Monday, Memorial Day, May 28, 2018, it was an ordinary afternoon. It was a good day, I had no complaints and life was feeling absolutely peaceful. remember thinking how good I felt, no complaints. We were happy as a family, everyone was healthy and I was looking forward to a huge celebration on August 31st. I was retiring from my job of 25 years and Joe was turning 28. I wanted to celebrate my retirement and give Joe a great big birthday party too!
Then, at exactly 11:14 am on May 29, 2018, I received a phone call from Joe’s cell phone. I had been trying to reach him constantly the day before, he never called me back or answered my texts and I had not heard from him all night. That was not the norm for us and I became frantically scared. I answered my phone relieved it was Joe, but it wasn’t his voice on the phone. It was a woman and I had no clue why a stranger was calling me from Joes phone. Then she identified herself, but I couldn’t hear what she was saying, it was like a buzzing sound coming thru the phone. Then I heard her say four words, “your son has died.” And, just like that in a matter of less than 2 seconds our life changed, it would never again be the same. Our first born and only son, Joseph Anthony (27) was gone. His life had come to an abrupt and devastating end. Our entire world collapsed minute by minute after that phone call.
On June 7, 2018, we celebrated the life of our Son, Joseph Anthony Suarez. Remembering all the beautiful moments he gave selflessly to each one of us. That huge, beautiful smile and his infectious personality that lit up a room the moment he entered. His love for life, for us, and everyone who knew him. Standing room only in church that day and it was over capacity (900). I looked behind me and all I remember seeing was a huge sea of people. It was the most unforgettable two hours of our life, yet the most amazingly beautiful at the same time. Joe’s made a difference in the 27 years of his life, he made people feel good, and he never walked away from a friend. His love had no end and he may have physically left this world, but his spirit is way too big and his presence if felt everywhere.
Joe had a dream, it was to start his own business some day. For many years it’s all he talked about and I knew he would be successful, but it would take time to build his “Brand.” Time was not our friend and Joe’s life was suddenly cut short. Nobody saw this coming, he was this uplifting soul who made immediate friends with an Uber driver, or a guy at the gas station, or a successful business owner, he just had that vibe and he wanted to share that with the world. He came up with the name, NineTNineD. He created a different format to spell out the year he was born (1990). As a family, we decided to honor Joe’s life and keep his dream alive and move it forward. It’s been an extremely difficult task, as we still struggle at the fact he’s really not here anymore. It’s still unthinkable, how can Joe not be here? He was the center of our family, and I don’t know if we will ever get to that place of acceptance. It’s still too much to comprehend. But, we try, and we take one step forward each day and live loving life in the moment ….just like Joe. His online business is officially here, reality has arrived and we hope Joe’s Story gives others that “vibe” of living life to its fullest, everyday.
In addition, a portion of these funds will go towards starting a Foundation In Memory of Joseph Anthony Suarez, by bringing more attention to the heart disease Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. Joe had this undetected heart disease, we had no idea he had this heart problem. This was a contributing factor to his passing. His spirit was so big, his love for life will never leave those of us who were blessed by his presence. Joe will never be forgotten, that’s a promise we made to his life.
For more info. on this heart disease, below is a link from The Mayo Clinic.