He was an excellent baby. He was sleeping 6 hours between feedings when we came home from the hospital. What a change that was. My first son, Wayne was allergic to butterfat and vomited a lot until he was 7 months old. Luckily we discovered what was causing it and made adjustments on the other children if they showed the same symptoms as newborns.
Joey always loved music. Even as an infant if Joey was crying and upset all you had to do was lay him in front of the stereo and put on some music and he calmed right down. I was so lucky!
His older brother loved him so much and took care of him like he was his. Joey never had to say much when he started talking as Wayne would do it for him. "Mom, Joey needs a bottle, or Mom, Joey is ready for his nap"....what ever he needed Wayne was there for him. He never liked milk. He threw his pacifier away at 7 months and then his bottle, (which he never drank more that 7 oz. of milk in), was gone by 10 months. As I said a very easy baby. He was also Daddy's baby. Never disciplined by Daddy and just hung on him.
At the age of 2 Joey still was having crossed eyes when you looked at him. They kept saying he would grow out of it. NOT! By the age of 3 1/2 Joey was still crossed. They finally tested him and he had some long named eye muscle disease. This was one he could not be operated on for. Poor little thing had to have bifocals and big old heavy glass lenses. he could hardly breath they were so heavy on his little nose.
Joey was a stubborn little thing as well. When he made up his mind that was all there was too it. There was no changing it. He climbed a 40-ft. holly tree in my Mom's back yard and jumped out yelling something about one of his favorite super heroes. He did not get hurt so he climbed up and did it again. All the other kids in the family, (they were all close in age), were just standing there watching. No way would they do it. They came running inside to tell us. The little imp. This was when he was around 5 years old.
When Joey started school he had some security issues, due to the fact that his father had been burned in an accident while with the Army while we were overseas. It was a month before the boys could see him and Joey thought for sure he was dead and we were lieing to him. I had to get special permission for him to visit his Dad to prove that he was still alive. By this time the #3 son was on his way, Brian.
Brian was Joey's little toy. He tried to do the same thing for Brian that Wayne did for him. And in a lot of ways he did. But Brian was far more active than Joey. He very seldom sat still.
Joey very seldom got sick as a child. Before he was 3 he did have pneumonia 2 times and bronchitis put him in the hospital when he was 8 overnight. But, he never had ear infections or stomach viruses. Due to that one of the most vivid memories was of my dear sweet Joey getting sick on Christmas Eve around the age of 9. I got home from work and he was running a fever of 103. They could find nothing wrong with him. He had no cold, no sore throat, no vomiting, nothing! So we pampered him with liquid, cold compresses and the usual.
Christmas morning, he was really out of it, very lethargic. His little lips just peeled from the high temps. He opened his presents and then went back to sleep. His temp finally broke around 3 PM. When he got up he was as good as new. We never did find out what it was. But, he had to go back and see what he got for Christmas, as he had no memory of opening his gifts, poor little thing.
Anyway lets get to his troubled years. Joey just loved football and all he ever wanted to do was be a pro football player. He kind of had a photographic memory, and had an IQ test in 2nd grade, which put him around 10 points below a genius. They would not challenge him, so he floundered, but, never failed. HE WAS BORED STIFF!!!!
He played Little League Football and loved every minute of it. It was not a good game unless he came back with marks on his helmet where he had tackled someone or scrapes and blood on his knuckles from where he had fought hard for position, this was from hitting the ground and other people's gears. He was not malicious towards other people.
When Joe, (notice it is now Joe not Joey), got to high school he realized he was not growing. His maximum height was 5' 6", and a top weight of around 160. His brothers are 6' 2" and 6' 3". Joe had so much knowledge of the game. He was designing plays when he was in 5th grade. They were good ones too. All of his coaches and said he should go pro. but with his size he got discouraged and gave up on his dream. Along with his hopes for the future, I think.
