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.


Sue said...

That was very sweet Mary Ellen. I wish I had known him personally, but feel like I "knew" him because of all the things Hallie wrote in her blog.

I miss you in blog world. Sue :)

Caution Flag said...

He must have been a remarkable man. Thanks for introducing us to another facet of him.

Welcome back :) You've been greatly missed.

claudia said...

Hi Mary Ellen! Good to see you back. This was a wonderful tribute to CJ.
I hope to see you more often, I've heard through the grapevine that you are doing well and loving your job...

Joanie M said...

What a lovely tribute, Mary Ellen.

Yes, it's good to see you back, but I wish it was under happy circumstances. I've missed you.

Debbie said...

Hi...I don't know many people who actually met CJ, so this was another wonderful way to hear more about him. This is so very sad and I pray for them daily...

Alice said...

Just lovely. I know Hallie will lean heavily on you in the days and weeks to come. Thank you for sharing your memories of CJ.

MaBunny said...

I've only known them thru the world wide internet, but I've cried a bit too over this unnecessary loss.
You said it beautifully.

katy said...

Very nice M.E. I hope this post is one of the things that makes everyone smile one day, remembering the good times.

kim-d said...

Ahhh, Mary Ellen. I have missed you so much and have been hoping for you to return to your blog. As you said, I wish it would have been under different circumstances, but...

Such beautiful thoughts and memories from one who really knew CJ. I looked forward to meeting him in person some day, but I thought we had all the time in the world...

Evansmom said...

Beautiful, my friend.

Eternal Lizdom said...

So glad to see you back, M.E. So sad it is under these circumstances. I've been praying since I heard the news- I keep Hallie close to my heart and mind throughout the day.

joanne said...

lovely post, such an amazing young man. I feel like I knew him after reading all these beautiful words. take care sweet M.E., I'm glad to see you here..;p

Gucci Mama said...

This was such a lovely tribute. My heart is broken for Hallie and family.

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AirmanMom said...

ME...thank you for this glimpse of CJ. My prayers continue......

Elenka said...

I welcome you back, too, but I wish you were talking about something else.
This is still unbelievable to me. I just found out yesterday and cannot stop thinking about this. All day long.
Never having met any of you, I still feel like I know you all somehow.
I am so sad.

Vegas Princess said...

It's amazing how, even as a child, CJ was the one you would remember. The one you would bond to. He just had that thing that made you love him. I wish I could have met him in real life, but through Hallie's words, your memories and my own talks with him online I feel like I had known him forever. He is not one a person can forget, ever.

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P.S. I miss you! I too am sad about the circumstances that brought you back. I hope to see more posts from you soon

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I'm so very sorry. All losses are tough, but it sounds as if he was a young man, and that's even sadder.
(Glad to see you back, though, ME.)

Odette said...

Oh ME this is such a beautiful tribute to CJ. I go along with Sur on this one because I wasn't one of the lucky ones to "know" CJ except through our blogs. Honestly my heart still breaks for him and for the world that lost him.

Love seeing you back to btw.

Lori Skoog said...

I did not know anything about CJ, but it sounds like he meant an awful lot to many people. Thank you for coming back and sharing this with us.

I want to know more about what you have been doing...I have missed checking in on you regularly. Are you still listening to my music? Hope all is well.

Martha said...

Mary Ellen, I am an adoptive mother. My daughter who was 35 died five years ago from a sudden cardiac problem. She was our only child. The loss is like half of myself is gone. She was always encouraged to look for her biological parents, but she never did want to. I love her more than I can ever begin to express. Keep searching and calling. That mother love is so strong, that it will conquer her resistance. I love you, and I just met you today. Martha

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It sounds like CJ was a real light in the world. I'm so sad for Hallie and her family, as well as you. I've known the pain of losing a dear young person like CJ, as well as the helplessness of watching your friend suffer so greatly and being unable to help much. I'm glad Hallie has you for a friend.

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