Cousin Andrew


I hope this message reaches you in good spirits. My name is Andrew, and I’m Joey’s cousin. I’m so glad you have the opportunity to spend time around him and be directly affected by his passion for helping others. Whether helping his family, his clients, or his fellow man, this kid goes at it 100%. I don’t get to see him as much as I’d like because I live inCalifornia, but I can tell you that no amount of distance can keep him from inspiring me to be a better person and do more with what God has so graciously given me.


I have to admit, I haven’t written one of these letters before — I’m not quite sure where to begin really — but I want to tell you a little bit about my life and something I have been thinking a lot about lately. My mom. Today would have been her 60th birthday, but she passed away unexpectedly last May. Days like today, since her passing, used to be difficult for me. For some reason though, things feel different now. For some reason I feel happy, grateful, full. What changed you might ask? Well, typically I allow myself to dwell on the series of negative events leading up to her passing, as well as the new ones that were borne on that day. Today, though, as I think through the past couple years, I can’t help but realize how amazingly lucky I am. 


You see, after college I moved toCaliforniato start my first post-college job, but after about a year in, my mom got pretty sick and it got to the point where I knew I had to do something. The next day, I walked into my boss’ office and quit my job. I told them I needed to move home right away. So I did. Two weeks later I was back at home, living in my parents’ basement and helping take care of my mom. She started to get better after a while, and things were really starting to look up. I thought I was finally back in control. But alcoholism, mixed in with a slew of other health problems, finally caught up with her one night, and the next day she was gone. I still remember finding her there that morning. That was a morning I’ve always tried to forget. 


Finally, I realized that everyone has to a choice. They can find the good in life or let the bad take them down. I thought about the bad parts far too often and for far too long. What about the good? Sure my mom was sick, and she battled disease for years, but she was a great mother. We had a great relationship. She knew I loved her and I knew she loved me. I was lucky to have acted on that sudden impulse to quit my job and move him. It gave me another full year with my mom. I was lucky to have my company ask me to stay and for them to allow me to work fromPhoenixon reduced hours so that I could help take care of her. I was lucky to be surrounded by loving friends, fellow humans, who I knew cared about me and who could lift me out of my grief. 


Thankful. Thats what I am now. We all experience bad things in life. That will never change. But we always can. We can always choose to find the positive. To take steps forward and lift ourselves, with help from others, from the pitfalls of life. We will always have that choice. And for me, that choice is finally clear again.


Now, I dont know your story. In fact, I don’t know anything about you. But I do know that you have that choice too and you always will. Choose to see the good in life. It’s all around us. We just have to make the decision to open our eyes.


Your fellow human,





One thought on “Cousin Andrew

  1. Thanks for sharing Andrew. I know your mom is smiling down on you from Heaven and is very proud of you. All too often we let the important things slip by us. There is much insight in what you shared.

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