I've known Jeff since I was about five, and my mom loves telling people how I always used to call him "my first boyfriend" when I was little. I went to school w/him as a little kid, played "Beep Ball" w/him as I was growing up; and was always amazed at fucking funny he could be, and how truly frigging SMART the man was. As the years went by (and I tried harder and harder to be "cool") though, I didn't keep in very good contact with him. And I should have. He came to a few of my birthday parties over the years, but I never really talked to him beyond those events we were together much, & my mom kept in touch w/him every six months or so-. which si more than I ever did. Well this morning I got the word that Jeff had suddenly passed away, and after a time of total shock, it's been like a bomb hit me. Fortunately my mom & I were able to go to his funeral. & that funeral home was PACKED with about three to four hundred people. Apparently Jeff was extremely spiritual, sang for his friends to make them happy, & served as a chairman on committees for disabled rights and advocacy. And all of this was news to me. I found out about many parts of his life I didn't know before, and I saw what an impact he made on others' lives, and just wanted to leet him know, here, in some way- if he can see this now- how much he touched mine. Jeff Watkins had a lot of physical problems, but he was one of the smartest people I'll ever know, and one of the bravest and strongest as well. He did a lot of amazing things, and I'm sorry I didn't know him better. I'm so grateful to have known him in the ways I did. He's blessed my life in more ways than I could possibly express.
Jeff, I'll miss you, and hope that wherever you are, you're happy, whole, and free.