Saturday, January 22, 2011

Golden

I’ve been missing. I’m sorry. Thank you so much for all the sweet emails and comments checking on me and worrying about me.

I had already lost a little bit of steam in blogging , though that’s not totally unusual. Motivation comes and goes for me (and inspiration too).

Then, the first week in December, my 22 year old cousin was killed in a car accident. And it felt like, there was nothing else important to say. I couldn’t bring myself to write about Christmas dresses or meeting Santa or anything else, when all that seemed important was him. But I also felt like Joey’s story wasn’t mine to tell. His death hurts my heart in ways I never knew possible, but I also know in only a fraction of the ways it hurts for his parents and sister and nephew. Jack is mine and PJ’s, he will always be ours, and his story is mine. I didn’t feel right trying to tell Joe’s. But I can’t write anything else here until I acknowledge him, so I will do my best to just tell my story of Joe. I would never assume to understand what his parents are feeling. I can only tell you what Joey meant to me.

I was 19 when Joey was born. He was the first baby in our family in a long time, and he was instantly adored by everyone. Visiting him in the hospital, he was the biggest baby in the nursery, well over 10lbs, and swaddled up tight, looking like a six month old next to all these teeny tiny newborns. He was chubby and cute and had something special about him already, drawing the attention of every visitor looking in the nursery window.

I spent my 20s watching Joey grow up. He was the funniest, happiest, smartest, sweetest kid I ever met. Those were not the best years of my life for various reasons, but he was a ray of sunshine to me. I loved him. I always had his picture on my desk at work, always jumped at any chance to babysit or even spend time with him. I loved to take him to the movies and spoil him with too much candy, take him out to dinner and teach him things like how to hang a spoon from your nose, or to tie your napkin into a funny hat. When my coworkers brought their kids to the office Christmas party, I brought Joey (who at one party when he was around 4 or 5 refused to sit on Santa’s lap, not because he was scared of Santa but because he "didn’t like the looks of that elf…." - a tax accountant dressed as an elf is scary, and I didn’t blame him.) I tagged along on his family’s vacation to Disney World. I took him to a Spice Girls Concert and we were in heaven, having a shared love of the band (I bought him a Baby Spice Doll he carried around for a long time in a briefcase…. I don’t think his dad was too thrilled with that). I took him a few years later to see N Sync, but already he was becoming cooler than me, too hip for boy bands, just going along to appease me.

As I got into my 30s and my life got less angsty, and Joey grew up into an incredibly adorable teenage boy, I saw less of him but loved him just the same.

He was, without a doubt, the handsomest person I ever knew in real life. His eyes were the bluest blue, bluer than any sky or ocean. He was still the boy you were drawn to, just like back in the hospital nursery all those years ago. It would be easy to say it was because of his looks, but it was more than that. There was something special inside of him that shone through, through the blue eyes and big smile. He had a wicked sense of humor but a kind soul. He loved his family, and he loved his friends like family. Every person who knew him seemed to think Joey was one of their best friends, because he made you feel that way – and there were literally hundreds of people who called him friend.

Every day, I mean every time I ever saw him, he had on the pale blue bracelet from the Jack Fund. Every single picture I’ve seen of him from the last three years, whether it was dressed up to go out or in a crazy Halloween costume (or crazy outfit period, his whole life he had a fashion sense all his own) or in a Jets jersey at a football game, he had on that blue Jack bracelet. I never talked about Jack with him, though now I wish I had. I know they’re together now. PJ said Jack has the best bodyguard (and friend) in the world now. It’s not much comfort honestly, but it’s something. At this point I think we’ll all take what we can get, anything that makes you feel a little bit better. Because there just is no sense in his not being here anymore.

I keep thinking of the Robert Frost poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay”. That’s how it feels to me. Joey was golden. Jack was too. The brightest stars burn out the fastest, and I never knew a brighter star.

Nothing Gold Can Stay
by Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay

joeybaby
One of the pictures that hung on my desk for years….. you can see the marks on top from the push pins.

