Friday, April 23, 2010

Remembering CJ

Hello. I've been away for quite a while, and, although I've been planning to return, this is absolutely not the way I wanted to do it.

I am one of the lucky people who knew CJ Twomey. When I first met CJ, he was still a kid. I worked with his mom, Hallie, and she invited me over to her house. I remember meeting CJ and his brother Connor, liking them immediately, and thinking to myself that they would get along great with my two boys. That is indeed what happened - my kids thought her kids were great fun, and whenever they got together, riotous laughter always resulted.

My older son, Brandon, has worked as a counselor and lifeguard of a local summer camp for 4 or 5 years, and for two glorious summers, CJ worked there, too. Brandon told me at the end of CJ's first week that CJ was a natural counselor (high praise from the veteran!) and that the kids loved him.

I find that easy to believe. Everyone loved CJ. He was smart, funny and kind. He had a way of making you feel as if you were the most important person in the world. He and I shared a sort of twisted sense of humor, and I always felt as if he 'got' me, even back when we first met. I'll never forget that night he made me laugh so hard I held my sides and begged for mercy. CJ, I'll miss your laugh most of all.

I was fortunate to know him, to see him mature into the wonderful, loving man that he became. My heart aches for his loss - for myself, for Brandon and his other friends, for everyone whose lives he touched in person or through this amazing internet, for his beautiful Danielle, but most of all for his devoted family. He leaves a void that cannot be filled, and I pray for strength and comfort for Hallie, John, Connor and their loving extended family.

It was my privilege to know this extraordinary young man. I love you, CJ.