We ended up as friends, though, through mutual blog friends. From years ago, when I first began blogging. And that's how I got to know the other facets of JFuzz.
He was a military veteran who now lived a "simple" life. He was a deep thinker, and wore no masks, no pretension. He was so truly genuine.
On the surface, we shared interests in writing, painting, and bicycle commuting. But our friendship was deeper than that. He was just one of those people who is easy to know, like I'd known him for years and years.
His health problems came upon him about a year and a half ago or so. Most of his time was spent at VA hospitals, but he was always so light-hearted about it. He'd talk about the other patients there. He'd pick some flowers and put them in a coffee can to make his room more cheerful. He'd joke about the elegant 5-course meals in his feeding tube.
When someone gave him a paint-by-numbers kit, he fully embraced acrylic painting. Despite his meager supplies, he began cranking out original paintings - still lifes of objects in his room, landscapes of the view out of his window, portraits of his friends, self-portraits.
Much of my own acrylic paintings of this past year were inspired by JFuzz's vigor. I would look forward to seeing his latest projects, and I was always interested in his honest opinions of mine.
I learned that JFuzz died a few days ago. Just as we were introduced through mutual friends, I learned the news through the same mutual friends.
I had to read the news for several minutes to make sure I wasn't misunderstanding something. Was it really JFuzz that was gone? I knew he was ill. I knew his time here was limited, but I was still surprised and saddened. And I was a bit surprised at how saddened I was.
I hope JFuzz knew how much his friendship meant to me. I'm happy that his pain is over now. I'm sad for me and the others that knew him.
I never met him in "real life". Well... maybe I did.
Rest In Peace.
|JFuzz in his bright orange safety bicycle commuting shirt|