Let me tell you about my friend, Jeffrey. →
[More:]I first met Jeffrey when I started hanging out at the railroad museum. Developmentally disabled, he was, on the surface, the worst embodiment of what railfans and railroaders call a 'foamer', an aspersion to someone who 'foams at the mouth' when exposed to a train. They couldn't have been more wrong.
Jeffrey rode to the museum every Sunday morning with his mother for our operating sessions. He'd willingly offer to help with any job with no complaints, just his usual lopsided grin. At first, he seemed unable to even tie his own shoes, but being treated like an adult, and being given tasks that closely matched his abilities helped his self-esteem and allowed him a measure of dignity and satisfaction in small jobs, well done.
As time progress, Jeffrey made friends among the staff, and was taken under many of our wings, helping him to learn more complicated jobs and operations. He eventually qualified as a conductor on the museum train, and I taught him some of the niceties of firing and maintaining a steam locomotive. We all learned that Jeffrey's word was gold- if he said something was done, it was, and was correct.
As time went on, Jeffrey and I moved apart- I back up to Chicago and eventually Indianapolis, and he to New York with his mother, who now required care for Alzheimer's. In New York, he got a job on the subway, and became his mother's sole support.
Jeffery was murdered this weekend in a senseless and violent attack.
I post this so that there might be a record of this gentle and kind man, who never had a harsh word for anyone, and that he might be known by a few more people.
It doesn't appear that there will be a funeral, so let this stand as a memorial.