Monday, August 17, 2009

He would have laughed at blogs

Lindsey and I were talking the other day and she started laughing at the thought of what Joe would think of blogs. We both agreed he would kindly mock them. I've been meaning to call her all day so that we could laugh and inevitably end up crying over the anniversary that is today. What do you do with a day like today? I'm ok. I know what comes next and what I have to do to be there. He's with us every day.

He is in little things my kids do. He is in their simple kindnesses to each other. We say his name, which has become my son's, many times a day and it is like a million little sparkles in the air. Sometimes my kids do things and I think, Joe taught you that in Heaven, he knew it would bug me so he did it to tease me. Or he knew something would make me happy, so he taught them that too. I love that, because then I think of him. He knows I need to lighten up. I want my kids to be like him in a million different ways. I love that E loves snowboarding and seems to be a natural at it. Now, if only someone could teach him, Caroline and Joey how to skateboard... Caroline might be the best at that. Dave and he would have been good friends.

I miss him. He was happy and kind. He was happy and thoughtful. He was happy and fun. The kid was the best. Is the best. He was a great example to all of us of how to treat others. He wasn't perfect but he was good.


We went up to his grave today. I have never thought he was there. I used to pour Dr. Pepper on it, just for him. My kids know about him, but what do they really know? It is such an abstract thing to young kids. But they know that they love him and they know he loves them. Is it morbid to show his headstone? I think it is beautiful.

He had a lot of favorites. He liked music. Did you know that he loved Michael Jackson? Loved him when he was little. He loved chocolate rice crispy treats and made them better than anyone, even Grandma. He loved his family, all of us. He would love playing with his nieces and nephews. He loved his friends and spent time doing who knows what with them. I remember he would skate up on the U campus a lot with them. He would love where they are now. He had many friends but then there are those really close ones that I am grateful for. They are a part of my family, you know who you are. He was always having fun. He had the goofiest grin. He was working on his six pack, slow to lose his baby chub. He loved his accidental sideburns. I think he thought he was related to St. Nick. He loved his cousins. Especially Ben and Bry. He'd be proud of them. He loved skateboarding and snowboarding. He loved "Bo Knows Bo" so much he read it every year for 7 and wrote a report on it each year, lazy bum - I don't think he loved reading. He loved back-to-school clothes shopping. He loved Mexican Pizzas. He loved his Saab. He loved that his eyes changed colors with whatever color he had on. He loved O-town. He always had something cooking, some big plan. Or little plan. Or mischievous idea. He had friends every where we went because he was good to everyone.

I love when people tell me stories about him. I knew a lot of his comings and goings and his adventures but not everything and don't remember everything. Did I ever tell you that he thought his name was spelled G.I. Joe when he was little? Or that he made a collar of cardboard and named himself Spike, telling us this was his new name? Or that he had my mom make him and his friends fleece hats that he designed that were all spiky and shapey for snowboarding? I think there are pieces of him everywhere, for everyone.

Love you Joe.

11 comments:

leandparkermakes3 said...

Thinking about you, Whit. I wish I could have met Joe.

Leslie said...

I remember walking home from the bus stop, hoping that I might get to walk with Joe. I remember jumping on the Nielsen's tramp with him and thinking how cool I was hanging out with the older boys. He was the cool older boy and yet never too cool to befriend anyone. I think of him often and will think of you and your family today.

Mama Mimi said...

I remember watching Joe pass the sacrament in the ward and just thinking he was so dang cute! A very handsome young man. And I also remember shortly after the accident that you made sure that the tithing he had kept safe in his drawer was paid to the bishop. What a great kid. Just can't help but wonder why. Some things are hard to make sense of. We are thinking of you and your family.

Kacy said...

I can't believe it's been 13 years. I think about him often. I love you. Please tell your family hi for me.

Paige said...

Oh Whit...I love Joe. I love him for the friend he was to Lindsey and Ben. I love him for making everyone around him. I love that he was good friends with Tom and Andrew. He was the best. He is the best...You are right. Bless his heart. I don't think he ever knew just how much he was actually loved. By every girl. He was loved, adored, and wanted. He couldn't have asked for a better sister.

linds said...

i hardly knew joe, but doug knows joe. i used to go with doug to the cemetary and sit by joe's grave, listening to stories about the trouble they would get into. i will have to get doug to sit down long enough to read what you wrote because i love it. i love that you remember the little things about him and that you can feel him in your life, in things your kids are doing and that you KNOW that comes from joe. i love that you know joe is watching over your family. thank you for sharing.

Lindsey said...

I have been crying for the last 2 days - not sure why this one is especially hard. I went to Target yesterday and cried the whole way home, then found your post and cried through the girls naps (I have to dry my tears while they're awake - it freaks Josie out when I walk around crying).
I am so grateful that B and I have pieces of Joe in all of you - he is in your whole family's sarcastic sense of humor, in your dad's teasing and silly smirk (ps: your dad is gonna love the way Josie's brows are coming in so thick), I can hear him in your mom's laugh, I can see him in yours and Chuck's faces. I love that you have new stories for me that I didn't know about (Spike? hh) and I'm sure we can dig deep for some you didn't know about. I am dying laughing about Bo Knows Bo - forgot about that. I think I heard every one of those book reports. And I remember those rice crispies. I'm so grateful your family has adopted me and B - your dad calling to congratulate us on Lily was the sweetest thing ever. Love you all to pieces.

Fuller Fam said...

Tim frequently talks about your brother. I'm trying to conjour up some of the stories for you (because tim would hardly post his own comment, because like Joe he "kindly mocks" blogs as well). He said that he vividly remembers everytime walking into his bedroom and how he had a picture of your dad with words "my dad...my hero" written on it. My hubby has the worst memory but said that even though he doesn't remember the little things, he remembers the feelings behind him and joe's frienship. He sounded like one cool cat.

Miss(Michelle) said...

As Masons anniversary gets closer and closer I find myself crying at every memory. I can barely talk about him these days. I was out jogging the other day and the girl I was with was asking about him. Let me tell you it is impossible to jog uphill and cry uncontrolably at the same time.
Then I read about Joe and wish I had known him. Wish I had known you and your Mom then too. Wish I could see the people you were before this great loss. See how far you have come and strengthened.
Happy Birthday Joe even though I don't know you...I know your posterity through E,CW, and Joe.

Jenny B said...

Whit- so you know this is Joe B. and not jenny B. I know this is late and you might not even see this. I would like to tell you that there are still many days in each week that i think of Joe and your sweet family. In fact I was thinking of him yesterday and wondering why the heck he left this existence so early. the conclusion that i came up with is that he had this earthly trial conquered. We all make mistakes but his were insignificant in the sight of the Lord. I was honered to just to have know of him let alone hang with him.
Regards
Joe Britton

Grampster said...

Thank you Whit for writing this. I love and miss you, Paul