In my Thank You posted I linked you back to my first story. Passion inside you.
The story I am about to tell is one that only my family and close friends know about. I believe I shared this same story with Lindsay on my first night in Minnesota. I often chose not to talk about it because of the flood of emotions I endure when I do. In effort to find peace and reason I am now going to share this with you.
So let’s rewind to the winter of 2003. I wasn’t even a year out of high school yet and my 19th birthday was still months off. I was young and had my whole life ahead of me. I knew what I wanted, at least I thought I did. I was in school, had a great job, a good car, and I was making plenty of money. A boy was the last thing I needed.
Despite my best efforts of avoidance a weird twist of fate happened and I was dating the boy no one else liked. Joe was not who anyone “expected” me to be with. Hell, I didn’t expect it either – hence the efforts of avoidance. But you can’t help who you love.
He had some problems and I won’t go into those details. I gave him a chance and I saw the man he was inside. Like any relationship there was good and bad, but the good far out weighed the bad. I had fallen in love for the very first time.
Fast forward to the fall of 2005; I started to realize that despite our best efforts we needed to take a break. Our lives were going in different directions at different times. We loved each other, no question, but at that time the odds were against us. We agreed to remain friends and see other people. That wasn’t so easy for Joe.
The next few months were kind of ugly and I became very angry with Joe. I even started to despise him to the point that I cut up and threw out every last picture of us. What did I need them for? I had moved on and started seeing someone else in the months since our break up. I thought I no longer needed those photographic reminders of our 2 years together.
March 22nd, 2006 I walked into Wal-Mart to pick up supplies to make my current boyfriend a birthday cake. Coincidentally this is the same Wal Mart Joe was now working at. He approached me and we were friendly. He even asked how Oscar (the current boy) was doing and to make sure I was happy. We hugged, said good bye and parted ways. That would be the last time I would ever see Joe.
The morning of Sunday April 2nd, 2006 I got a phone call from Joe’s younger sister. She told me that there had been an accident and Joe was in the hospital. The machines were keeping him alive. I wanted to go to him, but his parents wouldn’t allowed it.
My heart burned.
You see, Joe’s step father always hated Joe and thought he was nothing more than a burden. Many times I would catch him fighting Joe, physically. Once I walked into him holding a knife to Joe. His step father didn’t want me anywhere near that hospital room.
Later that afternoon Joe was taken off the machines. I wasn’t allowed to say good-bye. I was banned from the memorial and I was banned from the funeral. His body was taken back to their home town in Massachusetts for the burial.
A few days after the funeral there was a large cover story in our local newspaper about the accident. Which was really no accident at all. His step dad was an evil man. The night of Saturday April 1st, 2006, Joe was in his step dad’s truck coming home from a dirt bike event when his step dad got a case of road rage with another car. Joe was flung from the truck and landed on the side of the highway. According to eye witness accounts his step dad pulled over and proceeded to run Joe over, and then back up to do it again. His step dad saw his opening to get rid of his “burden”.
The man he got into road rage with was a Pediatrician. Joe might have survived that day if his step dad has not committed vehicular homicide. That’s what the officials were calling it.
You would think after being shunned away from the hospital, memorial and funeral that his family would have continued to leave me alone. Wrong. A few short months after the accident I was subpoenaed to testify in court. Not once, or twice, but FIVE times over two years. I just couldn’t put it to rest.
It was the worst time in my life; I cried for endlessly. Oscar, the guy I was dating, broke up with me a few short weeks after the accident. Who can blame him though, I was messed up. I found out Oscar had started cheating on me after Joe’s death.
I acted like I had moved on from Joe’s death, and even from my break up with Oscar. The reality: I was lashing out, drinking and partying, and doing things I’m not proud of.
To this day it hurts and I believe part of me is still very messed up over it. I never got a good-bye, aside from the one in Wal-Mart. When I remember that day, I can’t help but think that somehow he knew it was our final good-bye.
Here I am. Still heart broken. I have had a few other relationships. Nothing serious. And no relationships in the last two years. I think I do it on purpose. Part because I am scared to let someone in and lose them. Part because I push them away. And part because I am unhappy with who I have become, weight and all.
Joe’s death defined my future for a long time. In many ways it still does because I never got closure because for years his mom drug me in and out of court. She subpoenaed me on several different occasions so I could testify about the last 2-4 years of Joe’s life; it was all for insurance purpose and money.
As much as it kills me to write this story, it pains me just as much to think that his death and events following could be what lead to the start of my emotional eating. It wasn’t a problem prior to losing him and I know he wouldn’t want me living like this. He wouldn’t want his death to be the reason I lost control of my life.
|RIP Joey – Sept 1st, 1986 – April 2nd, 2006|