Joy has been my friend for so many years. She has been with me throughout my life journey. Every single thing that made me happy she has been there with me. Without fail she cried and laughed with me. From the deepest life moments to simplest ones. She was there, always with me. But she has been missing of late and I miss her so.
As a kid she was always there with me. In the backyard with my toy trucks and cars. Digging channels and filling them with buckets of water. The trucks helped me make the channels. My own little rivers and reservoirs. My Gi Jo would swim within them and save the world, kill the sharks and be the hero. Joy was there with me laughing and in awe at these simple pleasures.
And when every weekend when the butterflies hit. Soccer was on and a goal was to be had. Joy was there with me. She shared my excitement, she shared my thrills. Each goal I scored she celebrated with me. The goal where I beat four players from the half way line to slot it though. The goal I hit first time on the volley. That very first goal I ever scored at the age of 7 from a neat pass from Keith Webster. Joy was there. She cheered and screamed with me, louder than even my mum.
And when My dad gave me twenty cents a goal. Telling me I played well but at the same time giving me advice as to what I could do better. As I spent the money on lollies and pop, dreaming again of the goals that I had scored and would score. Joy enjoyed the moment with me. These simple pleasures she understood.
Even in hard times she was there. After a badly broken arm that made me have to return to school she was there as I tackled year 12 and passed.
She was there through the trials and tribulations of university that I overcame. The graduations and the first job. She was there throughout my achievements as I tackled the world and helped to make it a better place for people with a disability and those who are Deaf.
She felt my pain and sense of achievement as each barrier was broken down. I and others benefitted as a result. Her pride in my achievements was as great as my own and my parents.
That first job at the Deaf Society. Assisting Deaf people into employment. The first job placement I got for a Deaf person with the post office. The bar course at TAFE that I established for Deaf people, she was there. The Australian first mentor program for young Deaf people. The first fully accessible website. She was there with me. Proud and humbled at what I had done.
My first kiss, my first girlfriend. She witnessed them with me. From Michele, to Liz, to Kirsty and to Anita she was there. Happy, excited and exalted as these women helped me grow into the man that I am today.
And that day I met my wife. At my front door, in my Humphrey Bear Boxer shorts. The day I said hello to the woman that would share the rest of my life with me.
She was there at the birth of all my children. She laughed with me as Aden peed on his mother as he was first introduced. She stood in awe as each of my children was birthed. She watched eager and with pride as they grew into the brilliant young men that they are today.
Joy was there for everything. My happiness was her happiness.
And the day I married my wife. My wife arrived early and I was chatting with my groomsmen at the front of the church. I had to scurry down the aisle. The moment I said I Do. She was their as we laughed when Paul walked in on us consummating our marriage. She laughed with Marnie and I when our friends trashed our wedding room. Joy has shared everything with me.
The sunset, the flowers and the holidays. The dogs I have grown up with and Pepe the budgie. My family holidays at Stansbury, Kangaroo Island, Port Lincoln or my wonderful holiday in Italy with Marnie.
The good times shared with friends. The wonderful meals and the glasses of wine. The whisky with old friends and simple good times. Joy has shared them all with me. She and I have been lucky.
But lately Joy has been missing. I miss her. I need her. I hope she returns soon. Life without Joy is not much life at all. I am sure she is not far away. Please Joy, come back soon.