By REGINA DeMARCO GAFFNEY
Getting into work this morning, I did my usual routine of checking emails and Facebook messages. The last thing I expected to read was that a dear friend had passed away. I knew that he was recently ill and hospitalized; however, you always think “It can’t be so bad. He’ll be fine.”
The next thing you know…he’s gone.
“Johnny-Boy” Sposato was one of those folks who I became friends with when I was five or six years old, running around the old neighborhood in North Bergen. He was a couple of years older than me and was one of those guys that was just really damn nice.
I remember how many pre-teen girls (myself included) had major crushes on him back in those
innocent days when you didn’t even really know what it meant to have a boyfriend or girlfriend. In our teenage years, I remember Johnny-Boy not being around as much, once he began driving, leaving the younger kiddies to wait until it was our turn to become cool and independent.
As people do, I lost touch with him after the high school years. Even so, there is a certain group of friends that will always remain like family in my heart, no matter how much time or distance is between us. John S. was one of those people.
Through the magic of Facebook, I was able to reconnect with him. I quickly learned that he was still the sweet, warm-hearted person from our childhood days. I also learned what a loving husband and father he was. Anyone who spoke with him, read his profile, or looked at his pictures could immediately tell that his family was his world. No one could question that his first priority was family…good Italian Catholic boy that he was.
He won’t be remembered in a service held at a huge stadium and won’t have reporters hounding his family for a picture or an interview. That’s fine, though. He will be honored and remembered by people who genuinely gave a damn about him. He will be remembered with dignity and respect.
No one ever wants to lose a loved one, family member, or cherished friend, especially a young man of 44 years who had so much to give to those around him. I will deeply miss my childhood friend, my buddy, my Mafia Wars teammate. The tears will eventually subside, but my heart will continue to ache for the loss experienced by his family.
God bless your beautiful family that they find strength in one another.
Johnny-Boy, I’ll miss you.