Ode to Joey

Dear Joey,

I can’t believe we’ve been together for 8 1/2 months. At first, I must admit that I found you to be quite the pain! You were aggressive and overly invasive on most occasions. You brought me nothing but discomfort, and it was extremely awkward every time we went out in public. You had me feeling so insecure that I always changed my clothes several times before leaving the house! Within a couple of weeks; however, you stole my heart, as you sought to meet my needs at the most basic of levels! Afterall, isn’t there some silly saying out there that the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach? Well, Joey…I must say that you captured all that and more! From the moment I came to understand that you were truly there for me, it changed my whole outlook on your presence in my life.

But Joey…dear Joey, as much as you have meant to me and as selfless as you have been, there comes a time in any partnership where you have to evaluate how things are going and make decisions about the future. As difficult as this is for me to express, sometimes it’s important to end on a high note, maintain the positive memories you have and realize that sometimes relationships are only meant to be for a season.

I should have waited to do this until after Christmas to lessen the blow, but 21 days have passed since I’ve been contemplating a separation, and I couldn’t drag it out any longer. To be quite honest, I would have ended things sooner, but I needed to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I could survive without you. I have great confidence that you will find someone else to serve, as that seems to be what you do best, but I know now that I am strong enough to do this on my own. I thank you for the times you were there for me…in the middle of the night…outings to the movies, family gatherings…you were always the life of the party and a great conversation piece! And one more thing, Joey, I ask that you honor my wishes and never contact me again. Harsh, I know…but necessary…so that we both can move on to the next stage of our lives.

Best Regards,

*My feeding tube was placed on April 10, 2010. Today, I had it removed…finally! During his first visit since having my tube placed, my 7-year-old nephew, Moses, was extremely eager to learn about the strange apparatus that fed liquids to his Aunt Kelli. He asked what kinds of items could go into my tube and wanted to know if I could put Sprite and popcorn down there. After his curiosity was fulfilled, he looked at the print on the equipment and read, “Kangaroo Joey.” A day or two later, not watching where he was going, Moses ran into the legs of the IV pole and let out a big exclamation of “Jo-eeee.” Since that day, my family and I adopted the nickname and jokingly referred to my tube as “Joey”.

My parents accompanied me to the tube removal this morning and my mom came into the doctor’s office with me to take pictures. The doctor told me to take two deep breaths and pulled. Out popped this tube with a round bumper on the end. While there was brief pain, the excitement over what had just occurred seemed to wipe it all away. Driving home, we couldn’t help but feel the immense significance of the moment as we realized I have come full circle on this long journey. It was such a blessing to have them there as they have been there for me every step of the way! Below are some pictures of “Joey”.

Mom and me

Me and my Pops!

Feeding tube on the outside!

Saying Goodbye to "Joey"


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Jennifer Penner
    Dec 22, 2010 @ 19:10:20

    Cute! I am so happy for you. A litte sad for Joey that he will no longer have your companionship, but much happier for you that he does not!


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