Earlier this week, Joe Agozzino, 57, exited this world and moved on to the next. Like his father (Charlie) before him, he left this world way too soon. It was a shock and a heartbreak to everyone who knew him. And everyone, it would seem, knew him.
Hundreds, if not thousands attended his wake on Monday, while hundreds more attended on Tuesday what could only be described as a heavenly send-off at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church (West). Not least among them being the entire wrestling squad from St. Edward High School.
And through a sea of sad tears, the question arose: “Why? Why Joe? Why now?”
Joe was a good man. A good son, a good brother, a good husband, a good father, a good friend, a good neighbor, a good co-worker. He was good. And by all accounts, he was healthy as a horse. And yet, he is gone. And a void has been created.
But upon reflection, it occurs to me that while we have lost one of the good ones, we are blessed to have so many good ones still among us. And for that we should rejoice.
Joe’s brother Leo, though in many respects completely different from his only sibling, is likewise a good man. A good son, a good husband, a good and loving father, a good friend and a man of tender mercies.
Joe’s wife, Annie, is as sweet and good as a woman can be. Caring, loving and devoted. A good daughter, a good wife, a good mom (and soon-to-be grandma).
Joe’s aunt Domenica is more than good; she is saintly. One of the finest, kindest, most sacrificing women I have had the pleasure of knowing in my life. And her daughter Josephine – Joe’s first cousin (which is like identical twins to the Irish) – is a saint in waiting. The best daughter, the best wife, the best mother, the best sister, the best friend, the best teacher, the best neighbor.
And of course, Joe’s mother Leonarda and his children Leah, Charlie and Rocky, and his uncle Sam and his good friend coach Urbis… and the list goes on and on.
And though most of us find ourselves walking in Joe Agozzino’s shadow, it is good to know – and I am certain Joe would agree – that the good are still here… and they are all around us.