My Memorial to Jared Johnson
I first met Jared, almost 28 years ago, when he was, 17, and the sys-op of “The Cat’s Meow” BBS. His handle was RedWolf. Despite our age differences, we did become great friends. He and my oldest son, Paul, were very close, more like brothers than just friends. Alan, my youngest son, called him Uncle Jared.
This friendship held true. When Paul went to CT for vacation, Jared was the one that picked him up at the bus station. And Jared was there again, when Paul moved back up to Connecticut. Jared was there for me when I left an abusive husband.
I moved to NY, and was doing ok, until an injury and job loss threw everything into a tail spin. Because I had no income, I had eviction proceedings, and the state of NY were circling to take Alan away because I would have no home, no food. I made a frantic phone call. Paul and Jared came to NY and picked Alan up and brought him to where his brother lived with Jared, in CT. Those social workers were pissed off because I told them Alan was with his brother. They demanded to know what his name was and where he was. I replied “Paul is an adult, 19 years old, and Alan’s legal guardian if in case of my not being able to care for him. I know if you got your hooks into him, it would be a cold chance in hell for me get to him back.” Yeah, they were pissed off.
After I got myself squared away, we kept in touch over Yahoo, ICQ and AIM all the time.. well, spare time.
Even when I moved to Australia, we retained that contact. Then AIM vanished, and ICQ for all intents and purposes cacked it, too. Skype came in handy, but the time difference made for interesting schedules for calls.
So, there was Facebook posts, Yahoo (until they shut down) and FB Messenger. He never once mentioned he was ill. Not once. I’m of two minds about that; one, that I wouldn’t have been able to do anything to help, and two, I would have moved heaven and earth to see him before left us. Paul said I’m better off remembering him the way he was, in the photo I have of him.
And with much tears, typing through ‘salty goggles’, is the synopsis of my friendship with Jared. I loved him dearly, as if he were one of my own. My original “Un-Son”. I will miss his kindness, his sensitivity, his sense of humor. The world is a less bright place without him here.
Be at peace.