The Golden Birthday

The Golden Birthday

The Golden Birthday 150 150 Joedance Film Festival

This blog was originally written by Diane Restaino on December 21, 2010, in honor of Joe’s 21st Birthday. Today, Joe would be turning 31.


Joe 21.jpeg

Today, Joe, you would be 21 on December 21, so this is your golden birthday. Instead, it will be me, your dad, Tony and David remembering you along with aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends. We planned to change our venue and go to a place we have never been before hoping to separate us from the pain, but after Tony’s surgery we will be at home. Our new plans are to put the tree up and fill it with Tony, David’s and your ornaments. Then we will move on to a movie, one we think you would have picked and of course chomp down a large bag of popcorn.

You asked me a year or so ago at the beach “What was I like as a child?” I knew you had no memories before 2008 and your second chemotherapy, so we talked for a long time about your childhood. How you needed, wanted matching socks to your shirts, how you helped me with the twins when they were battling asthma and allergies, how you spent hours putting small sticks between the slats of our deck. How you would build legos and the fact that you loved Pavarroti and the three tenors. You would watch videos of their performances pretending to conduct using old church bulletins as your sheet music. You wrote a paper when Mr. Rogers died, who was your hero. And you always made sure your brothers and friends were going in the right direction. You never took a picture without your arms draped around your brothers or friends. How you could never finish an art project until McCallie. We talked about how you changed your name when you were three and how we knew then you had your own path to follow and we were along for the incredible ride.

And it was an incredible ride and we thank every day we had a seat. In the end you loved us and we loved you and that was all you cared about.