Joeywedding
It’s not a napkin on his head, but it’s close. It’s his bowtie.

joe&la001
Joey and Charlotte last Christmas. I hugely regret not taking more pictures of him with my girls.

joe
Joey and his nephew.

joey4
and the blue bracelet.

I love you Joey. Take good care of Jack for me.

67 comments:

Sarah said...

Thinking of you and your family, Megan. This post was beautiful just like Joey.

courtney said...

i don't know if i've ever commented on your blog, though i've read it for a long time.....

i'm so sorry for your family's loss. joey seemed like an amazing young man and this post was a great tribute to your memory of him.

Murphy said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I have a cousin with the same age distance and we have the same sort of relationship.

I'm glad your family can find peace in that Joey and Jack are together in a better place.

Ami said...

Boy, you never have the right words for moments like these. You told your story of Joey quite well. It is clear what a loss you are feeling and what a wonderful person he was. I'm glad Jack's got his bodyguard. :) And for you, I wish that in time, your heart will heal.

Paige said...

I am so sorry your family is going through this dark time. Life is a mystery. I'm sure there is some comfort that he is with your sweet Jack.

momma mara said...

Was worried for you and the girls during your absence. Glad they're ok; sorry your heart is filled with pain again..

Busted said...

I'm so sorry for your family's tragic loss. Joey sounded like an amazing person. Hoping he and Jack are together, even if it's little consolation.

Lauren said...

What a beautiful tribute, Megan. It sounds like Joey was just a wonderful man. My heart breaks for your family. Thank you for sharing him with us.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for you loss. He sounds like an incredible person and I know he's taking very good care of your little boy in heaven.

Amy said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Kristin (kekis) said...

What a terrible loss for your family. Joey sounds like an amazing guy and a blessings to those who knew and loved him. Prayers for peace and comfort for you all.

Star said...

I slightly understand. I thought I understood grief. I thought I knew what it felt like for me. However, my father recently passed away and he was 51. So I was thrown back in the early parts of grief all over again. It is different this time. And I forgot what fresh grief feels like.

Bobbi Piper said...

You've been through more than so many people. My prayers are with you and your family. I enjoy reading about your precious girls.

SaraBelle said...

I am so very sorry for you & your family's loss. Once again your writing has moved me. I will keep you all in my thoughts.

Theresa said...

I don't know if I've commented before or not. I am so sorry for your loss.

Joey sounds like an amazing person, and one that cared about his family more then most young men.

I know its not much, but you have 2 guardian angels looking down. That can never be taken away from you. I'm a believer that people reunite, and I bet Joey and Jack are having a good time, and will always be looking out for you.

So sorry for your loss.

Wendy said...

<3

Anonymous said...

So, so very sorry. I thank you so much for checking in even though you had absolutely no obligation to do so. Praying for you and all who loved Joey.

Alisha said...

I am so, incredibly sorry for your loss. I am in tears over this.

He seemed to be an AMAZING guy, and it's not fair that he was taken so early, as with Jack.

I am sure he is holding little Jack in his arms now.

Jenn said...

I am so sorry...I have 2 nephews that I feels the same way about. I am so sorry for your loss.

Judy Mastracchio said...

Megan, after reading this I feel like I knew Joey. What is even more compelling is the love you had for him, always constant. This wa an amazing tribute to someone who obviously truly deserved it. Your family has been in my thoughts and prayers since I first heard of this terrible tragedy.

tylersmama said...

Hi Megan, I rarely comment on your blog but I am always reading and I am just so sorry about your cousin. Your post about him was so beautiful and I know it's small consolation, but I do believe that he and Jack are together now and watching over your family. Take care mama.

Anonymous said...

Oh! I am so sorry for your loss! Your post was beautiful!

Therese

Joyce said...

I am so sorry for your families loss, and big hugs to you.

Jenn said...

My prayers are with you and your family Megan. This is such a beautifully written post.

Jenn from CT

Kerry Lynn said...

