Through the sadness, I have the need to write. Joey is gone from this world. Too soon. Before there was time to celebrate his joy, his successes, his love, his legacy.
Day One brought confusion. The day started normally. We had a wedding. It was not a 'normal' wedding, there were 10 bridesmaids, 10 groomsmen, 2 ushers, 2 flower girls, 1 ring bearer, and assorted escorts and dancers..
I was downstairs where the bride was getting ready. We were preparing her dress and shoes for a detail shot. Bari left the room to get his cameras. I set everything up, and waited, and waited, and got impatient, and looked all over the church for him. I finally got frustrated enough to walk outside to get my phone from the car. I was going to call him to see where he had gone.
I saw him talking on the phone, and then start walking toward me. I was not happy at all, but this was a wedding, and strange things happen, so I tried to keep my temper in check. Bari walked toward me, and I turned around to walk back to the church, he told me to stop. Then he put his arms around me and said something like, "I'm sorry, Springfield Township police called and - and - they found Joey, and he's dead- I'm sorry-I'm sorry to have to tell you."
You always wonder what you would do or say when you got bad news like that. I can tell you. It is instant chaos in your head. At the same exact moment, you are thinking- "I didn't hear what I thought I just heard" - "this is a bad joke" - "Nooooooo! this can't be happening". ...All at the same time.
We decided that we would leave the wedding and go home to tell Sam and Madeline. Bari had already called Katy, and she and Josh were on their way to my house. Bari would return to the wedding and finish photographing it by himself. Honestly, I would have finished the wedding with him, if it weren't for Sam and Madeline. I needed to be home with them. We had phone calls to make and people to tell. And tears to cry.
They knew something was wrong. Madeline took the news the hardest. Katy and Josh made their way over and we sat and tried to piece things together. I called back the detectives on the case, and they gave me all the information that they had. I had information about the coroner, and what types of reports had to be made. It was confusion.
We worked our way through telling the news to family and friends. They all worried about me. They will pray for me. And bring food. And pray. It was sad and horrible and terribly confusing. Who does this? Who knows what comes next? or what decisions need to be made? It was a process, and it took all
At the end of the day we were exhausted, but we had a plan. All of the kids with spouses, and the girlfriend with her mom, would come to my house on Monday to make arrangements, and think through the legal process. It was a start. A start to a very long road.