Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dedicated to Joey

This last week I found out that a close family member is moving.  Not just moving to a different city or a different state, but a whole 'nother country!

I'm stunned and sad to see him go.
I'm excited for him because he has an adventurous spirit that can't be tamed.
It's a great job opportunity that I know he couldn't pass up.
And he's at a place in his life where this is the time to do it.  It's now or never.
I just hope he won't fall in love with the culture (or a girl) and never move back.

Things I Love or Remember About Joey:

He's in his thirites and still doesn't have a problem with people calling him Joey.  Sometimes Joe, but he'll always be our Joey.

He's a kid at heart.  He doesn't take himself too seriously.  He loves to play with his nephews and niece.  I've seen him working with kids at his job as a YMCA Camp Counselor.  He's been doing it since he was a teenager.  And it's where he feels at nature.

He's grown up to be a really cool dude.  He used to be a snotty older cousin that had cooties.  We were never close as kids and never really played together unless we were all sent outside to get out of our parents hair.  But I always looked up to him and wanted to be like him.   Lots of friends.  Always having plans on Friday night.  Coming home from a school event after midnight.   That seemed so cool to an eighth grader.

Vanilla Air-fresheners.  His car would always like vanilla.  And he wouldn't take one down when it was scentless.  He'd put a new one up in front of the old one.  Four or five hanging from the rear view mirror.

He doesn't know it but he's the one that lead to my discovery of alt rock.  When I would spend a weekend at their house, I would occasionally sleep in his room (He was either at camp working or in college during this time.)  He had CD's on his night stand and I remember seeing the album covers and thought... "so this is what the cool, older kids listen to."  Enter Green Day, Blind Melon and The Cranberries.  Still my favorite bands to this day.  Maybe a little bit of Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam and Nirvana too.

His college days at St. John's.  I was there for the first day of freshman year to his senior graduation.  I was with my aunt, uncle and cousin when they dropped him off.  Man was his dorm tiny.  And they had to stack the beds (like bunk-beds) to make more living space.  Some of his neighbors cut cardboard pieces to the size of coasters and duck taped them together to make room between the legs of the upper bed and the head/foot board of the lower.  Craziness!  I even remember that he and his roommate wore a tie-dyed shirts so that they could find each other.  His freshman roommate turned up to be a douche bag....don't they all!?

For his graduation, I went with so Melissa wouldn't have to sit by herself.  We sat in a building near St. John's Abbey and watched him on a projection monitor.  I dressed up in a sundress with a cardigan and had to wear a corset.  I didn't think to bring spare clothes to change into afterwards and I was stuck wearing this all day.  I was hot and the corset was digging into my ribcage.  I helped move him in and helped move him out.  This time he was in an off campus house with much better roommates. The boys were all so sad because the group of people coming in the following year were girls from the rugby team.  Get over it!
I also remember that one of his good friends proposed to his girlfriend right after the graduation ceremony.  Right in the middle of the lawn outside the abbey in front of all to see.  That was something special to see!  She said yes of course, but I don't know when, where or if they're still together.  I should ask him sometime.

There's much more to him.  More than I can put into words.
 I love him not because I have to but I want to.  He will most definitely be missed. 


Joe Cottew said...

Wow, Julie, you are so kind and generous for your words. Always one to share and be open - reasons I love you and will miss you whilst in Spain. Yup, I used 'whilst' in a sentence. ;)

When I get my blog up you'll have to follow me too!

Joe(y) :)