My heart aches tonight. A dear friend died this afternoon. I rushed to the hospital to say my last good-bye, but I was too late. I missed his last breath by minutes.
Joe Fitzgerald is gone.
And yet he’s not. He lives on in our hearts and minds, and the memories we have soothe our souls.
When I came home from the hospital and told my sons, 20 and 16, about Joe, we all shared Joe stories. Zach and Micah recalled him showing up one Halloween with treats in hand wearing a scary mask. The boys, little at the time, ran to me screaming. Joe had terrified them but made it all better with plastic pumpkins full of sweet treats.
I remember arriving at the funeral home to plan my brother-in-law’s funeral (his wife, my sister, died less than two months later) and being told that an anonymous person had paid the entire bill. It took all but a second to know it was Joe.
This is a man who went to my son’s preschool programs because unlike all of the other kids who had grandparents who could attend, mine had none. So Joe gladly became the grandparent they didn’t have.
Joe was never married, didn’t have any children and yet he had a family bigger than most.
I could go on and on about Joe, but mostly I want to say how blessed I am that he was a part of my family’s life. Pushing 80, he was ready even if the rest of us weren’t. It’s never easy saying goodbye to someone you love. But I’m trying.
And to sign this as Joe always signed everything: Peace and love
A post about Joe: http://buffyswritezone.blogspot.com/2009/08/celebrating-strands-that-bind-us.html
A post that will soothe your soul: http://buffyswritezone.blogspot.com/2009/08/tapestry-shift-of-view.html