Damn it Joe. You little shit. If you were here right now I’d beat your ass. Cuz an ass whopping is what you need right now. Sad thing is, if you were here, you would agree with me.
You were one of my skinny brothers. There’s not many of us that are just skinny through no fault of our own. Most people, either through a misguided sense of jealousy or just plain stupidity, assume we are drug addled or have eating disorders. But we don’t. We’re just skinny. Maybe had you not been so little you wouldn’t have died. But then, had you not been drinking or messing with your phone while you were driving you probably wouldn’t have either.
You were one of the sweetest kids I knew. You always had kind words and love to offer those around you. You were never one to wait, like most of us do, to express how you felt at the edge of a coffin. I’m not sure you got the love and guidance you needed as a child, but it only made you more cognizant of offering those things as an adult to the people you felt strongly about. Never once did I see you when you didn’t tell me how much you loved me or how beautiful I was or how important I was in your life. And I hope you knew you were all those things to me also. I’m glad I could be one of the few you could look up to while you were here, and I hope you are up there looking down on me now.
You had problems that needed addressed, but most people at 23 do, in some form or fashion. But from where you came, you were doing fantastic. You were full of shit, but never to the detriment of yourself or others. Your biggest fault was believing you had everything under control. You didn’t…and there was nothing anyone could do to make you realize otherwise. Though I do believe that you would have come to that conclusion, had you stayed with us a while longer. And even through it all, you never lacked for a smile or a laugh or a joke. You were in tune with your demons and aware of your happiness. When things happened to bring you down, you never let them keep you down. Or at least you didn’t on the surface. I admired that about you.
I remember our last conversation. It happened less than 30 minutes before you died. I can’t repeat it – I can’t repeat a lot of our conversations – but it will always bring a smile to my face. And a smile for the memory of a kid I hate to say I will never hear from again.