Saturday, June 18, 2011
Fathers and Sons
Here they are at about the same time, without the costumes or the audience. I love the way Joey watched his dad fingering the strings, always learning from him. Joe and Joey both learned to play guitar at 16, and how many nights they spent together doing just this, I cannot count. Despite the generation gap, they shared a love for the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, and Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, all artists who transcend time and place.
This love of music started early. Here they are on a chilly beach vacation, when Joey was still in elementary school. Pre-ipod days, they've got their walkman headphones on and are singing for all they are worth! They made me laugh at times like this, with their exuberant and expressive personalities. But what a great bond it gave them.
What a gift Joe gave his son. Music was an ever-present companion for Joey. His guitar went where he went. He made many friends with it, but he could also be alone with it. This picture was taken by Rachel somewhere in Latin America, on their year long road trip.
He remembers the great times they had. They loved being together.
The separation is hard, but because they really lived while they could, it's a relief to have few regrets.
Though we all miss Joey, we are thankful for the sons we do have. These two incredible son-in-laws are brave men, and men of integrity. They have really been there for us. In Joey, they lost a brother themselves. We are so proud of these two men, our daughters' husbands, and wonderful fathers to our grandchildren. Sons who are lent to us by God, they fill some of the space left open by Joey.
They miss their brother-in-law, too.
Their sons miss their Uncle JJ.
Joey was a phenomenal uncle. He loved every moment being with his nephews and nieces.
His cousins, Jeff and Brian, were like big brothers to Joey. They picked on him as he grew up across the street from them, and taught him how to be tough. His Uncle Don, the college prof, was one of his favorite friends, and could always be relied upon for a good conversation. All of these men have also walked through the valley of the shadow of death with Joe. I know how much that means to him.
I love this rare picture of my husband, my father, and my son. Each one a unique man, but all of them intelligent, talented, strong, kind men. They love one another, and draw inspiration from one another. My dad is now 83, and he was the last of the grandparents to see Joey alive. Joey went to visit him on his birthday, one month before Joey went to Heaven, and they had a great day together drinking Joey's homemade brew. My dad had the same red hair as Joey when he was young. I wish I could have found a picture of Joe's dad, too. He is already in Heaven with Joey, and we picture them together in our mind's eye.
A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children...