My keyboard has been silent since I got the news, well that's not entirely true, when I couldn't sleep I went to his Facebook page. Joe was not only my cousin, but I was blessed to call him a friend; and I doubt there was one person who had ever met Joe who didn't feel the same way.
I am proud to say for those of you that are regular readers of this blog, you are friends of Joes as well. I always felt quite honored that such a manly truck driver/Marine followed and commented and really seemed to enjoy my blog. Joe didn't read because he had to out of family obligation, Joe read because he damn well chose to and liked my writing and the things that Tom and I do, I could really respect that.
When we were back in Iowa for Thanksgiving, Joe took it upon himself to make sure my men were entertained so that I could spend time with my Great Aunt Jaris. The priceless memories that my boys and Tom have of that time now are even more important, but they are ones that they had spoken of often. He had taken the entire day to take the men shooting and to teach them about the local wildlife and show them the area. I specifically remember coming around the corner after a long day in town with "the girls", feeling a little guilty, and there was Joe and Tom just happily chatting away sitting on the tailgate of the truck. I had had nothing to worry about, Joe of course had everything covered. My men were happy and entertained, and of course well fed.
Another thing that always impressed me about Joe was that he wrote his and Cheryl's Christmas letter. And it was a good one too, I really looked forward to it every year. He always took the time to thank the folks that came in from out of town to visit his Mom (Aunt Jaris) or Cheryl's Mom. He also always kept us all up on his latest wood working projects. The tear jerker for me, is that this year his project was a spectacular rocker/cradle for his beautiful niece that was named after him, Bailey Joe. We all have been teasing about the baby being named after my town while I named my puppy after their state! Obviously this is just a coincidence, well the baby name is anyway.
So, I thought I would share a few of his comments with all of you here, spread a little of Joe's love, so to speak. I know that he did a lot of that on his own. Thank you Joe for being such a wonderful friend and cousin, and thanks for the memories. I love and miss you with all of my heart.
I want to comment on this young lady who is my cousin so as a follower I first disqualify myself from any prizes. I follow the blog because wether you agree all the time with her views I will say she is always sincere in her beliefs and very real with what she has to say to you. I have learned a lot about her beautiful mountains. The pictures she posts are breathtaking so I hope Santa brings her that new camera. Thanks for joining her blog I know you will enjoy it. Cousin Joe
This is in response to My Black Hoody and the comfort it brings me:
It rains now and then so it does get washed kiddo. I guess my thing is most of time it is various t shirts ,but with USMC on it some where. See you in November
This is in response to my post about epilepsy:
Who knows why we have certain challenges in life. Some people fail from them some become stronger. Some like you share that strength with others Good job kiddo. If I look at you funny it is not your illness but your sense of humor and I look at you funny because you just put a smile on my face. :)