He’s 18 and I like it

Happy 18th birthday today, DJoe! It’s very hard to believe that 18 years have passed since you popped into the world one month before expected. To paraphrase Crosby, Stills and Nash’s “Wasted on the Way,” so much water has passed underneath the bridge since then.

One thing that has not changed in those 18 years is that your mother and I still miss you so much it hurts. Your sibs, too, but they don’t talk about it, but you know better than I what’s in their hearts.

Eighteen years dude, what we could have done together in those 18 years!

What I don’t miss by not having you here physically is worrying about you. I know where you are at all times, and that you’re safe and happy. We’re told on earth not to be guilty of the sin of presumption when a loved one passes away — that we know that they are in Heaven, but your having graced this earth for only three days, the only sin you were guilty of was Original Sin and that was washed away — twice, by Baptism. Once by good friend Father Mark Hession at Charlton Memorial Hospital, and another time by the kind nurses at Children’s Hospital in Boston who weren’t sure you had been initiated into the Church yet, so they took it upon themselves to have you baptized there. That was a gesture of which I’ll never forget, and one which I sent them a nice letter thanking them for that and all they did for you before mom and I got there.

What I do miss is the fact I never got to have you wake me up in the middle of the night for a feeding, or having your picture taken in a carrot-stained new outfit mom just bought and you messed up at the wrong time.

I miss watching you hold a baseball that looks the size of a medicine ball in your small hand as I teach you how to play like your old man did.

I miss lacing a pair of double-runners on your feet and bringing you out on the ice for your first skate — then watching as you progress into a pair of CCM hockey skates that at one time you said looked like stilts.

I miss you coming home from high school frustrated at not knowing how to do algebra and me pretending I did, and both of us getting most of the problems wrong.

I miss meeting your first girlfriend, and your second girlfriend, and ....

I even miss teaching you how to drive, even after going through the torturous process with Emilie a year earlier.

I miss the bond I’m sure you and Emilie would have had — and your conspiring against mom and me.

And I miss the fact that you could be jamming with Danny and me on Sunday afternoons, playing Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, and the Eagles. It would have been nice to have you sing lead and me harmony because I have a church voice, not a rock voice.

I miss your having to take Igor out when she has to go for the 10th time in an hour.

And I miss that you could now be at UMass Dartmouth with your sister and giving the Jolivet name even more prestige!

I miss you, but you know that I’ve never forgotten, since I’ve peppered you with prayer requests for the last 18 years. Hey, if I couldn’t aggravate you on earth all that time, I had to compensate!

Some may say, “Let it go,” but that ain’t going to happen.

I’ll finish by paraphrasing someone I never though I would in a Catholic paper — Alice Cooper. “You’re 18 and I like it!” Love you, DJoe.

Dave Jolivet can be contacted at davejolivet@anchornews.org.

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