Few people outside of my family know me as "Joey". If theyve known me only in the US, Im just Joe.
When I tell people of this, specially those who think it's cute, they go on a "Joey" blitz, but invariably - I eventually become "Joe".
Which is why when I went back home for my mom's funeral service, it felt like home. Because not once, was I called "Joe". I was just Joey.
One thing I really came to realize about my mother at the service was her skill at keeping lines of communications open.
It is probably no coincidence that since she became ill in 2001, that I am fairly unenthusiastic about maintaining connections with family and friends.
I am NOT a "phone" person. And as my friends will tell you - I "disappear" for long periods of time.
Going to her service, it brought clear as to why my mom worked at keeping the lines of communications open with everyone, especially her offspring.
Family, friends and loyalty was important.
Her passing made me appreciate just how important that is.
I was asked several times if I were going to return to the New York area. It also leads into the question of me staying in San Francisco.
Frankly, it all comes down to money - and not merely the lack of it. Living in New York is hard. Although expensive, Frisco is not as hard.
Long story short, Im not sure I want to go back to New York to live. And although I dont want to stay in San Francisco, I think I would regret not maintaining a place here.
Maybe something will come along to make those deliberations irrelevant.