Today I said tearful good-bye to Joe. I laid my hand on his beautiful oak casket, leaving him with my hand print, and my heart print.
Joe, and his lovely wife Lillia, were my Godparents. They were my mom and dad's best friends for over 50 years. They have been a huge part of my history, and I have so many fond memories. Besides my own family, they and their children are the only ones I can think of who I have known from the very beginning of my life. Growing up, we lived close enough together to see them all the time. Neither my parents or Joe and Lillia moved from those houses, so they remained close in proximity and close friends over the years.
As you can see from this photo, Joe was a firefighter. Actually a Fire Chief at the end of his career. My dad was the photographer of this portrait (I think back in the 60s). Joe didn't really change much from this picture. His hair turned gray (but he always had quite a head of thick, wavy hair, even at the end) and he acquired a few more
I spent time remininscing with Joe and Lillia's children last night at the visitation, and it really brought home that this is an end of something that was always a constant in my life. Things certainly changed when Lillia passed a few years ago, but now with Joe gone.... well......
Joe lived a good, long life (82 years).
Godspeed, Joe. I'll miss you.
(P.S. Say hi to Lillia)