I can still remember the day that I met him, although I know he doesn’t. It was a day that everyone in kindergarten looks forward to: the day we are assigned to an 8th grade buddy. Getting assigned to an 8th grade buddy when you are in kindergarten is a big deal. We went to a Catholic school and your 8th grade buddy would escort you to church and take part in activities with you during the school year.
Joe was easily the tallest boy in the 8th grade class. He was near the back of the line with a friend of his named Austin. One by one we were paired off with our 8th grade counterparts. Some how that day I was put toward the back of the pack and ended up being the last one assigned to a buddy. It was just my luck that there were two 8th graders left (Joe and Austin) and just one me. I was the only one in my kindergarten class to say that I had two 8th grade buddies that year.
There were a few things that year that stand out to me. Joe and Austin always made me laugh. I have a vivid memory of sitting in church with them and looking over and realizing that Joe was falling asleep in the pew. Austin realized it around the same time and did something to startle Joe out of his impromptu nap causing him to let out a big gasp that was heard by both our teachers which caused me to belly laugh.
Another fond memory I have is gathering leaves during the fall with them for a project. There was a leaf I just couldn’t reach and Joe was nice enough to lean forward and grab it for me. While I can’t remember every interaction, the ones I remember always bring a smile to my face. Once he graduated, it would be quite a long time before those memories would come back.
Fast forward nearly 20 years. I was clicking through Facebook one day and to my surprise Joe’s name came up as someone I might know. I instantly messaged him and asked him if he was the same “Joey” that I knew in kindergarten. He immediately told me that he no longer goes by Joey but he was in fact my 8th grade buddy. From that day on, Joe has always been in my life.
Today, Joe and I share two beautiful children. Our story has not been easy. We continue to battle against consequences of addiction and all the downfalls that come with it. We have gone to war with each other at times and had our moments of feeling like this was the end of our story. But, at the end of the day, I couldn’t imagine having children or being with anyone else. Joe has taken great steps and made amazing sacrifices to keep our family together and we continue to work together every day to give our boys the stable home that is so important for every child. Our boys are incredible. Our oldest is going to be 5 this year and starting his own kindergarten experience. I have to wonder what new adventures will be in store not only for him, but for us in the future.
My name is Kristen Frolich and I am the proud author of the blog The Reading Revolutionary. For as long as I can remember, I have always loved reading. I recently embarked on a challenge to read the 100 books you should read before you die and write about my experiences. My blog features posts about the authors behind these titles and full book review. I also write about hot topics that detail my stance on certain important issues related to reading.
Please go to The Reading Revolutionary and join my revolution! Make sure to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest so you never miss the latest posts!
Wow, Kristen! You and Joe have known each other for a very long time, its great that Facebook can reconnect you with those that you knew in grade school! Remember, no story is the same and no story is YOUR story. Addiction is hard, but is very rewarding after recovery. Blessings!
Please be sure to check out Kristen’s social’s and her blog about her journey of reading!