The Call came at 5:30PM on Halloween of 2006 that forever changed the trajectory of many lives. “He’s gone. We lost him”. That simple, brief message from my sister hit with the force of a sledgehammer. Knees buckling under the weight of denial & grief, a loud wailing emanated from a place never tapped. The room spun. I began to hyperventilate, screaming “NO! NO! NO!” All to no avail. Death is never an easy thing–especially the passing of a brother.
Almost six years later, the sledgehammer has stopped swinging. The pulverized mush of a trampled heart replaced with begrudging acceptance. Yet a longing to connect–an undefined yearning grows stronger. It still sucks. It still hurts…deeply. Though sorrow lasted for many a night, slivers of sunlight & joy continue to break through the dark night of Joe’s absence ever so slowly. A new morning emergent springs to life whenever the soundtrack of his life is played.
Say hi to Mom & Dad and put in a word to Father for us. We need that. We need you damnit! Life is so much tougher without your infectious smile and the cans of 12 oz. Cokes you kept on the back seat of your joemobile to chuck at cars who cut you off. Even your own brand of Road Rage was unique…like the time you threw a McDonalds milkshake through the passenger window into the face of a driver who pissed you off…then telling Aunt Mary to always keep warm cans of pop in her car for such occasions with that beautiful, straight poker face of yours. She laughed so hard. You only said “What?” “What?” was always a favorite inquiry of yours. You’d disarm everyone with an Irish mug suggesting we who did not Get It were somehow missing out on a key component of the truth & justice you meted out on the highways and byways of life.
We’d give anything to see you dance again like a kid again or hear your laugh or watch you swing Scar the pit bull around and around by a Frisbee. Check this out bro…I met this gal named Amy and we’re gonna’ go to a Social Distortion concert at the Royal Oak Music Theater in October. Kevin told me about it and will be there too. You should be there Joe so we can watch you walk around like you own the place and report back the Intel you gather on the rig Mike Ness will be using.
O’ Joey…I miss you brother. What a legacy you left. You’re so alive in our hearts, but living life without you is not the same. In just 5 hours or so, I’ll be mixing sound at the Renaissance Vineyard Church in Ferndale. Just about everything learned about the dynamic and harmonics of sound were taught by you Joey. I wish you could be there in the booth with me brother…you’d have so much fun. Barring that, lemme’ know if you see I’m about to screw up with a whisper in the heart. Thanks brother.
I love you bro.