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JOEY'S STORY

Hi Everyone,
     I'll reintroduce myself  by sharing "Joey's Story" with all of you today
on Joey's 10th Anniversary Day.
     Like many young people who die from drugs he was a caring
and sensitive child and always looking out for the other guy
and not himself.
     My beloved son Joey died at 25 years of age after ODing on drugs.
He was the only child that still lived at home with me at the time
and we had grow so very close.
     He was so gentle and sweet to me and tried so hard
to take care of me after my divorce from his abusive father.
     I will miss him always and forever.
Here is the beginning of Joey Chretien's Story.
I hope it's not too long.

Joey at Birth
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Joseph Chretien Jr

Joey's Story
    Joey was born on a cold January day that was already
special to me at that time. It was my 7th wedding anni-
versary.
    He was after three sisters in a row and I wanted to
have a boy so desperately. I was so happy when they said
he was a boy. Even after 23 hours of awful labor I was
just bubbling over.
    His whole first year of life he was so sick. He had
one respiratory infection after another and soon develop-
ed severe asthma. After treatment in our Boston hospital
it was decided he had Infectious Asthma. This meant he
was allergic to germs, they would cause him to go into
respiratory distress and then develop severe Asthma.
    After a long period of searching and treatment by
his doctors he improved and finally by kindergarden age
he was able to attend school.
    He did well for many years but was sick off and on
when exposed to a new germ or illness. The doctors would
have to add germs to his serum he received each week to
keep him healthy. (An escaped bubble Baby)
    As a teen he did well until about 12-14 and I noticed
a change in his behavior. At first I thought this is just
"boy stuff" but I soon knew something wasn't right. I took
him for counceling and he seemed much better.
    I then went through several years of abuse and mar-
riage  problems and did my best to keep an eye on all six
children while I dealt with my problems.
    When my husband finally left and I went for my di-
vorce, I was once again able to see that Joey had a prob-
lem and he went into rehab with my coaxing. Over the next
few years he was in and out of rehabs and the months prior
to his death he had been "Clean" for quite a while. He had
finished his high school education after dropping out and
gone on and gotten his degree and was working as a Techni-
cian in Fiberoptics. Little did I know that this high pay-
ing job would seal my son's fate so horribly. He had a
brand new car and pockets full of money. This I am told is
not good for a young man of 25 years with a drug history.

 I was so proud of him for coming so far. He worked days and I worked nights.
When I came home in the morning from work he would be gone
but when I got up in the late afternoon he would be home.
He frequently would cook in the evening and make supper for us.
He made a real good pizza and his specialty was "crazy soup".
This was a concortion of anything he found in the fridge/house
that he thought would be good in a soup.
It was just delicious no matter what he put in it.
He always said the broth was all that mattered to make a great soup.
   Joey wouldn't let me do any heavy work around the house.
He washed the floors and carried the laundry downstairs for me
among many other things.
After a while I just left the laundry by the cellar door
and he would take it down automaticaly.
   He pampered me in many ways.
He always introduced me to his friends as "My Mom".
The way he said it just made me melt.
His girlfriend, off and on for many years said he was always bragging about me. 
How good my sauce was, how I made the best meatloaf in the world,
how much I meant to him, how hard I worked, how much he loved me,
how I stood by him over the years, are just a few of the things he told her.
We were very close in those last few years. We were a team.
  One day in June of 94 Joey said he was going to his sisters
for a cookout and a swim.
He had met up with his old friend and had started to spend time with him. 
He told me this friend was clean now and in a half way house.
I felt a little uneasy but wouldn't want another parent to keep their child
away from Joey because of his past mistakes and problems.
Besides he was going to be at his sisters house. 
She knew Joey better than most and he respected her and would listen to her.
When he came home that night we sat up late and talked and ate bing cherries
that he had brought home from his sisters. He was fine.
We hadn't sat like this and talked for a very long time.
Now I realize that this was a last gift from my precious son.
Normally I would have been gone to work at this time but I had the night off
to attend the funeral of an aunt in the morning.
When we finally said goodnight I felt a need to stay up longer with him
but it was so very late already.
   Something woke me early the next morning about 6:00 am.
Now I know it was probably the sound of Joey closing the door as he left.
I was always a lite sleeper. At the time I thought he was still sleeping.
I had my coffee and got ready for the day and went upstairs
to wake Joey as agreed. He was gone. This was not like Joey at all.
He always slept late when he didn't have to get up.
I went off to the funeral about 9 am feeling very uneasy.
   Joey had always said not to worry. If anything was wrong he would call.
But I was worrying now.
   When I got home about 1 pm the phone was ringing as I came in the door.
When I answered I was told matter of factly that Joey was dead.
The policeman just blurted it out with no feeling or compassion at all.
Just one less druggy to worry about I thought.
   My precious son was gone.
   He had gone to his friends that morning and they had once again
done drugs together. I don't blame his friend. Joey had a mind of his own.
His friend has never been the same.
They had both passed out and when his friend woke up Joey was dead.
He became hysterical and ran out of his apartment screeming.
   Joey's sisters and brother and I buried him with love.
Oh, how we miss him so.
   About 3 weeks later as I was getting ready to bring the laundry
downstairs to do the wash, I had lifted the heavy basket
and suddenly the cellar door flew open for me to go down.
No one else was home and no windows or doors were open
only the airconditioning was on.
It startled me for sure but I soon realized
only one person would have opened that door for me.
Joey.
He was still trying to take care of me.
 

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Joey's Resting Place