It is one of the coldest days of days in my life. April 6th is topped only by January 28, 1981, the day he died. It is the day my Son Joseph was born and remains a painful memory in the hearts of his older Bother and Mother as well.
I don’t mean to be maudlin, but this blog is about what’s on my mind at this moment. Joseph is on my mind. I took a lot of time off from work, when I commuted to the city, to be with him at the hospital on Community Drive when he became ill, the place we took him to when he finally stopped suffering, and passed on. When I see the hospital, it all comes back to me vividly. When I had my heart operation, it was at the same hospital, and thought that maybe the same fate awaited me.
He was a good baby, playful and filled with life, and now there is no life. It was said that Joseph looked just like me when I was a child. One aunt said when he was alive that it looked like someone had cut my head off, that’s how much he looked like me when I was his age.
As babies go, he was adventurous, playful and very loving. We had a great relationship, and I will never forget that. Today he would have been 29 years of age. He caused a lot of false labor for TLW (The Little Woman), and when he did finally come, he wouldn’t eat for TLW. I came to her room, and he was in her arms. She said to me: “Here Joe, you try, he won’t eat.” I picked him up for the first time and tried. He started to suck on the bottle, and my day was more than made. I got him to eat!
Then the day after Thanksgiving, a day I used to celebrate as the day I proposed to TLW, we had to take him to North Shore University Hospital for tests. They gave us the dreadful news we kind of knew was coming. Then he stopped keeping food down, with projectile vomiting and diarrhea, which caused us great concern. Back and forth, we went to the hospital, TLW like it was a job as she commuted to see him every day. I traveled, back and forth to the hospital sometimes the first thing in the morning to visit him, then off to work. When I visited him, I used to sing to him a little tune in Italian when we were alone, holding him:
Dormi, dormi, sogna, piccolo amor mio.
Dormi, sogna, posa il capo sol mio cor.
One morning I got the news that he would not last the week. TLW called me from the hospital. It was a Sunday, and by that Wednesday, he was gone. We were at home when I got the call, and we drove out that cold night, my Brother-in-law Dennis driving, we got there and went to his room. As we climbed the stairs, a priest was racing us up the stairwell in his brown robes. When we reached his floor, we saw Joseph, his little arms over the covers, a nurse sobbing over him. He was free of all the IU’s and bandages that were part of his daily routine. The priest said his prayers and left. It was a comfort, but when he went away, so did a lot of hopes and dreams for two people.
Sometimes I cry for Him, sometimes for TLW, and sometimes, for me.