Joseph Ryan Furlotte
March 24, 1981 - September 02, 2006
Angel Wings at age 25 years
I’ve sat down to write this tribute to Joey at least ten times and didn’t get a word to the page. How does one summarize 25 years of such a special person’s life into a couple of paragraphs? It became clear that what I had to do was to just talk about who Joey was as a person and let the words flow.
Joey loved to laugh! He was always quick to smile and gave the most beautiful hugs. When you got a “Joey hug”, you definitely knew you had been hugged! He wrapped his arms around you and locked his fingers together, so it was hard to get loose of his grasp. He also wasn’t cheap with those hugs and smiles. If you were within arm’s reach, he drew you in. Man, woman, child... everyone was a target for a Joey hug. I sure miss those smiles and hugs.
His favorite things were his Fisher Price radio (always held up to his right ear), mylar balloons (which we would tie to his wheelchair and he would hit them like a punching bag) and electronic organs (which he pounded on to make sounds). Joey also loved to use his voice. What came out weren’t words but sounds that definitely communicated. In the middle of the night, he would call out “MMMM” which translated to “Mom, are you awake?” I’d answer back with the same sound and you could hear Joey chuckling in his bed. I sure miss those sounds.
We were blessed that Joey learned to crawl and he kept that ability up until he was in his late teens. His biggest accomplishment was actually crawling up a flight of 13 stairs, looking for me as I was upstairs making beds. I heard a sound behind me and there was Joey, looking quite pleased with himself. It was something he did just once in his life... he never repeated the feat again. I sure miss his mischievous spirit.
Joey was a warrior, a survivor and the strongest yet most fragile soul. The health challenges he went through were many and I don’t know how he did it. Thousands and thousands of seizures. Multiple pneumonias that he miraculously pulled through. I called him my “Energizer Bunny”... he kept going and going. Until the day he left us. Now all we have are our memories of Joey’s huge smiles, his octopus hugs and his mischievous spirit. Rest in peace, my sweet angel. I hope your dad is taking good care of you up there in heaven. Until we all meet again. ♥