"Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier." ~ Mother Teresa
“For it is in giving that we receive.” ~ Francis of Assisi
Twenty-three years ago, my husband Tom and I were blessed with a big surprise that we were expecting our fourth child. On March 2, 1995, our fourth son, Joseph came into this world. On January 10th, 2016, we lost Joseph.
Joseph showed extraordinary talents from an early age....sports, music, skateboarding, academics, personality, honesty, compassion, and love. He was a standout in basketball, soccer, and baseball. He had a knack for all sports, even gymnastics. He self-taught himself keyboards, drums, and guitar. School came easy to him, especially his love for creative arts such as computer graphics and animations. And throughout all he did, his warm, loving, caring, compassionate personality shone through. His siblings and everyone loved Joseph. He would help anybody, anywhere, anytime. My house was the place to be. Joseph liked being home. His friends liked being at my home and that made my heart happy.
"The only gift is a portion of thyself." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
From the first moments of his life, Joseph was a fighter and a survivor. As a newborn, he was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for 13 days. Over time, as he grew, this would not be my only scare with Joseph. We were no strangers to the emergency room. Third-degree burns, serious falls, winter sledding injuries, major skateboarding accidents, alcohol poisoning, two cars totaled and chest surgery for a condition called pectus excavatum. It seemed no matter what life threw at him, he would take it, recover from it, and come out even stronger and more able to deal with life’s bumps and twists.....until the day he discovered opioids. Joseph, our family and all who knew him, learned in the most awful way, that even small amounts of opioids can take a person’s life in the blink of an eye, especially when used in combination with small amounts of other ordinary medications. His beautiful girlfriend Jess, whom we all love and adore, has suffered terribly as well, losing her best friend and soulmate. My heart breaks for her, everyday.
Joseph lived in 5 different states during his 20 years of life. His favorite was always Vermont. The area code for Vermont is 802, and Joseph expressed his fondness for Vermont via naming all of his social media outlets as Eighto2.
“We rise by lifting others.” – Robert Ingersoll
There’s nothing that will bring Joseph back, but there is something that can be done about the opioid crisis to help other families avoid the pain, suffering, and heartbreaking loss of a loved one. Through the Eighto2 Shop, I’ve arranged for proceeds to be donated to several nonprofit organizations, some of which are fighting against the tragic opioid epidemic, and others that benefit causes Joseph was passionate about, exemplifying his kindness and compassion.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Joseph. He’s my first waking thought and my last before I go to sleep each night. I miss him terribly and will do everything I can to honor his memory.