Today would have been Joe’s 30th birthday, and the lost opportunity in that realization is what is driving me back to writing today. This year is bringing a lot of changes to my life, changes my brother will not be figured into because he is no longer here on this earth.
My family is growing again: we will welcome baby #4 in February. I wanted to hear Joey laugh at the news, but instead there is silence. In the next few months, my husband, children and I will be moving into a new house in a new town (where I already have many wonderful friends) along with my parents, while the house we last lived in with Joey is going to be sold to someone else, someone who won’t understand that this is the house Joey Jello grew up in.
Our lives are moving on without him, and while it is good, it also hurts.
But as I was going through old papers and junk to de-clutter our current home, I came across a paper I used to keep posted on my desk at college. It’s something my grandmother wrote in an email not long before she died.
My thought of the night:
God has not allowed us one thing a lot of us at my stage of life want more than anything. . . We cannot go back, even one day. Your life is like an unbound book, with page 1 on the bottom. Each day another page is placed on top of the page before. God has written the forward. I have to write on this page. I don’t know if I will get another page. This has to be a good page.
– Frances Young
When I read those words, I realized that nothing of Joey has been left behind. The spirit of these words from our grandma were firmly planted in his nature. That is how he attacked life, and every moment that I choose to keep moving forward, growing, writing the story of my life rather than letting the world write for me, I carry Joey Jello and Frances Young with me. They are still writing, but now I am holding the pen.