A Tribute to Jogon

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I’ve been dreading this post because it forces me to face a reality that I simply am not ready to face. And things are about to get a little sentimental up in here so grab a tissue. I might’ve mentioned that not too long ago our great friend, my homie, and cool kid on the block, Jose Miguel Gonzalez, Jr. passed away on February 26, 2016. I was in the Dominican Republic looking at a wedding venue with my parents and I didn’t get the news until the next day. My heart beat so fast and I just sat on the bed staring at the text over and over because I felt like it was so unreal. My heart hurts typing this because I relive that horrible and empty feeling, a feeling that just opens a pit in your stomach.

Jose was so special and such a great guy. He not only dated my cousin, Amy for 8 years but he was my brother’s best friend in middle school and therefore he was family to us. Jose was there for so many important milestones in our lives. He was there when Luis and I got engaged, he was at every weekend birthday bash, and he was the ultimate chisme partner. I would always look forward to seeing him because he had ZERO brain-to-mouth filter and it was something I could relate with and it’s what made us become friends, really. I could always count on him to tell a story in the best way – the most hilarious and truthful way. He had a laugh that you could hear from miles away and there were so many things I admired about him. From being his own boss and owning his own tiling company to having a huge heart for those that sometimes didn’t deserve it.

Our last conversation was through Snapchat (and if you were friends with Jose on snapchat then you know you’re a few snaps short because he was known for sending snaps every single day) and it was about following your dreams and moving to a different city. We talked about how sometimes you don’t know what’s on the other side and about how the unknown can ultimately sway your decision to follow those dreams. Jose was a big advocate for striving to do your best and was always pushing people in the direction that he thought was fit for them. I remember when we told him we were moving to California he wasn’t shy in giving us the ultimate truth when he said, “It’s expensive as shit over there!” and that just tells you the kind of crazy, funny and real guy he was. Everyone has their thing. And being brutally honest was Jose’s thing. I know that his friendship will be missed in so many ways. Our field days will be so boring without his competitive spirit.

We laid our good friend to rest in Fort Myers, FL on March 5th and it was quite possibly the toughest day yet. I am most positive Jose was there laughing at my snot-filled, boo-boo crying. There were so many times that we’d be crying in silence and we’d just burst out in laughter because someone would say one of his quotes or jokes and it made everything feel less as heavy. His soul was kind and impactful. His heart was huge and he opened it up to so many people. His kindness will be remembered for years to come. His jokes made your stomach hurt and you just knew that if he was on your side then you were going to be alright. And even if he didn’t know it, his smile changed the world. I’m styling Jose’s shirt in these photos and dedicate this post to him.

Jose, I know you’re reading this! I’m going to save you a dance at our wedding and I swear if you make me trip as I’m walking down the isle I will kick your ass when I see you. I love you. I miss you. And I hope you know just how much you mean to us. RIP, my friend.

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Jose Miguel Gonzalez, Jr.

March 17, 1983 – February 26, 2016

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