After that things just started really going haywire. Actually his 8th grade year was kind of rough too. 2 days after Christmas I took him to a re-hab center for a 60 day stay. He had volunteered to go during a school counseling session. He was smoking weed and drinking, I came to find out. Anyway, he did not make the 60 days after 30 days they called me to come and get him. He had figured a way to get thrown out without getting into trouble and he did it.
He was consistently on the edge with school officials. They had labeled him as a problem and therefore I believe they gave up on him. He continued to drink and do drugs. I found out later that he had tried almost everything except intravenous drugs. But his drug of choice was weed and drinking. He never got in trouble as far as the law was concerned. But, he kept passing grades, you know D and above. Finally at the end of 11th grade he had a run in with a teacher over one of his grades and got mad and quit. Only 1 year left.
During these years Joe was getting heavier into music. He taught himself to play the guitar and he started writing lyrics and music. He would never play them in front of me he said I would not like them. He was Metalica, Guns and Rose, you know really wild stuff. He would spend hours, sometimes days closed up in his room. But, he was always a loner, he never had more than one best friend at a time. He would hang with one or two at a time, but never much more than that. Lets jump ahead.
Joe and his brother Wayne had a falling out while Wayne was in the Navy, of course over a girl. They never really got that close again. However, they played sports and games together, and worked together everyday for the same company I work for. Wayne is the preppy type. He never smoked and very seldom drank. He was the All-American Type Boy. Everybody loved Wayne, he is a charmer. Joe resented that. No matter what you said you could not get Joe to believe that you were as proud of him as the other 2 boys. Low self-esteem I guess.
The last year, Joe had gotten his own place and was doing well. He moved out in September. However, come November he was spending more time at my house then he was at his own. He spent most weeknights on my sofa than going home. I finally told him he should just move back in to our home, instead of paying the money for a place and not using it. He and Wayne had a disagreement at work. Neither one of them wanted to be in the same room with each other. Which makes it difficult for us to have family gatherings. So I told the both of them they had to have a truce for the holidays. They did, and we actually had a great holiday season.
We had one of the best Christmases that we had in years. We were all together, all talking and happy. I DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.
Joe moved all of his stuff back to my home around the 1st of February. I have not mentioned much about Brian. He and Joe got along fine. He tried to stay out of the middle of everything. He was having his own problems with school and drinking and weed. GOD HOW I HATE THE DRUGS AND THE DRINK. As far as we know everything was fine. The boys were playing basketball and football, not only on their new play stations but also at the park and seemed to be having a good time.
I left for vacation to Boston on March 3. I called the boys everyday, but was never able to get more than the answering machine. Of course, they were screening the calls. You see Joe and Brian were home together, with my car for use. I even left them money for groceries and whatever.
Then on the evening of March 7, I called home because there were some missed calls on my cell phone. My Brian answered the phone and asked me if anyone had called me about Joe. I said no and he said, "He killed himself" I can still hear the words boring into my heart and brain. We drove all night to get home. Left Boston at 10:30 at night and was home by 4:30 am. I drove a good part of the way to keep my mind occupied. I did not sleep for another 36 hours, until I was so exhausted that I could sleep.
There was no real note, but we did fine some of Joe's writings in my car. You see he had walked out the font door telling his brother he had to go and check on his job, as he was to start back to work the next day. That was the evening of March 6, said see ya, and never came back. He drove for 9 hours found the spot he wanted, or else he ran out of money. He still had plenty of gas. Parked the car got out took 3 steps and jumped into a rocky ravine. We know this because there were 2 witnesses that were at a scenic overlook where he did it.
The two verses that I found to state what I think he meant is as follows; Written by Joseph W. Brockson on 3/7/02.
Lets go back to a time when love was just a word and brothers were young, when uncomplicated times were our only concern and life was simple to learn....................
It is like hitting foul balls all your life and never following through, I am tired and just want to stop swinging.................
4/11/79 - 3/7/02