picture his smile in my mind right now. Everyone knew Fudd. He somehow escaped the harsh catagorizing of high school - he was liked by all cliques. He played the drums and sang in the choir. He hunted. He loved sports. I think he may have played basketball - from the bench mostly, if I remember right - but he had the guts to play because he loved the game.

When I returned to England for a while before I began high school, he became my penpal. I carried his wallet-sized 8th grade photo with me over the ocean where my best friend promptly fell in love with him too. They wrote to each other for a while, he even called once (I wonder how much trouble he got in for that?!)

My over-riding memory of time spent with Fudd was the time I and three boys (most of my memories seem to include me hanging out with a bunch of guys) got into the college performing arts center one Saturday. There was no one around and that empty stage beckoned me. I don't know what Fudd and Brent were doing, but Jason, my gay friend who dreamed of dancing to "Gloria" in New York one day (I hope he got there... we lost touch), and I, who dreamed of singing on that stage (I did four years later), were pirouetting and prancing around having a grand time. Half an hour later all four of us (or was it three? I think one of us may have escaped) were standing shaking (well, I was) in the hallway under the glare of a green uniformed security officer. He wrote down our names and told us never to enter the theater again. The next time I went to a performance with my parents I was convinced I would be arrested.

After high school Fudd became a paramedic. He stayed in the area and helped save lives. He may even have been one of the responders to my sister's accident when her car slid down an embankment and almost onto (and into?) the frozen lake. He apparently, according to Facebook, touched so many lives.

I did not see Fudd (or even give him more than a random thought) for twenty years. When I came home to visit my parents his name would sometimes be included in the "hometown update" (a.k.a. gossip) - I knew he had gotten married, I think I knew he had a child. Until we discovered each other on Facebook (along with classmates I had long forgotten), he was basically just a memory. And now he is again.

36. Thirty-six. Heart attack. Heart. Attack.

My current Facebook status reads: Joanna wants to remind everyone to tell those they love why they do *now* because there may not be facebook in heaven.

I have always thought it so sad that people only hear now people felt about them after they're dead. With the epidemic of low self-esteem we need to spread the love NOW.

My heart goes out to Fudd's wife and daughter and I will be loving my family and friends a little bit harder today. Will you?

Stumble Upon Toolbar


withani said...

geez - that was a sad one ;-( sorry to hear about the loss of Fudd. sounds like he was a great guy and my heart goes out to his family and friends. a friend of mine's husband, i think he was about 33 at the time, also recently suffered a heart attack. fortunately, he survived and is healthy now! but when it happened, he was complaining of heart pains and such and she was like, 'oh you're fine - you're just having gas or something!' fortunately, he was a little more intuitive and drove himself to the hospital!!! this guy is a lacrosse coach, athlete, etc. so - here's another lesson - don't diminish the warning signs! and yes, let's tell the people we love that we love them! LOVE YOU! ;-)

Tara said...

Wow sorry to hear about your friend -- I have no idea how that link thing happened. Sorry about that...

Tara said...

No, I did see the link when you pointed it out, but I have no idea how it got there! My only two theories are, glitch in the matrix, or my 3.5 year old who was randomly banging at keys earlier. I don't know as it would be that easy for her to do though ---

Can other people create links or just the authors of the two posts linked together? Oh well, it is gone now, sorry about that.