Oh the tears. I'm so very sorry for this horribly unfair event.

Rebecca Nixie said...

Megan, I've missed you!!! I'm so sorry about your loss of an incredible cousin. He and Jack are no doubt having a great time together. Thank you for sharing Joey with us.

Rachael said...

I am so sorry for your family's loss. Joey sounds like he was an amazing young man that was taken way too soon. I'm sure he is keeping Jack company now. (((hugs)))

Tracie said...

I'm so sorry for your family's loss. He seems like a wonderful young man.

Jo-el said...

I am not sure if I ever commented on your blog, but have been reading for a long time. I am sorry for your families loss.

The Mommy said...

You have my deepest sympathy.

Anonymous said...

I am just so, so sorry. He seemed like an amazing young man.

My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with you and your family at this time. So sorry.

Anonymous said...

Hi - I had to come back and comment again because I wanted to let you know that I just found out something.

I didn't know, but apparently on Monday (24th) it was National Awareness for Moebius Syndrome Day. I just felt compelled to let you know this. Again, my thoughts are with you.

Erika said...

I'm so sorry for your loss....now you have two guardian angels looking after you.

BuckeyeBundle said...

Oh wow. I'm just so incredibly sorry for the loss of such a wonderful person. I can't make any sense of it. You and your family are always in my thoughts and prayers.

Cari (CNJ110505) said...

Oh Megan, I remember seeing Joey's story on the news and saying a prayer and then I read on the nest it was a family member of yours - my heart broke for you. Your post about Joey was just beautifully written. And that last picture of him - wow! Heaven now has one incredibly good looking saint with them - especially watching over little Jack. Big hugs to you.

Franco said...

I was worried about you....I hope you get peace Megan...and the way you told Joey's story is just as wonderful as how you write about Jack.

behind the fourth door said...

This breaks my heart. My thoughts go out to the family for this horrible loss.

Molly said...

What a wonderful tribute to someone whose life ended far, far too early. My deepest conodolences to the entire family on this tragic loss. I nearly became a widow due to an automobile accident a little over a year ago, and Joey's story is a reminder of how fortunate my husband is to be alive today.
You are right about his looks. I hope that you and his entire grieving family find some comfort looking at that gorgeous face.

lvhonestly said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I also have a cousin named Joey, who was my baby for my babies. I can only imagine what you're feeling. He was a very handsome, and seemingly happy young man. Your family is in my thoughts.

Rosa (Dinkey) said...

Megan..what can I say? I am so sorry for your loss and I am in tears. He was a very handsome young man and sounds like he had a heart of gold. I can tell how much you loved him.
I have been checking your blog and have wondered if you were still blogging...again I am so sorry for your loss.

Dina said...

We have all been worried about you. I'm so sorry is not enough. Words are not enough.
I wish you strength and peace.

Teresa said...

So terribly sad to read of your loss. While reading about Joey I kept thinking of young men & women I've known who had that kind of impact on my life and whom I love dearly. You and your family have been in my prayers, and even more so now.

Anonymous said...

I was so excited to see that you had a new post and was so quickly saddened to see that your post was about the tremendous loss of your nephew. Sounds like you had an amazing bond with him. I am so sorry for your loss..I hope Joey and Jack are tossing around a football and watching you and the girls closely everyday...

Cristy-CT Nestie

AshleyPiercePhotography said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I apologize that this is much later than your post about Joey. I was connected to your blog through my best friend Jackie. I felt as though I was reading my own life with my two "little" cousins, even though we are 15 and 18 years apart, this was my life with the both of them growing up. Your family is in my prayers and thoughts as you continue to deal with his loss.

Jen said...

I am so very sorry for the loss of sweet Joey. I lost my 18 year old cousin Evan this past September, and no words can express that feeling of not understanding why, and that desperate ache. Please accept my condolences and prayers. Our loss is Heaven's gain.

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Lisa said...

