Joe Died.

I knew it when I was in the shower and heard the phone ringing.   I knew immediately.   A morning phone call from the hospital is standard at our house and it could have been the bikes are ready, the keys are in the center console, Zoey’s lunch isn’t made, or a variety of other day to days.  But I knew it wasn’t.   I heard in my head, “Joe died.”

I’ve never met Joe.  I have no idea what he even looks like.  I could probably count the number of times his name has been mentioned between us.   Yet, on a daily basis, he’s a major contributor toward one of my most  influential life aspects: Mitch.

Although during Mitch’s childhood he’s said to have denied it, he’s Mitch’s biological father.   The one who gave Mitch a $5.oo gift certificate to McDonalds for Christmas while gifting his other son, Mitch’s brother, Ben, something much more substantial, acknowledgement (and not important at all, but more tangible to a five year old, the gifts to go with it).

“Well, it’s not like my actual dad died,”  said Mitch when he told me.  His “actual” dad, Mitch’s step father Jack, is the dad Mitch strives to emulate.  Perhaps because of his  biological dad’s absence, his step-father’s presence has been that much more influential to Mitch.  And, perhaps because of lessons garnered from both of them; Mitch is the engaged, involved, and very present father that he is.

Because of our distance from Joe (thousands of miles and hundreds of years), we aren’t personally affected by his loss.  But, we certainly were affected by his life – and the life that came of it.

Joe’s life contributed greatly to mine, and he never even knew it.

We will never know how many lives our one life influences.  

Thank you for living your life Joe, it made a BIG difference in mine.

Rest in Peace,


* My prayers and heart go out to Grandma Marzo, Joe’s mom.  Mitch’s Grandma Pat IS involved in our lives and goes out of her way to acknowledge Mitch, me, and our girls.  Grandma Pat has now lived to see the death of her husband and both of her children.    Can you imagine?  I hope she knows the lives of her children made a difference beyond anyone’s comprehension.  Thank you Grandma Marzo, for giving us Joe.  Thank you Sue, for marrying him and having two of his babies!  We love Ben & Mitch and the world is a better place because of them and the chain of events and people that led to them.


7 responses to “Joe Died.

  1. What a wonderful perspective you presented. Events and people affect our lives in so many ways that we never realize or expect. My thoughts are with your family.

  2. Thanks Ronnie, it is really interesting for me to think of how we are all connected.

  3. jenna Capobianco

    geez. i am sitting here crying. so beautifully written. RIP joe

  4. road2clova

    Katie, a beautiful tribute, not only to Joe, but to our family. Tell Mitch that his “fair father” was touched by what he said.

  5. Whoops … “fake” not “fair” father.