The day before Joey died we went to a BBQ restaurant I used to work at. It had been ages since we had been in there and was good to see some old faces. That was the last meal we had together. Him, our youngest son, and me. I hate the food there probably from working there for so long but Joey loved it. I was getting ready to go out of the town for the night so it was nice to be able to spend some time together before I left.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that would be the last time we sat down and ate together. Looking back had I known I would of paid better attention to the way he ate or maybe had more meaningful conversation. I’m not sure what I would of changed but I hold on to every memory of that meal today.
Friday my mom and I went back into that restaurant it was the first time in almost 2 years that I have gone back. My old manger was still there and touched my face to make sure I was real. He didn’t think he would ever see me again. It made me tear up. He wasn’t just a manager. He was a friend to both Joey and I. He helped us get our first home. And was always finding Joey side work. He came late to Joeys funeral and asked my permission to stay behind with the immediate family so he could say his good byes. Of course, I allowed him to spend that time.
Walking into that place was a flood of memories, all of them memories of Joey. I couldn’t help but see him around every corner, and in that booth where we sat in for the last time at the meal I didn’t know would be our last. It was very overwhelming, but in the end I’m glad I pushed myself to do it. The memories are important to recall and the faces that are still here are important to see.