Monday, June 11, 2012

He Once Lived in Princeton

At one time my son and daughter worked for the same company, and in fact their cubicles were also near each other.
Two years ago Jen was caught in a downsizing frenzy and she was laid off.  Joe, though, continued to work at the company right up until a few months before he passed away.  
About a month ago, my daughter was called back to work in a temporary position for that same company.
I asked her what it felt like to go back to work there knowing that Joe wouldn’t be there.  She told me that  since she was in a different location this time, it wasn’t as hard as it might have otherwise been.
One of her tasks is to make changes to a company database.  Oddly enough, Joe used to maintain that  database.  Therefore, there are many times that Jen will make a change and see that the last person to update that particular record was Joe.   Once Jen makes her change,  Joe’s name goes away and is replaced by Jen’s name.  She said that is a little difficult.
Jen also told me that Joe is mentioned quite often.  Apparently, there were functions that Joe performed that no one else has learned to do.  So there are times when someone will ask how to do a specific job and the response usually is: “I don’t know.  That’s something that Joe took care of.”
When Jen told me about these things, my first re-action was one of sadness and sorrow.  
But as I am writing this, I find that I can explore the possibility that there is another view. 
It makes me think about some of the ways Joe chose to live his life.  When he was still single, one of the things he most wanted to do was live in the town of Princeton, NJ.  He found an affordable  basement apartment in town.  For him, living in Princeton was what was important.   It was all about priorities and sacrifice.  
I know that when he was diagnosed with cancer, he would rather have spent every moment he had with his family. Although his job was not his life, especially after he became ill, he did have a strong work ethic.  His priority became the future security of his family, the sacrifice became time. 
There are so many ways that Joe is remembered.  People who loved him, places he has lived and now, thanks to Jen,  I have discovered another way that Joe has left his imprint in this world.

I have created a page for Anna's Diary.  It can be found under the Tab titled Anna's Diary.
I have posted all of the entries to date there, starting with January 1, 1929.

Here is today’s entry from Anna’s diary:
Tues. June 11, 1929
Went downtown shopping.  Lunch with Jewel.  Told me of her plans of a party Saturday night. Went to Edythe’s office for a visit.  Supper at Jean I.’s. Visited Naps later.


  1. I agree.  People do live their imprint on the world, especially to those people who know them well.  After my dad died, I relished the expressions that only he used, or the jokes that originated with him.  I have found myself looking for and finding the parts of him that are in me.  I am glad you are finding more ways that Joe touched the world.

  2. I am so desperately sorry for your loss, but how wonderful that his print on this world can be found in so many places.  That has to be comforting.  He will never truly leave you.  He will always be alive in your hearts.  Bless you.


  3. What a lovely post and a great way of remembering your son and honoring him.   I constantly come across something that my late hubby used to do and nobody can handle it the same exact way.  I am saddened when I come across things like that and I want to ask  him "how to handle" something....But I smile as I know it was unqiue to him.   Hugs and blessings to you...

  4. So touching. I'm comforted knowing that you can explore "another view". I've found that I still recieve reminders of my son's presence in my life, and the lives of others, almost 10 years after he left us. It's amazing how his presence makes itself known in the most unique ways. You just have to train your eye and mind to look for these gifts!

  5. Thank you for your kind words.  Grief is quite a bumpy road sometimes, as you know. 

  6. Thank you.  I appreciate your understanding.

  7. Dealing with this loss has caused my emotions to be all over the place.  I feel like I am on a wild roller coaster ride as I  desperately try to hold on to bits and pieces of Joe. 

  8. It's amazing how the same little things can both bring us comfort and cause us pain, isn't it? It's all in the perspective, which is such an easy thing to say, but a much harder thing to practice.