JOEY Remembered

January 28, 2016….the first Anniversary.

It was one year ago today that Joey passed.  Another sad day to mark in our memories.  Losing our loved ones through death seems to happen sooner and more frequently in this stage of my own life.  I still miss the Joey I once knew and the memories of what Alzheimer’s did to him in the end are forever embedded in my mind.   Unselfishly I know God was merciful to finally bring him home, but selfishly, I still think about how much he is still needed by so many.  Joey will always be missed and we will forever remember him.

I am reposting this blog I wrote about him right before he passed and remembering how fortunate I was to have had him in my life for all those years.  Rest in peace Joey.

Last time I wrote about my brother-in-law Joey was July 10, 2013. Today I am very sad because Joey is now at the very end of his life and I will miss him.  His struggle with Alzheimer’s has been a long hard road, especially for his wife, daughter and grandchildren.  Everyone else who has the privilege of knowing Joey will also feel the pain of his passing because he will no longer be here in any form, so it is for our own feelings of loss that we will share in this sorrow.  You see Joey has touched so many people in his lifetime, some he may have known about, while others haven’t realized until now, just how much he gave to them.

Joey was never boisterous or even talkative, but I remember his smiles and his laughter.  I can still hear his corny jokes in my head and even though I didn’t want to laugh, I couldn’t help myself.  I can see him making faces when my sister would tell one of her “stories” as if we shared our own secret about them.  I can remember my own children and some of my nieces and nephews telling me stories about Uncle Joe and the way he either taught them something or shared a trivia knowledge with them  which made them appreciate him all the more. I remember him liking sports and family dinners and vacations.  I remember how much he liked to laugh.

I know how he adored his daughter and grandchildren and would move mountains if he needed to in order to protect and care for them. I know how much he loved my sister, his wife and would spoil her without  hesitation or remorse. I know how kind, generous and solid he was as a man and a person whom anyone would be proud to know and call a friend. I know how the world will miss a soul as good as his.

I have to be honest and tell you that I have prayed for God to take him away from his pain lately.  To allow him to leave this earthly life of struggles, misery and anguish in a dignified and peaceful way.  I know now that my prayer is being answered and this wonderful human being will go peacefully into the night free from fear and worry.  When his spot in heaven is prepared and ready God will finally bring this loving man home.  I hope my sister and niece will be able to rejoice in the knowledge that this great man was in their lives for so long and his life was full and all their lives were blessed despite this awful disease that afflicts so many. I know I feel blessed that Joey was in my life and a part of my family.  I know I will love him always and never forget his goodness and kindness.  I will miss you very much Joey, but I know, I truly know you are going to a better place. I know one day we will meet again and when we do it will be as if you never left.

And that is The Way I See It, here in Brooklyn!

K

A New Year

As I sit here reflecting upon the passing of 2014 my mind is clear and clouded both rendering indistinguishable. I always believed life would get better as a person aged. I am finding that it’s truly all an illusion. Life is really what you make of it.

As the body breaks down and the mind grows wisdom, emotions remain the same. Whether you are blessed with health or devastated by disease you stand the same chance of finding economic concerns, memories of past successes and failures, lives lost, lives saved, loves that have faded with time and love that still fans the flame.

Those losses could be the people, or they could be the jobs one held, the career one had or the possessions once believed to be signficant to your well-being.  Perhaps there is a new spiritual connection as one grows older or perhaps it lessons.  Whatever applies to an individual the most is what seems to be the driven force within one’s self.

Make your mistakes, take your chances, look silly, but keep on going. Don’t freeze up.”
― Thomas Wolfe, You Can’t Go Home Again

Although not much has changed for me individually in the past year it has changed for many others I am close to.  There have been serious illnesses, weddings, births, graduations, engagements and even deaths.  Their changes have added to my wisdom and have taxed my physiological trials to the max.  My mind had suffered in a way that is surprising even to one as optimistic as myself. Those days where I was too busy to think, I now find I cannot achieve much more than thinking, rethinking and thinking even more.  Can I share those thoughts?  Most probably not, and not because I can’t, but because I don’t choose to share most of them as yet.  They are still indistinguishable and therefore, not easy to distribute nor select here or anywhere.  Insight from them comes to me slowly, yet discernible.  Just putting them into action gives them wings so widely stretched that it covers my rationality from end to end. I suppose it is meant to be this way for most of us and so, in reality, they are  nothing new.

At this stage of life , as I embrace 2015 my desire is to complete a collection of written work that I will pray gives a message and reveals a hidden truth both for myself and for others. Perhaps I will succeed, or perhaps I will fail, but no matter which way it turns out, I will treasure them, believe in them and hold strongly to them.  The illusion I have lived will fade into the past just as 2014 dissolves into oblivion.  From what remains, I will gather and keep the wisest and happiest in order to “not freeze up” as Mr. Wolfe suggests.

Attempting to change  individual choice is futile because the argument isn’t strong and the mind with its newly constructed paths will adjust because it needs  to in order to stay alive. So my life remains as it has with a renewed hope that my words will make a difference to those who may need a rope to cling to or only a hand to hold.

2015 can be whatever we each make it to be. It can revive us or destroy us, give us joy or pain, yet no matter what is to come, those of us who are here in whatever state of our body or mind, we are still here. That realm of existence, within itself, provides the power of hope. Here’s hoping each of us exercise our wills to make our lives better. Ideally to make a difference if not for ourselves, than for others.

Happy New Year!

And that is The Way I See It,here in Brooklyn.

K