Four Years Gone, Forever Missed


Cole suggested we visit his grandparents (Joe’s Mom and Dad) at the cemetery and spread some of Joe’s ashes and so we did….taking our good friend Johnny with us (see below)

Four Years Gone, Forever missed…..

~ Gossip was so much fun to share with Joe. I heard some great gossip a few weeks ago and it broke my heart not to be able to share it with him. Joe loved hot, steamy, juicy gossip and would hang on my every word, dissect it from every angle and badger nudge me to find out more.

~  Cole (my 17 year old son) car failed the emissions test to the tune of over a thousand dollars in car repair bills last week. I missed fighting with Joe over what course of action we would take to get the car fixed before finally agreeing I was right.

~ Being without power sucks, but it sucks less with a partner who is handy with a generator. It would have been fun sharing a candlelit house (and roasting marshmallows!) with Joe after Cole defected from his homeland for a friend’s house that offered lights, internet and television.

~ Cole’s prom. The suit shopping was better left to mother and son, but Joe could have handled the Friday night drive across town in rush hour traffic to buy the right shoes. Admiring the results of our teamwork would have been the best part.

~ After watching a couple of episodes of the show Shameless with Cole, I felt duty bound to tell him that sex really isn’t like that…but hearing it from Joe would have been more believable.

~ Joe and I had clearly defined roles. He procrastinated, and I bugged him to start and finish things. Now I feel obligated to fill both the role of procrastinator and of the person who starts and finish things. It’s a lot of work for one person.

~ I miss weekend barbecues. Joe would ask how I wanted my meat cooked, I would say medium well, Joe would always undercook it, and when I asked him to toss it back on the grill he would insist it was cooked exactly the way I liked it. I’d try arguing, but eventually I learned to wait for the first opportunity to sneak it into the microwave. Sometimes, I would sneak Joe’s steak into the microwave too. After dinner, we would agree that my burger, steak or ribs were cooked to perfection. Joe would smile happily and then mention his meat seemed a little overdone. That was fun.

~ I miss Joe walking into the bedroom after a shower and striking a pose as a waterfall. You had to be there, I suppose.

~ This past week I have been organizing our digital pictures and found one of Joe that included Cole and one of Cole’s teachers. She was especially fond of Joe, so I e-mailed her the picture. She immediately e-mailed me a thank you: “I am so grateful to you for sending this. I love to see Cole at school and he is always so sweet, open and loving—exactly like his dad.” Sometimes, Joe still gets the last word.

On today, Joe’s death anniversary, what I miss most about not having him with us is being able to share this picture of Cole on his service learning trip at Camphill Village Kimberton Hills, Penn.—a community that empowers the mentally disabled. Joe’s feelings would have matched mine when he looked at the picture: Love beyond the beyond.


Cole: Mom, I miss Dad every day. Do you?

Kb: For better, for worse and always for you.

No resting in peace for you, Joe Ruscitti. We have a boy who will be a senior in a week, and I’m not going through this year of lasts without you! I plan to spread your ashes every step of the way.

Cheers, Joe!


Joe and Cole

27 thoughts on “Four Years Gone, Forever Missed

  1. Doggone it, now where did I put those Kleenexes? You’ve gone and made me tear up, Kb. What a sweet tribute to a man who is much missed! (And what a beautiful spot for his parents’ final resting place!)

    There were plenty of times I wanted to tell Domer his dad was forever gone, too (even though he wasn’t). Sometimes I just felt it would be easier on him growing up with a dad who had a reason for not being there, y’know?

    But I know how hard it is being BOTH parents. We muddle through the best we can, forever worrying whether we’re doing right by our sons. Makes it feel worthwhile when you see a photo like Cole’s from his service trip — you can see the kindness and gentleness and compassion in his face, and you can know you’ve done something good. And right!

    Condolences on this remembrance day — one would think it would grow easier, but sadly, it doesn’t.

    • It is difficult when someone makes a choice not to be there. It’s a crummy deal.
      On my facebook page I post a sign that said, ” And I simple decided to be happy again.” This is true, but there will always be gotchas. Today is a gotcha. The good news is both Cole and I are surrounded by a wonderful family and a loving, funny, odd generous community! Thank you for being a part of it!

  2. Thanks for sharing. Miss you Joe. Thanks for bringing KB and Cole into my life. Love, Julie

  3. Katybeth….Obviously I did know Joe,but after reading your blog, I feel like I did know him. I am going to go back in your blog and catch up! You have a terrific sense of writing and although I remember you as one of the worst “spellers” in the world, the computer spell check is probs your best friend! Again, beautiful tribute…, catherine

    • Thank you Catherine. What was your first clue that I was a wobbly speller? The fact that I misspelled your name for years upon years? I still double check. I have spell check and a boat load of people generous with corrections.
      Joe and I were soul mates–which meant (to us) our relationship was blessed and cursed…but we never doubted we were meant to be together. We blamed God. 😀

  4. Doggone it—- this made me cry because I can read in your words how much love you and Joe had. He would be so proud of how you have raised Cole but then I suspect there are times when you still feel him right there with you. Love the picture of Cole at camp and the video is awesome. High five to Joe who is greatly missed by many I am sure. Blessings to you today, Katybeth.

    • Thanks Beth, I like to think Joe hangs around a lot. As my kid said when I told him his Dad died….”Mom dad’s dying really sucks.” He was sure right…but it has sucked a lot less with so much love surrounding us.

  5. You have the unique ability to make me cry and then laugh reading the same blog entry. I never met Joe but I’m sure I would have liked him. I feel like I know him some because of your blog and facebook. You and Joe have one fine son and I am sure Joe can see that wonderful photo of Cole.

    😀 😥 😛

    • Thanks Stevie….I appreciate the reassurance that Joe can see that picture–because it sure sums up a lot of what we hoped for–that and being taken care of in our old age in the way we would like to have become accustom to, of-course. 😀

  6. Your words tug at my sweet and sad at the same time.
    I wish the BEST to you and Cole , forever..

  7. Those words “for better or worse, in sickness and health,, for richer or poorer, until death do we part are said at such a happy time we don’t even think that the death part will ever come. When it does at such a young age, it tears the heart apart, never to be whole again, but there is work to be done in the raising of a son. Katybeth you have done a spectacular job with Cole and I know Joe is very proud of you both. Continue on, my dear, and be happy . You deserve it.

  8. nice remembrances of life with joe. i enjoyed all the pictures, too. i liked the handshake between cole & good bud johnny.

    • Me too…those two are something else. Johnny is Joe’s best friends Son..and is such a character. I keep telling them that two of them can make millions together.

  9. God bless you and Cole, KatyBeth. And God bless Joe, too. Khalil Gibran, the author of that most wonderful little book “The Prophet” once also wrote “Our spirits forever hover over the people and places we have loved.” I think Joe’s still hovering over you both.

    • Thank you Samantha. Joe always was a hoverer so I’m sure he’s spirit does still hovers around–a comforting thought!


  10. I’m so sorry that I missed this earlier. I only know Joe through your words and descriptions but he feels like a part of my life, just as you and Cole have become in the few years that I’ve gotten to know you.
    You are truly blessed to have had him in your life, but I don’t need to really tell you that, your stories and memories say it all.
    Lots of love and hugs to you and Cole, always! xx

Comments are closed.