(good joe. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved May 28, 2017 from Dictionary.com website http://www.dictionary.com/browse/good-joe)
I’ve associated with many “good Joes” over the years. Louis Alacano (father of my childhood best friend), Keith Archibald (high school science teacher) , Drs. Phillip Flammer, Hugh Baird and James Baer (BYU professors), Larry Landauer (owner, Flora Lan Nursery), and Ralph Aardema (principal, Ben Lomond High School) are just a few of the “good Joes” who have blessed my life. There have been many. There still are. Lance Hislop, the man to whom I am married, is certainly a good Joe and clearly a huge blessing. (Huge referring to the considerable size of the blessing he is in my life; no reference intended to his girth.)
But this letter is not about me.
Today I am extremely grateful for the good Joes in my daughter’s life.
A research brief authored by David Murphey, Ph.D., Tawana Bandy, B.S., Hannah Schmitz, B.A., and Kristin A. Moore, Ph.D. outlines the following key findings about the importance of non-parental adults in the life of a teen:
- Children and adolescents who have a formal or informal “mentor-like” relationship with someone outside their home are less likely to have externalizing behavior problems (bullying) and internalizing problems (depression).
- This group is also more likely to complete tasks they start, remain calm in the face of challenges, show interest in learning new things, volunteer in the community, engage in physical activities, participate in out-of-school time activities, and be engaged in school.
- Additionally, those who have a caring adult outside the home are more likely to talk with their parents about “things that really matter.” These results suggest that mentor-like adults outside the home can be a resource in promoting positive well-being for children and adolescents.
Good Joes have significant beneficial influences on the lives of impressionable adolescents. Good, GREAT actually, Joes have significantly benefitted my Grace.
Joe Drago began blessing Grace before she came to Earth and will probably continue blessing her until he leaves this Earth. While she was in the womb he and his darling wife Michelle played Pinochle with Lance and I. If playing Pinochle did not bless the in utero Grace directly, the distraction it provided for me from the ever-present nausea had to have had some indirect beneficial effect.
Joe has always teased and believed in Grace. When she was in junior high he taught her to referee soccer and requested her as his partner. In her early high school years he taught her to drive a stick shift—a true act of courage and love! All her years Joe has taught her that she is important and capable.
It is hard to say when Joe Maylin (and his darling wife Heidi) began blessing Grace’s life but it is not hard to see the blessing they have been. The Maylins have enveloped Grace in a huge figurative envelope of love and acceptance; they adore her…and she adores them. Joe, a leader in our local congregation, feels that associating with Grace has been one of the great blessings of his current ecclesiastical assignment. He told us they are considering including “Grace” in the name of the as-yet-unborn daughter Heidi is carrying. Grace knows that Joe is an ardent member of her fan club and that validating knowledge is priceless.
Justin Ropelato, whose middle name is Joe, also belongs on the list of “good Joes” who have benefited our daughter. Blessed with a personality that teens trust and a darling wife, Natalie, that trusts him, Justin has been at many crossroads in Grace’s life. She let him in at a time when no one else was allowed into her life and has probably told him things that no one else knows. They’ve walked many miles and talked many hours together. Each step and each chat builds Grace as does the knowledge that Justin is always willing to walk and talk with her.
When Joe Giordano and his wonderful wife Crystal, entered our lives our world changed. In the pre-Joe life I was lost in the Weber County livestock world. I perceived people as nice but distant and I had many more questions than answers. Fueled by a desire to help kids and equipped with a warm and generous personality, Joe established the Better Bacon Bureau 4-H club and opened it to everyone. Soon the club had almost 50 members. We joined and almost immediately Joe took Grace under his wing. He gave her responsibility, experience, and confidence. Last year Joe bought Grace’s market lamb. There were nearly 500 animals sold at the action and Joe chose to buy Grace’s. Money speaks and, at that moment, Joe’s money spoke loudly and clearly to Grace. We are so grateful to Joe for his financial generosity and for the message his money gave to our Grace.
Grace’s pig died last week. Her show pig, the one she paid $300 for last month and which ate $35 worth of food, is dead. We are not sure why it died but we are sure it is dead. Gone is her pig, her $335, and her income source for 2017. [Dead pigs do not sell well at the Weber County Fair FFA Livestock Auction.] Immediately she called Joe.
Three days later he called back. “We found you a pig,” he said. “You can come get it today if you’d like.” I have no idea what mountains he moved to find a show pig for Grace—at this time of year all the high quality show animals have long since been spoken for—but we are so appreciative of the miracle he made happen. Not only did he find Grace a great pig—arguably better than the one that died—but he also made arrangements for the pig to be tagged (a requirement to participate in the fair) and when we asked him how much Grace owed him, he waved her off. “Don’t worry about it,” he said. “We just want you to do well,” Crystal added. Joe Giordano is undisputedly a “good Joe”.
My life has been blessed by good Joes. Grace’s life has been blessed by good men named Joe (…and Justin). Probably your life, as well, has been sweetly seasoned by good Joes. Associating with good Joes is a blessing we can receive. Being a “good Joe” is a blessing we can give. All of us.
May we all be a “good Joe” to someone this week.