Friday, May 30, 2008

Remembering Joey (by Toni Spence)

Joe and Karen,

You once told me "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree"; which I find to be so true about Joey. He was the best of you both put together.

I think of him with that afro and small rose colored glasses at one of our 50's parties - playing music with Joe. Only Joe just had on a bandana as there was no hair left on his head. Everywhere you were with Joe and Joey music was involved. So much alike.

I think of him with his face and body painted red and gold at a USC game wildly cheering with his friends. And you two, such proud parents, carring on the fan base taking off to Oahu wearing your red and gold, long after Joey graduated, to support the Trojans againist UH. Such shared enthusiasm by all of you.

Each time I saw Joey I was always greeted with a warm embrace making me feel as though I had some importance to him. Very similar to the way I feel when I see the two of you at work, or socailly or at church.

Joey was always there for every family event. Some of great importance or just to celebrate a milestone birthday. Similar to the way you two traveled to the east coast so often to be with your kids and grandkids. He modeled your love of family.

I recall the time in Mexico. Joey sat shotgun in the small car I drove. We spent hours in that car. The comversations got deep at times. The car load had dissagreements about social issues such as abortion and alternative life styles. Joey gave his opinions and always complimented you, Karen, on your work with the Problem Pregnancy Center. He was really proud of you. And so you two are never afraid to address the tough issues either. Something Joey was comfortable with too because of your openess.

As Jesus was somewhat unconventional here on earth I suppose Joey's entrance into heaven might create some uncoventional, spontaneous moments too. The sounds of worship may just take on a new flair. Prehaps a new rock band made of those we know who also, at all to young an age, entered heaven.

You raised a wonderful son. Loved by all who knew him.

I don't know how to help you make it through the moments of each day. My heart is broke as I think about what you are going through. You are the two that so freely offer your love, compassion, comfort, encouragement and support to those that are hurting. Now it is our turn, regardless of how inadaquate we might feel. We send our love to you. We're praying.

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has known what God has prepared for those who love him."

We love you,
Toni & Jason Spence


Liza's Eyeview said...

Toni, that was such a comforting comment you left, I decided to post it up here.

As I read all the comments on this blog, the memories of Joey on that 50's ad 60's party came up many times. I thought a photo of him on that afro would be fun to post, so that others who were not there would see it :)

Joey knew how to enjoy life. May it be an inspiration to all of us, to celebrate his life, and our lives as well.

Glory to Jesus.

Mele said...

Staying connected to you Karen and Joe through the blog as we lift you up in our prayers daily.

Always praying,

Mele & Ohana

Anonymous said...

Hi Johnson Ohana,
We echo Toni's comments (she said it much better than I could!) Funny thing is I think the first time I met Joey was at the 50's, 60's party from that picture!
We all joined hands and prayed for you last friday night at church and are continuing to pray for you.
We love you so much and know that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will be comforted in your times of greatest need.
Love Ben & Tiff

Anonymous said...

That was so beautifully spoken by Toni. The always fun-loving Joey is very missed by many. My family and I love the Johnson family sooo much!!! Thank you for always being there for my family.

Anonymous said...

joe and karen and jaime and joanne
we are continuing to pray for you for strength for each day, for each encounter and for the day's tasks as well. also for the ability to sleep really well when the opportunity comes to you.

after lindsay lauer, my dad (maybe cody nakagawa too) and your son and brother passed away, for some reason, God always has had craig mauck lead worship and always we have sung the song "i'm trading in my sorrows" one of the verses ends with the line 'His joy comes in the morning'
those words and song inspired this poem:
there is joy in the mourning in the passing of a friend,
when there's knowledge that in Jesus their life really has no end,
and the place where they now are every hurt has a mend,
yes there's joy in the mourning when on Jesus they depend.

we will be carrying you in prayer and thoughts and in our hearts over these next few days. we love you so much.
pete carrie and girls