Thursday, November 22, 2018

Today Johnny is giving thanks for the great people of Jersey City

When Johnny's wife passed in early February, he truly thought he was alone here. He'd worked from home so he didn't get the same types of relationships one builds up in a office setting; dinners, movies, team building trips to Yankee Stadium, and through these outings and events and programs one makes friends. Johnny only really had acquaintances in his building as he worked early and odd hours. His best friend really was his dog walker all this time as he'd see him every day at least and chat.

He really felt isolated.

Nobody is EVER going to use any kind of, "Oh, New Jersey, pffft" insult around him and not be called on it. "Oh Jersey people..." Nope, as Bill Clinton used to say, 'That dog don't hunt." Never again will that derisive dismissal go unchallenged. Jersey City has shown Johnny some of the most wonderful people he'll ever meet and will truly miss.

Johnny's an Atheist, don't worry, just setting up this story of kindness. The first thing one does after getting up off the couch is deal with the funeral home situation however agonizing. Johnny called McLaughlin Funeral Home in Journal Square. He is SO GLAD HE DID. They've been incredible and they helped take care of so much. If you are ever in the same situation as Johnny, you can trust them. Just 4 days after his wife passed Johnny did not feel up to a PATH ride from Grove St. to the JSQ and he called a cab. The ride was quiet and uneventful which was the plan. As the cab pulled up outside McLaughlin's and stopped, the driver, in a thick accent, asked Johnny if he was going to the funeral home. Johnny said yes. He asked if it were someone close and Johnny choked up a little replied 'My wife."

The driver asked Johnny to hold on for a moment. He fumbled in his jacket for a second or two and pulled out a prayer card and asked if he could say a prayer for her with him. It was the first and one of the kindest gestures in a tidal wave of coming kindness. You better believe Johnny listened to all this good and kind stranger had to say from the card. Simply amazing.

Johnny's neighbors took his dog for walks, they'd just show up to do it. Dinner was left outside his door like it was some kind of wonderful coordinated effort for over a week. Johnny's college friend Mary who lives in Dallas wanted to make sure he ate something, anything, and ordered a burger and mac and cheese poppers from Left Bank Burger. When it got delivered there was a note from Mary relayed on the receipt but also a note from someone who worked at Left Bank Burger, "We're here if you need us."

Johnny has gotten more supportive and uplifting DM's on Twitter from Jersey City people than you can count. He's just listed a few moments here where people were kind, there have been many more.

New Jersey/Jersey City isn't Angry Governors, Snooki's and housewives. It's not. That's TV. The people of Jersey City are wonderful and compassionate and kind and whom Johnny was lucky enough to spend 10 years with.

Today he's giving thanks for you Jersey City.

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