I remember chasing him around the room in kindergarten, and going through all the middle school romance with him, and all of the good times we shared as friends in high school. He was everyone's friend, the guy you tend to take for granted, thinking he'll always be there, until one day...he's gone.
My friend Jason was the kind of guy that everyone knew and loved. He always had a smile or hug for you, and some words of advice, or maybe just a joke. We had been friends since kindergarten. I think he was my first love, well as love in elementary school goes. I remember crying my eyes out when he said he wouldn't 'go with me' or if we were going together and we broke up. Who knew that only 13 years later I'd be crying my eyes out at his funeral.
All through middle school and high school, Jason was a "ladies' man." He always had a girlfriend, usually a new one every week. But even when his relationships got more serious in high school, he still always had time for a friend. His smile and loving hug could warm your heart every time. He was such a flirt, too. But it was that good kind of flirting, the kind that just makes you feel good.
When we got to be of driving age, Jason's true passion came through. He loved big, fancy trucks, the bigger and fancier, the better. He earned his nickname of "fearless" partly because of the way he drove these trucks, and because he had no fear in doing anything. Eventually, when he got his pride and joy, a Ford Ranger Splash truck in electric blue, he bought customized tags that said "Fearless," as if everyone didn't know the truck was his.
Fearless was also the greatest drummer in the world. He was in the band (with me and all the other band geeks) and in the showchoir. Music was as important to him as his truck. Our music department was like a family, and he was the father.
I still remember the morning that he died. I got a call at 6. It was his best friend's girlfriend, telling me that Fearless had been in an accident. My first thought - what hospital is he in?? I was going out of town that afternoon and thought I could get ready quickly and stop by. That's when she told me he was dead. I felt like someone had taken out everything that was inside of me. It was only 3 weeks after graduation. He was only 18. This wasn't supposed to happen, not to him, not yet. He died in his favorite place to be, in his truck.
All through the funeral I looked around at all the people that I had graduated with, and couldn't believe this was real We went to a really small school, and Jason knew everyone in the county, so the funeral was in the high school gym. We had been in that same gym only 3 weeks ago, in graduation caps and gowns, and now we were burying a classmate. I just kept thinking, this isn't fair, but as the band and showchoir stood together at the service singing "Friends," I suddenly realized that Jason is never far from any of us. I still talk to him and visit him, and I feel that he gives me peace.
Fearless, I miss you and I love you. I hope you are resting in an angel's arms right now.
You can send email to Andrea at: [email protected]
date of post 11-07-96