Tribute to Edwin Joseph.

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of my cousin Eddie’s passing and I want to dedicate this to him. Some of the events of this day I don’t exactly remember, but I will try my best. RIP Eddie. I love you..

It is the morning of May 27th, 2001 and all is well because TODAY is my younger brother’s 8th birthday. We don’t have any real plans, we only know we would have a relaxing day.

It is a nice, sunny day outside and just like other birthdays in my house, if the one with the birthday desires something special, such as a meal or anything else, we will get it for them. Throughout the day we would do activities that he wishes to do because it IS, ‘his’ special day.

Around 5:00 or so, we all sit under the carport of my house. We chat. Then we receive a phone call to inform us that Eddie had swallowed a thumb tack and is being rushed to the hospital. I believe it is grandma who called us. We think nothing of it because I guess she seemed to be rather calm. Also, she must have said it was under control because we didn’t act upon this phone call. However, I DO remember my father being a little uncertain of the situation. He didn’t have a good feeling. But, we continued to celebrate Shawn’s day.

Later on, around 7 or so, I am typing up an essay I had to do for chorus. The reason is I never felt like staying after for the meetings and I had to this to make up for it. Honestly, I just write a bunch of bullshit because I don’t care. So, my dad is in the shower. I believe Paul and Shawn are in Paul’s room watching tv. My mom heard the phone ring and runs for it. I sat there thinking of more lies and bullshit I could write for this essay when I hear my mom murmur, “What? Are you serious? Em?” She was whimpering a bit while talking to my grandma on the other line.

I stopped. Cold-stoned stopped. My heart beats a mile a minute and I wonder what my grandma on the other side is saying to my mother to make her so upset. Here, she tells me Eddie died. I have to stop what I’m doing because I can no longer concentrate on this meaningless essay. I follow my mom, who goes into the bathroom to let my father in on the news she has just received. My father commented with an “I knew it. I knew something would happen. I had a bad feeling.” When he gets out of the shower, and we are all ready. We head to Lower Bucks Hospital.

The cake for Shawn is immediately put on hold, just like the rest of his festivities,such as his presents. Everything would have to be halted to absorb this news we are given. The ride there is sad. I didn’t know what to expect since “I” am merely 11 years old. I am scared.

As we walk into the lobby of the hospital, we all go back into this room where my Uncle Rich and Aunt Kathy are. This room is one of the worst parts of the day. You should have saw the two of them. I feel sick, scared and all of the above. I have no idea how my brothers feel as we watch them cry and hug one another. Then we are taken to this little room where my cousin Eddie is laying on this table. Cold and pale. I am so afraid to touch him. I don’t like touching dead people, it creeps me out. I just stare at him. My family and I hadn’t seen him or my other family in a long time, so to see him laying there, not being able to ever talk to me, hug me, kiss me, tell me he loves me, grow up and be a close cousin of mine made me feel devastated.

All of us went outside and meet up with my Aunt Theresa and my other cousins. I recall my cousin Cass telling me she saw Eddie a few weeks prior to this and he was asking for ME. She said he told her he missed me and I was one of his favorite cousins. You don’t understand what this did to me inside. I am heartbroken.

We all went back to my Uncle Rich’s house. What I remember most was my two cousins James and Melissa crying on separate couches. The story that I got was James, Eddie and one of James’s friends were playing this game where one had to suck in and spit this thing out. What happened was Eddie’s got caught in his throat and wouldn’t come out. My cousin Melissa was babysitting the two of them, while my aunt and uncle went out for bingo. She tried to help and the fire department also tried assisting, but it was too late.

Also, I recall it raining and Melissa, my cousin Holly and I sat in my uncle’s car and Melissa kept saying that it was her fault. We told her it wasn’t, but that didn’t make her feel any better. She just felt so helpless. Holly and I tried to make some jokes, but it was such a terrible situation, it hardly worked.

We stayed over there for a few more hours and then left.

The next thing is the viewing/funeral, which out of my 21 years of being alive was probably the most tragic one I’ve been to.

This was the first time I had ever seen my father cry. As we said our goodbyes, I heard my father cry, not even to just see him cry, but listening to it made me feel ill. The whole time I held my composure because I had to be strong for Cass, who had tears in her eyes sitting close to me. I knew I couldn’t show any tears because then she would start to really cry. I stayed strong. Don’t think just because I didn’t cry I wasn’t in pain by the experience.

Edwin Joseph Ness loved the Rugrats. He had Tommy Pickles items by his casket. Us cousins, Shawn, Eddie, Cass, James and I used to play Rugrats. I was Angelica, Shawn-Phil, Cass- Lil and Eddie and James would argue over being Tommy. But we truly knew that Eddie was Tommy and James was Chuckie.

The ride over to the burial was rough. I remember riding in a limo with my Uncle Rich, one of his family members and the 5 of us. When we got to the site, we had to say the final, final goodbyes. It felt so empty. He was only 6 years old and his life was shorten. He was supposed to graduate from elementary school, go through puberty, date girls, drive, be in his first relationship, get his first job, graduate middle school, high school, college, get married, have kids. It was all taken away from him by some stupid boy who brought over a stupid game.

Today is May 27th, 2011 and even though we are celebrating Shawn’s 18th birthday, we are still remembering a little boy who wasn’t given enough time to live. Life is not fair sometimes. It makes me choke up to think about all these moments in life he missed. I miss him very much and I love him. How could you not love a boy who was so quiet and so well-behaved that he brought light to whom ever came in contact with him?

How could you ever be able to forget him? I know I won’t..

So, in sum, this is for you Edwin Joseph, this is YOUR tribute.

xoxox.

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