Hi Megan,
You don't know me but I've been a reader of your blog for years...back from when you were pregnant. I just wanted to say that you're missed in the blogosphere. I totally understand not wanting to blog, but I didn't want you to think that people didn't care. I care. I hope you and the girls (and DH) are doing well and healing after your second great loss.
Lisa

Stephanie said...

I'm not sure if I have ever commented before or not, but I just wanted to say that I miss reading the update and watching your beautiful girls grow up. I hope all is well!

Lorraine said...

Hi Megan,

I am so sorry for your loss. I read your blog all the time.I still check each day to see if you posted something new. I hope everything is okay.I am thinking of you and your family!!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know that you ARE missed! Praying your heart is healing and that those two sweeties are growing well!

Alana said...

I've been thinking of you and your family...

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lvhonestly said...

I check your page every so often, "just in case"...I wish you well. We've never met, but you helped me soo much through my multiple pregnancy. I hope you and your family are doing well!

Anonymous said...

Thinking about you Megan. Hope you and your family are doing well.

Mrs. Wonderful said...

Just wanted to let you know that I think about your family often. I don't know you outside the blog-o-sphere but I have followed your blog since before your kids were born. I had a singleton pregnancy but ended up giving birth at 29-weeks and re-read your blog often during our 10 weeks in the NICU. I hope your family is doing well and you're able to heal a little from this most recent loss.
Prayers for your family.

Anonymous said...

Can't bring myself to come to terms with the fact that your blogging days seem to be over lol! I often wonder how big those two beauties are getting, wonder how your heart is healing, and pray for you! Hope all is well!

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking about you and your girls and Jack. I hope you and the girls are well. I am still holding out hope that someday there will be an update from you.

Anonymous said...

You are missed! An update would be great :)

Anonymous said...

I've never met you but for years have enjoyed your blog. I just wanted to let you know that I was thinking of your family. Hope your girls are getting excited for Christmas. I'm sure Jack is looking down on you guys with a smile. Hope one day you return to the blogging world because you have touched many. Have a Merry Christmas.

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Lisa B said...

Have been thinking of your family, checking in to see if you have been able to post, hoping the girls are doing well. Praying for peace for you.

Anonymous said...

I used to follow your blog and enjoyed seeing your girls grow up. It's been a year since you posted now. I hope all is well.

Anonymous said...

sorry to see you have given up blogging. i hope the girls are doing well. i think of them and Jack often.

Dan said...

Hello!
Very b........ post!
I'm so sorry for your loss!

kole said...

Great post, thanks so much!

Emily Locke said...

I came across your blog when I was up in the middle of the night with heartburn while pregnant with my second baby boy. I think I was aimlessly googling about vacation, and leaving babies with family while you are on vacation and I came across your post: "crazy love." I liked your style and read a few more entries here and there before I ever found out about Jack. Your story struck me like a punch in the gut. Your sweet baby Jack touched my heart, and I want you to know I think about him often. Your loss reminds me how blessed I am holding my little 7 month old guy right now. The miracle he is. The miracle my almost 2 year old is.

I have read all of your post now. You have inspired me as a mom. Your love for motherhood mixed with honest writing about the trying times shows me I am not alone! I was touched by your true enjoyment of your sweet girls juxtaposed with the pain and grief over your loss of Jack. I cried and laughed. My heart aches over the picture you did not get of your babies together. I hate those stupid stupid moments of regret. One simple choice that you can not go back and change. My husband would come across me reading your blog and ask me why I read it if it makes me so sad. the truth is, it is beautiful; it is life; it is love and family. When people write about only good times, it is meaningless.

Not long after reading your blog, I learned an old friend of mine had stillborn child. I can tell you, I think part of the reason God led me to your blog, is you gave me the words to talk to her about her loss. I thank you for that. I wanted you to know how much your writing means to me. I wanted to offer you my condolences for you loss of Jack and of Joey. I pray for you and your family. I also hope you pick up your blog again someday. I check back from time to time. Until then, THANK YOU for sharing your life, your family, your great love and your great pain with with the world and with me.

Emily Locke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.