Random header image... Refresh for more!

a recipe for love and healing

joyful joey

Five years ago yesterday, a loving little boy, I have known since he was in preschool, officially turned into a young man, an adult.

January 5, 2008, was Joey DeBolske’s 18th birthday.

SHS Hockey

Joey was in Colorado that day, celebrating and skiing/snowboarding with his father, Kevin. He was in his element. Joey loved to snowboard, he loved his dad (this was an annual trip Kevin made with friends, and this was the first time he had invited Joey to join him), and he loved Colorado.

In fact, he was considering attending college in Boulder, the following fall, after he graduated from Saguaro High School (my alma mater) later that spring.

cell photo

Five years ago today, on his way back home to Arizona, that little boy, who had grown into an amazing young man, whom we all adored, who is the son and oldest child of my best friend, Peggy Murrietta, died in a horrific bus crash in Mexican Hat, Utah.

The photo above was retrieved from Joey’s cell phone. It is time-stamped 1/6/08, taken on the mountain that last day. Peggy so treasures this photo, knowing that Joey was living life to the fullest, doing something he loved to do.

the fab four

Also left behind, are Joey’s adoring siblings; Samme (then 16 – now 21), Natalie (then 13 – now 18), and Steve (then 11 – now 16).


Joey was the consummate big brother. He was their protector. Their defender. The peace-maker. Their beloved big brother.

Peggy and Joey

Joey was all that and more, not only to Samme, Natalie, and Steve, but also to his beautiful mom, Peggy, and to his friends, including his buddy and my son, Connor.

Joey and Con

It is unimaginable to all of us to lose a child. We all know that it must be one of the most unbearable pains. That it is not the natural order of things.

Through the experience of “being there” for my dear friend, these past five years, I feel I have learned a lot, a lot more than I ever wished to learn, about how to be a true friend in such a time of need.

I can not be certain that I unknowingly never said a wrong thing to my dear friend, but I know that I did a lot right. And the main thing I know, that I continue to do right, is to be there for Peggy, to never feel afraid to talk about Joey.

He is on her mind 24/7, so my bringing up his name or a fond memory does not bring her pain, in the long run, it brings her joy, this I know for sure. Never be apprehensive to talk to the person in your life about the person they love and lost. Never! Just be there, be open and be present for them.

I found a wonderful article with words of wisdom on how to be there for others, how do it right and how to do it wrong. HERE is a link to it.


And this is a favorite quote of mine from Rose Kennedy, a strong woman who lost so much during her long life.

This post is in honor of Joey.
In honor of Peggy.
In honor of the entire DeBolske/Murrietta families, whom I love so much.

Linda, Connor, Joey, and Marissa on our way to Desert Springs Elementary1996

Walking to Desert Springs Elementary on the first day of school in 1997; Linda with Connor (kindergarten) Joey (1st grade) and Marissa (3rd grade)

In Loving Memory
Joseph Cruz DeBolske
1/5/90 – 1/6/08

Print pagePDF pageEmail page
Related Posts with Thumbnails


1 Peggy { 01.06.13 at 9:01 AM }

Thank you so very much Linda for including this beautiful tribute to Joey in your blog. I am so grateful for your friendship. Love, Peggy

2 Lori V { 01.06.13 at 9:14 AM }

What a beautiful tribute to someone who I know is so very missed and whose family means everything to you Linda.

3 Sharon { 01.06.13 at 10:44 AM }

What a wonderful friend you are, Linda.

4 Mark { 01.06.13 at 11:36 AM }

That was incredibly beautiful and heartwarming. That was a difficult time in all of our lives and Joey’s spirit will live with all of us forever. I love you Joey and my sister Peggy as I can only imagine the pain you must feel. Stay strong and God Bless You.

5 Lisa { 01.06.13 at 12:43 PM }


6 Sloane { 01.06.13 at 1:36 PM }

What a warm loving post!

7 Terrie { 01.06.13 at 5:28 PM }

Thanks, Linda. Beautiful tribute to my beautiful nephew. Also, thanks for taking care of my sister while I was out of town. Knowing you were there brought me a lot of comfort. Peggy is very lucky to have you in her life.

8 Marissa { 01.06.13 at 6:51 PM }

Miss you all the time Joey! xoxo

9 Ginger Tunheim { 01.06.13 at 7:25 PM }

What a nice tribute Linda to Joey. I think of Joey as a good student. I also think of him and when I share his country report of Japan. I am thinking of you Peggy.

10 Ginger Tunheim { 01.06.14 at 7:26 PM }

Linda and Peggy, I remember Joey in my 3rd grade class. He always had a smile on his face. He was always a kind and caring kid at 3 rd grade. He kept our class with laughter. I think of him often, knowing he is looking down on all of us. Hopefully, especially me still teaching all those 3rd graders. Peggy thank you for letting me teach him !!

11 Peggy { 01.07.14 at 7:48 PM }

Ginger, Thanks for your sweet words and for remembering my son. We miss him every day. I am sure he is in your classroom still!! Hugs, Peggy

Leave a Comment