Christina Rosas: My son, Michael was in elementary school and needed a tutor to help him with math. I decided to find him a tutor. Jeremy (Jos) came to the door and I knew in one second he was the one. First by sheer size, and second by his outgoing and funny (lighthearted and comic) manner, third -- his organized and polite demeanor. This was going to be great for Michael, Jeremy was the one!
He started right off with jumping in with Mikey to see where he need help. What areas etc., just like a teacher. I loved it. He invented games with Michael in math with money - fractions etc. He used "toilet talk" with Michael and for a ten year old boy this was delicious. Example: "If I have 10 cow poops and you have to divide them up for 3 farmers to compost equally, what do you have to do?" or "If you pick your nose three times a day how many buggers will you have at the end of a week?" Things like that made Michael laugh and he got the right answer!!!
....He used Ninja turtles (Mikey's favorite "guys") at the time to play out fractions. Example: Donatello Ninja karate chops Michaelangelo Ninja 25 times then so and so comes and karate them both --how many chops, etc. Mikey loved this!!!
Whenever, Michael would act up a bit -- fidget and zone out -- Jeremy would get up and wrestle with him or give him a "noogie" in a head lock. Now I know that this sounds wacky -- anyone else or let's say "normal" or perfectly conservative family would say NO WAY to this. Not me, my son's grades went back up to "Excellent +++ " and myself being kind of an offbeat and fun loving person -- found his techniques delightful. So did the younger siblings. Jeremy always found time to play with Giancarlo a bit before he left and later with Star.
He was wonderful. Over the years his relationship with Michael was truly one of a mentor, big brother, idol, etc. and for Giancarlo too. For me, I thought of him as a friend, a son, a little brother, nephew. I just loved him. I always looked forward to his sessions with Michael and times when he just stopped by to visit and chew the fat. He turned me on to different music as I did with him and both of us made each other tapes of this group or that.... He loved my lemon poppyseed cake and I loved his surprisingly mature for a teen ability to talk and joke, not like some typical teen "geeks".
There were other things I remember: He always left early on Friday afternoon (on his bike mostly!! long ride) to buy challah for his mom for Shabbat -- very sweet and conscientious!!!
When his mom had a bad cold/flu -- he called to cancel with Mikey so he could take care of her NICE, NICE, NICE (My mom always said if a man acts respectful about his mother -- this means he will always be kind with others...
I loved how he sometimes called up Michael to take him by train (exciting for Mikey) to San Francisco to check out the "scene" up there -- music shops, etc.... .
He was always so polite and fun with my family and friends. Cindy, my cousin, who is my age one time said to Jos: " You are really blossoming into a handsome young man and if I was younger -- watch out."
Anyway, I loved Jos' response-
"Mrs. Rosas, we better tie her up, she's in the prime of her life and so am I ..." We laughed.
Another of my cousins died and Jeremy knew him and wanted to come to the funeral. It was a first for him to see a "Catholic" open coffin, etc.... We stood in the back (we came a bit late) and he put his arm around me -- I thought because he was comforting me because I was crying, etc. The next thing that I knew, Jeremy was laying in a heap on top of me. He had passed out. Cindy and I were trying not to make much of a commotion since it was a somber event and all. So I tried with Cindy's help to wriggle out from under the "big guy's weight". We managed to drag him outside in the marble entry and brought him back to consciousness. We then decided it was best to leave. We ended up laughing hysterically all the way home and soon forgot how sad and down we were.
Jeremy introduced me to his girlfriend "[X]" at one of my big holiday bashes. He brought this very blonde, soft-looking, tall girl and he seemed so in love with her. My sister and I and Mikey couldn't stand her, she seemed so "blah" [compared] to him. He needed (in our opinion) someone with "umph", with wit, dash, drama, vigor, etc. Anyway, we were nice to her because he liked/loved her. My sister was amazed at how a "high-school guy" could be so attentive and mature with a girlfriend.
Example: He got her a drink and a plate of hors dovers. He introduced her to everyone just like an "adult" He wasn't the typical teen guy trying to sneak beer, show off or act like a bore and sit in the corner. He danced with everyone. He talked to young and old alike and still found time at the party to take Michael in the toy room and play 1-20 minutes before he had to go....
He always talked highly of his family -- Mom, Dad and brothers even as a teen. When he felt parents were too strict he was not a rebel without a cause as so many teens are.
His maturity and wit were two of the biggest things that always made me love him and bring me to tears. I really miss him. I still don't want to believe it.
He never talked bad or evil about anyone except for my ex-husband who definitely deserved it. Anyway, he was so protective of me and the kids throughout the big divorce and trauma.
He was so creative with stories, writing, fun. His way of explaining funny situations - work, people, school, later Alaska, etc. His interpretations of adventures, good or bad. He always found a way to make light of them or see the positive side. I rarely saw him down.
I loved his funny way of dressing -- his weird clothes periods (now my son does the same -- so it's no shock). I loved when he showed off his sewing projects -- a teenage boy sewing (for fun -- not for a class). His knitting, his writing, his compilations of music...... He had so much to give. He would have been the BEST Dad and husband to someone. I know he made the best son, brother, friend and person.
He always called me Mrs. Rosas and never forgot his manners. It wasn't until he was in his 20's I said, "please call me Christina" and he did -- sometimes. He liked to talk about politics and the arts and fitness and cooking. So diverse for a young person -- especially for a guy.
I remember when he was tutoring Michael and I was sitting in the other room watching the news. It broke about the Scud missiles sent over Israel. He stopped what he was doing and came over and was sad and mad and worried.
He helped me several times watching my house and dogs and cats. I would never ever consider letting a teen watch my house, not because I hate teens, I love them, but I know how immature and crazy they can be for the most part. The temptation to party or have girls/guys over, etc. Not Jeremy. Very responsible. He even picked me flowers from my garden and had them on my table when I came home. Little things like that!
He bought the children some big fancy cookies at the bakery for no reason. Just as a good treat. He was so thoughtful.
He helped me move (what a disaster moving is!). I had a lot of stuff. When I tried to pay him, he wouldn't take a penny.
He took Michael to Habitat for Humanity to "enlighten him a bit" when Michael was "testy" to say the least. He biked with Michael. Michael confided in Jeremy. They talked about drugs and sex and life and morals. It was great because we all know sometimes as a teen you can't talk to your own closest people about certain things.
It was fun when he changed his name. He was "trippy" at times. He was not a follower or trendy bonehead. Instead he was a trend setter.