Wednesday, September 29, 2010

See you on the other side Joe.

This is about my childhood friend, Joe Moos. He passed away on Sunday, September 26th 2010.
Well Joe, you certainly messed up our plans to establish a retirement home for crotchety old Carter-Riverside guys. We won't be able to sit out on the porch, wave our canes in the air and yell at the kids to get off our lawn. I was looking forward to that. You lived a long life in your 46 years, much longer than others your same age.

I don't know why but I clearly remember when I first met you. You were about 4 years old when I rode my bicycle passed your house on my way to Tootsie Hartsells house to play with Rena and Glenda. You chased me down the sidewalk and yelled at me to get away from your house. I guess you thought I was a menacing, 6 year old threat.

We became friends over the years, You, Me, Gary Foster and Michael Trevino. Our summer days were spent riding our bikes through the creek, skateboarding all over the neighborhood, playing hide and go seek in the cemetery and throwing water balloons at cars from all the hiding places in that same cemetery. All of you are gone now, first Michael, then Gary, now you. You all left way too early.. and took a part of my childhood with you.

We watched you as diabetes took the youth away from your body.. but not your soul. The failed kidney transplants, the stints in your arteries, the leg amputation, the fire that burned you all over your upper body, the more than 30 surgeries you endured.. Yet, you never gave up. You never cried "Uncle" or let it stop you from doing what you wanted to do. Lesser men would have given up. Lesser men would have let the darkness take over, but you didn't. You didn't throw in the towel, you didn't roll over. You saw your limitations and said "Ahhh Screw-em". You worked hard until the moment you took your final breath on earth and your first one while being embraced in the loving arms of God.

You were the quintessential crotchety but lovable old fart. We were even laughing about it as we said goodbye to you in the hospital. Your rants and raves when somebody didn't do to suit you. When they didn't do as promised. When they seemed to have forgotten you and didn't call. I can emphatically say now "It's their loss".

It's not going to be the same without you. No more phone calls while you waited for your dialysis to be done. No more conversations about barbecue pits, catching feral cats or what items the grocery stores had on sale that week. I'll miss the calls about which neighbors were just picked up by the cops or needed code enforcement called on them. I'll have to stay in better contact with other neighbors to see how they are because you did that for me. You were always up to date with those who had moved on years before and those that were still around.

You refused when I offered you one of my kidneys. You told me "I've had two failed transplants, I don't want to chance it again. I don't want to take a good kidney from somebody that needs it. " Joe, That spoke volumes to me. I still wished you would have taken it but I understood.

So, goodbye Joe. I'm glad you are out of pain. You don't have to worry about your blood sugar any longer or be prisoner in your own body. You are free. It was good knowing you.


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I'm 50 year old man who prays he won't take anyone out with him when he finally loses it. Copyright 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012