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. Read the rest of this entry →
Michael Allen, circa 1990-something. This is how I’ll probably always think of you, Friend. Rest in Peace.
This morning I got word that a good friend from high school passed away. I still don’t know the details, but I was compelled to write. This has become my thinking grounds: the place where I process my emotions and find healing, or at least peace to begin healing.
All I can think about is how thin that veil between life and death really is, and how none of us are immune. Interestingly, these are the same thoughts I was puzzling over just yesterday, as it was Ash Wednesday – ashes to ashes, dust to dust. As I have mentioned before, I like the way Ingrid Michaelson’s song Breakable explains it. We are so fragile. Read the rest of this entry →
Friday night was the second meeting of my book club, and I am SO enjoying this new addition to my life. I have wanted for ages to be in a book club, but never knew of one or had enough friends who were interested. But now I am in one, and I love it!
This month’s book (Me Before You by Jojo Moyes) was such a good/difficult one for me because of all the issues and emotions it forced me to think about and consider. Without giving anything away, I will just say that one of the main characters is hit by a car in the first few pages of the book which doesn’t kill him but leaves him a quadriplegic in constant pain unable to do anything for himself, and the majority of the novel entails his relationship with a caretaker and how they change each other’s lives/perspectives. Read the rest of this entry →
I’ve often heard, and I suppose I believed that the first Christmas (or other major holiday you may celebrate) without someone you love is the hardest, but now I’m not sure that’s true.
Last Christmas, it had been 6 months since Joey’s death, and I missed him so much, but I feel like I was still just in shock so much that I couldn’t quite come to terms with the reality. I had started walking and set my goal to run a 5k in 2013, and these goals were so important for me to keep moving and taking breaths every day, but in some ways they were also a much needed distraction at the time.
This Christmas, however, I have felt the absence of Joey much worse. The permanence of death has set in, and the least of things has moved me to tears. Read the rest of this entry →
I’m not sure I can even begin to wrap words around the emotions I am feeling today.
Yesterday was the day my mom and Joey’s friends finally had the opportunity to face George Martinez, Jr., the man responsible for the death of Joey Jello. Read the rest of this entry →
Just a small sample of Joey’s many, many wonderful friends.
I just want to take a minute or two to say how special you all are and how much you mean to me and my family.
Joey and I were brought up with a high standard of friendship, and to be quite honest, I had come to believe that perhaps there weren’t more than just a handful of folks on this planet who held that same standard. But it seems that Joe had found a deep well of friends who stand by you through it all. Read the rest of this entry →
During my run Monday I had a passing thought about what I look like when I run. It wasn’t a self-conscious thought. More of a curiosity. And it got me thinking back to past attempts at this whole running thing. Because I’m pretty sure one of the things that really held me back was worrying about how I looked while I was running.
I was younger then, and concerned with outward appearances. I compared myself with others and always felt that I came up lacking when it came to athletic ability. I was the kid who HATED field day – coming in last at every event, it seemed.
But now I’m older and wiser, and I love running so much, and I.don’t.care. what I look like when I run. I’m not doing it for onlookers. I’m doing it for me. So, if the way I look when I run makes anyone uncomfortable…well, your problem, not mine. -I’m freakin’ running!
*Sorry no family photos, yet. We had to postpone our session until next week, but I promise to post them as soon as I get them.*
What a yucky week we’ve had here. Last week I started out so strong, biking and running every day and feeling really good. Then Friday, one of my boys woke up with a cough, so I decided we should stay home and keep everyone else’s kids healthy. Of course, then Monday I woke up with a severe sore throat and congestion along with full body achi-ness. I’m feeling a bit better now, but everyone in the house has been fighting this crud, so we’ve been effectively benched.
I can’t believe this is who I am now, but a whole week without running has been unbearable! And I must admit I’ve been a little off my game with my eating as well. You know how it is when you’re sick – you just want comfort food. Read the rest of this entry →
Joey’s “life is fun” smile
I debated sharing this very personal and very special moment I had Wednesday, but in the end I decided it’s all part of my journey. This blog is about being totally true to myself and sharing myself with my readers, and I can’t claim to “Never Betray” if I hold anything back.
So here goes. I’ve been in a really good place in the grief process over the last few months. I still miss Joey a ton, but I know that living my life well is really my only option. And I feel certain it’s exactly what Joe would want for me. So every day, I purpose to live this day to the best of my ability. I purpose to love on my husband and kids and really invest in them; I get active whenever possible; and I love, love, love people.
I’ve been doing cycle classes pretty regularly for a couple of months now, and it’s a workout I really enjoy. Makes me think I’ll be looking for a good bike in the near future. And my fave instructor had played this song I just love a while back. It’s called Alive by Kim Walker (Jesus Culture).
Read the rest of this entry →
Joey Jello on right
Since my latest tattoo, a person who cares a lot about me mentioned their concern that people would judge me because of my tattoos. Because of who this was, I knew that this concern was real and not a roundabout way of saying that this person was judging me. And I understood the concern because I remember thinking something similar when Joey showed up with the words NEVER BETRAY backwards on his neck – all I could think was that so many people would miss out on knowing my awesome brother because they would write him off as soon as they saw ink on his neck.
But then Joey died, and all these amazing people, many of whom had ink from head to toe and dressed and lived so differently from me, came out of the woodwork it seemed and cared for me and my family as though we were their family. Read the rest of this entry →