And then came Joey
The final piece to the puzzle of the Marvullo family, I want you all to know as we arrive at the adventures chapter of my life… again I am using this as an introduction for my children to always know where they came from and the pain and humor in all of our lives…..
October 1981 came King Joseph. Joseph is a Junior named after our Father and the many, many Giuseppe Marvullos before him. Laura and I were thrilled with our new addition mostly because we could not wait to dress him up and boy did we.
Life changed drastically for me as Joey grew up. I was relieved of the many things Dad MADE me do- looking back I enjoyed those activities. Joey became Dad’s fishing partner, hunting partner, yard work partner and all around best buddy. Joey was always full of energy and full of…. well we will get to that point later.
Watching Joey grow has been amazing in ways I don’t think I could have ever imagined. Being an older sister I was excited to now be able to boss two people around, teach him how to sneak his food at the table to the dog and eventually, I thought I would show him how to drive a car and drive my parents crazy. I thought I would be the one to teach him to take on the world and be a first class baseball player. I imagined it all. But, I imagined it all very wrong.
At a very young age I became a Mother figure to Joey because my Father’s drinking seemed to take most of my Mother’s time and energy. In 1986, just a few months after my Mother’s beloved NY Mets won the world series, my Father became very ill with at the time was an unknown type virus that was shutting all his organs down and was hospitalized for over a month. I can remember it like yesterday we were all at a family friends house (Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Dawn) and Mom came to pick us up the priest had given my Father his last rites and we went to say goodbye. I can remember her holding onto Joey so tight as if he was the only child. I guess she felt he was his namesake and the only other man in our family that was to be left. The days passed and slowly, Dad got better but Joey at a young age was thrust into manhood as my Father recovered.
Joey became one of the top athletes at school. He was Captain of the wrestling team and Captain of the football team. He dated the prettiest girls and all the local parents were in awe of his talents. He was on top of the world and we were so proud to watch this all unfold. Then came Cortland College, the first child of the family to go away to school. My parents were beaming with pride. Well beaming until Joey drank and drugged his way through freshman year and took what we called the most expensive vacation ever. He attempted Community College and his life began to spiral out of control never keeping a job, loosing relationships and dealing with depression. Then at the ripe old age of 21, Joseph watched, literally watched, as my Mother lost her life at home so suddenly on that Thursday evening in February 2003. Things got even more out of control and my little baby brother drank the pain away.
Laura and I tried the best we could to keep him out of trouble but it was out of our control. Just like my Mother said about my Father “when he is ready for help he will get it, ” he was ready in 2006. On the night of my husband’s birthday we reached out to Joey to come celebrate and he said “I need help.” Donald went to pick him up and we called my Dad whom at this point was living in Florida and he got on the next flight to New York. Who could of imagined that twenty something years later my Dad would be bringing his only son to the same rehab that saved his life. He returned home and lived with me, on my couch with few clothes and half my coat closet for storage. He had lost everything but was ready to rebuild. I again was his Mother worrying about his every move and making sure he was diligent in attending his AA meetings. All with the help of my sister we got him through and he is now approaching his 8th year of sobriety.
On a much lighter note lets discuss what I love about Joseph:
- “what are you talking about” the statement that is forever coming out of his mouth.
- As some would say he could sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves.
- “hum kkkkkkiss nhjki abba abba abba doooo shhhhheeee aaasssskkkki dododod” the sound of Joey’s voice while talking to him on the phone. He is clearly a MUM-BELL-ER.
- He loves farting just about as much as my Dad. Farts are always funny – even when you fart into a zip lock bag, place it in the freezer and save it for your nephews.
- Farts can also be Christmas gifts for your nephews, farting into their stocking and saying “Merry Christmas” is always the best gift one can give.
- I love how he loves my sons totally and unconditionally.
- Cosmo Kramer JR… quirky yet lovable.
- his new found purpose and passion the 12 steps and taking it one day at a time.
- he is completely full of crap most days and I absolutely love calling him out on it and his answer is always “what are you talking about.”
- Love how Laura and I have truly become his mother mostly because we buy him things for Christmas like white tank tops and boxers. That is what all good mothers buy their adult sons for Christmas.
Here is a look at what 8 Maple Street, Glenwood Landing looks like now…. minus one, but filled with love and understanding. Some with long hair and some with less hair. Some skinnier, some a little more plump. Some grey hairs and some needing glasses. We made it through.