Joel Black remembers Jos

Being around Jos, with his non-stop flow of ideas and projects and jokes and greetings and flirting, was a lot like watching a fireworks show. You'd be laughing at the jokes, at the ideas, at the audacity, at the exuberance itself.
His wasn't a show in a far-off field; it sparkled around him; he'd set it off in his many friends. The happy challenge of a new idea would start a game, and soon the give and take would feel like a whole basketful of puppies playing together; yapping and wrestling and wrecking everything in their path, just for the fun of it. And there Jos would be in the thick of things, stirring it all up, launching more rockets.

It all kept coming, like the explosions of the rockets in the grand finale on the Fourth of July, and just like that, no one wanted it to end. But who'd have thought that it would?
We're going to have fireworks for years and years! Let's just hope we can all keep up!

The shock is that it was the finale. Jos is gone, and the sky is darker now.

But the afterimages! I can still see the fireworks -- I can still hear Jos's voice, saying some wacky thing I'm going to have to argue about and then laugh with him about. He was a great friend, and the memories of him are a treasure. I'll miss him, but he'll always be around.

At the funeral, I wondered, how many people can cry? How many hearts can break? How many can wish it wasn't true?
All of them ... and it's not enough.
But when Jos was here, how many people laughed? How many friends did he have? How many people loved him?
All of them ... and the next day there'd be more.
In my sorrow, I think about how poor we are now that Jos is gone. But I also think about how incredibly rich we are for having known him -- what if I had never known Jos?
Lots of people didn't.
I wouldn't be crying right now if I was one of them;
I wouldn't even know about the empty place where Jos would have fit.
Thank God I'm not that poor!
For me that place hurts right now, but it's so filled with the Jos that I did know --- the pain I feel now is nothing to the adventures we've had.

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