26 years ago, almost to the hour (Jos was born at 1:54 PM) I was in hard labor. Hard because I was having natural childbirth and also because Jos weighed 9 lbs. 1 oz.
Jos was a charmer right from the start. He had to be given that his name at birth was Amy Joanna. I grew up with Little Women as the model for family life. Jos took to nursing with an enthusiasm rarely seen in new-borns (already I can hear Jos saying: "Overshare, Mom.") I can imagine him going back to the nursery extolling all the great things about life: unlimited food, diaper changes, lot of people oohing and aahing over you, etc.
In later life, Jos used to say that he was all about fun, but actually, he was all about love; both came naturally to him. I can remember when he was a toddler, and he would kiss me. With Jos it was not a kiss on the cheek, it was a Hollywood production. He would start kissing me on the fingertips of my left hand, work his way up my arm, across my shoulderblades and down the other arm to the fingertips on my right hand. Someone once observed this performance and commented that Jos' father must be a great kisser. Not exactly, it all came naturally to Jos.
He was an adorable little boy and he knew it. At one point he went through a stage where he would point to people
"See that man over there, he thinks that I am cute".
See that woman there, she really likes me. She thinks that I am cute."
One morning, I was not fast enough in bringing Jos his orange juice, he came over to me, put his hands on my face, and said,
"Honeybun, Honeybun, do you think that I could have some juice please?"
No woman was safe from my son, not even on the phone. When one of my friends would call, if I didn't answer the phone, Jos would engage her in conversation. He really was interested in what they were doing and thinking. I guess that it was always a disappointment if I got to the phone first.
When Jos changed his name, he chose Johannes which was a family name in Jon's family and Dianovich to honor me.
Even when he had left home and was living on his own he went on vacations with us because he knew that we loved being with him. When we bought an inflatable boat, he bought one too, just so he could do more things with us.
I have a very good friend with whom I have been collaborating on a long term writing project. As with every creative effort of that sort, there are times when words are exchanged. Jos called my friend and told her that she shouldn't be so hard on me, "Mom is trying her best." How many sons would do something like that?
For my birthday last year, he gave me ten workouts with his personal trainer and also money to buy more (I gave the money back). It was important to him that I be in good shape.
I don't know anything about Jos' kissing techniques in later years, but I do know that he saw Jon kissing me and decided that Jon needed a little coaching.
"No, no, you have to take the back of her neck and tilt her head back more. Then you have to give her a big, passionate kiss. Mumsie, you aren't suppose to laugh. You guys are never going to get it right. It's a miracle you managed to have children."As people have mentioned before, Jos had few boundaries!
All of you remember the brilliant, caring, witty man who was your friend. I remember him too but I also remember the two year old year who when I asked him what was written on his Raggedy Andy doll's heart, responded, "Don't pop a tire."
Oh Jos, we never knew what to expect with you.
to mother's message to her lost son
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