Apr. 30, 2020

Joseph Shelton Hall Jr.

"I had some time to digest my son’s passing this morning. It hurts no doubt but the beauty of life’s journey is that my son new journey place is going to be far greater than his time on this earthly realm. It’s no doubt that Joe had unconditional love from anyone who met him.

I can thank God that Joe had a fantastic mother who persevered through all of his struggles. I thank God that Joe’s maternal grandmother was there when Joe’s mom couldn’t be there. I thank God that Joe had a brother who loved his brother in a way that only love itself can define. I ask God to forgive me for not being all the father Joe deserved but I loved Joe from the very time I saw his face on that summer August day in 1979 to that last time I saw that face this morning. In between 40 years passed and I prayed everyday for Joe to secure a medical miracle that never came. He was all that I needed when I felt that he deserved some much more from this life then I was capable of giving him.

I know now Joe’s spirit is frolicking now that it is no longer imprisoned by a body that wouldn’t allow that joyous expression to happen. In my mind Joe graduated from Morgan State University, pledged Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, and married his college sweetheart, he took ownership of his grandfather’s trucking business because Joe loved trucks. He actually drove trucks before he rode a bicycle. Joe would’ve owned two Akita dogs because he loved those dogs. Even though I was scared of them because they were massive dogs. Joe would’ve raised a son and daughter and he would’ve been a great father because he knew only love in his life never experienced hate. He would’ve been the great husband loving his college sweetheart for a lifetime. In my mind Joe lived a long life and buried both of his parents. Joe, his brother Jermaine and sister Skyler were lifelong friends and I lived long enough to see Joe’s kids graduate from college. That is the world I imagined for Joe but my imagination slipped away and the reality of Joe’s illness crept back and I woke up hoping that now is spirit is free."