On Valentine's Day, we lost a friend
Our friend Bud Webster succumbed to cancer yesterday. He was a sweet, witty, warm-hearted big kid, whose passion was literary science fiction, along with gaming and music and many other supremely nerdish pursuits. He was a fixture at conventions in the mid-Atlantic for decades, usually running a table where you might find a slightly battered treasure of a paperback book from your distant past. He was our gaming buddy. He made the world brighter, and he left us far too soon.
For Erfworld readers, I think Bud might be best understood as being a lot like Parson Gotti. I wrote Erfworld because I've known a lot of people who didn't quite belong in this world, good souls who were strong in ways that are not always rewarded in Stupidworld. Part of my aim in creating Parson was to put one of these people into a reality where they could be themselves, and shine.
Sadly, I know that doesn't really happen. His mind traveled to uncountable other worlds, but Bud was never actually whisked away to one. He stayed right here with us, smiling and punning and writing stories and petting his cats (and everyone else's...every cat was Bud's friend) and holding on to his spark of wonder and mischief. I'm glad we had him in our reality.
So the thing is, if Bud's life exemplifies where Parson's might have gone if he hadn't been summoned to Erfworld, then the picture is less than rosy. Bud never made much money, and his lengthy treatment and hospice care has left behind a pile of bills roughly the size of a dormant volcano (and with a comparable threat level). His widow Mary is also our friend. She's a beautiful person who cared for him tirelessly, despite her own ongoing battle with cancer (she's in the background of that picture, which was taken as she was recovering from chemotherapy).
Erfworld readers, you have been astonishingly generous to us. I hate to ask more of you, but Mary does need a lot of help. If you can contribute even a little bit to offset Bud Webster's final and medical expenses, the good folks at MarsCon in Williamsburg, Virginia have set up a fund page. There are no goals and no time limit, but it will go directly to helping Mary get through this difficult time.
It's cold and snowing this morning in Richmond, and we're missing you, Bud. Thanks for all the grins (and groans) my friend.
Debts left behind when someone has passed, particularly medical debts, are settled under the affairs of the Estate. Once the estate is empty... that's all, folks. Depending on the circumstances, she may well not be liable for the medical bills left outstanding for him. Consult with a financial advisor before making any commitments.