Nick had this wonderful little bounce to his walk. Gina mentioned this recently and it made me smile. When Leo was little and started walking (he was in no rush, which if you know Leo, is no surprise), Ernie and I looked at each other in shock, and said, "OMG, he's got the Nick Rudd bounce!" He only does it when he's really happy but put him near a steam engine or his kind of music and that Nick Rudd bounce comes out. It always makes me happy.

Despite Nick being beautiful and charismatic (although he didn't realize it and I think it puzzled him) I never had a crush on Nick. We never flirted (and don't forget I was damned cute when I first knew him–although I didn't realize it then). We were just truly good friends. Nick was really good at being friends with women. One more thing I loved about him.

Mental illness is unbelievably cruel. We all have it to varying degrees, whether it's a faint cloud of depression or something much, much stronger that leads to suicide. It's so hard with these strange times exacerbating it for all of us. Some of us get luckier breaks than others. We need to be kind and to remember that outside behavior and words don't really tell us much.

Be kind, people. Let's work really hard to be kind and thoughtful.

I will love you always, Nick Rudd.

Gina sent me this picture from their going away party a few years back. 

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