I wonder if you know how much I looked up to you when we were younger?
I wonder if you know how much your smile and your laughter were contagious?
I wonder if you know how I noticed that you always did the right thing, even when doing so was the hardest thing you had to do?
I wonder...and I will never know the answer...
It has probably been 5 years since the last time we talked...you told me about your wife and your daughters and your job...and how proud you were of all of those things. We laughed about old times. We laughed about people that we used to know. People who had fallen out of our lives...like we had fallen out of each others...my call was just a small attempt to keep in touch. I should have made more of an effort.
I always always always talk think about you when the Chicago song "25 or 6 to 4" comes on...I can remember you telling me about how that song came about. I can still tell the story...and I do! I don't know if it is the truth or not...because you were pretty darn believable...but I tell it like it is gospel.
I remember you had that blue convertible...your baby...and you took such care of it. I remember you taking me for a ride one day...I was maybe 17 at the time...and the typical 17 year old problems weighed heavily on my mind...and you put the top down...turned up the radio...and we drove...and the wind carried my problems away...
I remember you and Junior coming over to my house after work...my parents loved you, Joe...honestly, I could have probably killed a man and as long as you said it was ok, it would have been ok with my parents. And we would sit and watch tv and goof off.
You gave me my first real job. And then you gave me my second job. You sent me flowers on my birthday when I was away at school. I can still see the bouquet. You made me laugh. You dried my tears.
I am sorry that we drifted apart. I am sorry, because I know that you were the kind of person that everyone should have in their life.
Did you know that about a month or so ago, I tried to find you and your phone number? I took the boys to Florida and we were going to be spending a day in Ft. Lauderdale. I knew you lived there...so I wanted to try to meet up. I couldn't come up with a good phone number...and then planning the trip got in the way...so I figured that I would catch you the next time.
I wish there was a next time.
I'm sorry Joe. I am sorry that I didn't get that chance...I am sorry that my boys didn't get to meet the guy who told the story about the silly song that mommy sings on the radio. I am sorry that your wife will have a day, a week, a lifetime, without you. And I am sorry that maybe I never told you how much you did mean to me...
This one is for you...Live long and prosper...