PUNGO — A day after the tragic loss of 4-year-old Hudson R. Foschi in an accident, people expressed their remorse on social media, including in the Pungo Group on Facebook.
Beverley Williams posted an idea to that page. She lives in Creeds, near the rescue station. Every time she hears them leave the station, she says a little prayer.
So she proposed something for the family.
“It would be an amazing site for them to see blue ribbons tied to all of our mailboxes if they are driving through in the coming days,” she wrote to the Pungo Group on Wednesday, Jan. 9.
“A visible sign that we all are here thinking about them,” she added. “I think baby blue would be the perfect color.”
Light blue for a little boy.
And ribbons went up in the days that followed.
“You want to give them their privacy and space, but you want to let them know they’re not alone,” Williams said during a telephone interview. “Driving through town and seeing those ribbons – hopefully, it warms their hearts while they’re going through this time.”
Ribbons, bows and wreaths went up in Back Bay, Blackwater, Creeds, Munden, Pungo and beyond. Light blue decorated mailboxes and poles in Knotts Island, N.C. The North Carolina community is connected to the rural reaches of Virginia Beach.
People made bows and passed them out at a salon in “downtown” Pungo and during a youth sports event in Creeds. People tied ribbons to their cars. They changed social media profile images to pictures of light blue bows. There, some made recommendations about where to find light blue ribbon locally or online.
Some even worried in social media posts whether the blue ribbon they had was the right shade, as though anyone might see an imperfection in this.
Many ribbons were tied into bows and fixed to mailboxes up and down Princess Anne Road, along every country street you could name that touches the road.
They were tied at farmstands, and one farm sign carried a message of love for the child.
They were tied around the columns at the entrance to Blackwater Baptist Church.
Around a utility pole near Little Piney Grove Baptist Church in Creeds.
And around each of the mailboxes across the road from Pungo Square Shopping Center, where, one day this past month, Kellye Gentry wore a light blue ribbon pinned to her chest. She is a family friend of the Foschis.
She said how much it all meant.
She said the child was adored by the community at Charity United Methodist Church. Hudson loved Thor, a superhero version of the Norse god of thunder. Often, he wore a Thor costume.
Among the many remembrances during the funeral service at Charity for Hudson was a moment in which his uncle urged people to send Hudson some thunder.
“Hudson,” people yelled on the count of three.
They did it four times.
Speaking by phone, another family friend, Debra Esterces, said the show of support was meaningful for the family. Everybody wants to do something, she said, and she recommended giving to a fund in the family’s name because it will help children.
“The community has been amazing,” said Esterces, who lives with the family in Pungo.
One day she and Hudson’s mom went for a drive. Esterces saw ribbons on the mail boxes. She thought it might be something for Kellam High School.
“Who tied a blue ribbon on our mailbox?” she wondered.
Later, they learned what it meant.
“Those were all for him,” she said.
Esterces said the Foschi family is moved by the community’s love and support.
“Blue was his favorite color,” she added.
A Hudson Strong Foundation Charity Preschool Fundraiser in support of building a playground in Hudson’s honor at Charity United Methodist Church is scheduled from noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 10, at Blue Petes, 1400 North Muddy Creek Road. Learn more about the event at this link.
© 2019 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC