My Good Friend Joe

This poem was written by Michael Haynes of Charlottesville, Virginia, and read by him following the funeral service of Joseph Overton. Mr. Haynes is a patent attorney and former engineer.

I bought a ticket to Boston
Just a few months ago
To the overdue wedding
Of my good good friend Joe

It was time for his day
He'd waited forever it seemed
But he finally had found
The one gal of his dream

Sweet, smart, and loving
Pretty as a rose
And values so right
He had to propose

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The wedding was perfect
Right out of a book
In my mind's eye
Warm pictures I took

So good to see him
Loving wife by his side
Their hearts overflowing
Joyful eyes filled with pride

Time ran too short there
To the airport I raced
Still the glow of that couple
Left BIG smiles on my face

They reminded me of a day
Almost five years before
When I stood in Joe's shoes
With the bride I adore
He had been there for us
After traveling too far
I cherished his presence
My mentor, North Star

For Joe helped help me find
A far deeper view
Of the why of our lives here
What's known by too few

That we each need a purpose
A bigger reason to exist
Something more than our pleasure
Or joining St. Peter's long list

It wasn't just talk
Or lecture, or speech
Over the 18 years I knew him
Joe walked what he preached

With a much higher aim
He moved toward the light
Fought the real monsters
Did what was right

We shared many hours
Too few now I know
But the seeds Joe left with me
Some sprouted, still grow

Choices led me elsewhere
Big goals to pursue
We drifted apart
Yet his friendship stayed true
I had learned much about him
But not enough, I regret
Couldn't sound an alarm
Didn't know about the threat

The freedom he fought for
Value he held most dear
That freedom he lived out
Brought today's mournful tear

But I carry not anger
About the loss of my friend
This sadness will mellow
And tears someday end

Instead I remember
And offer a toast
To what created that friendship
Now brings us all close

Forever rest in peace Joe
Know you did what was right
Lived life to the fullest
Fought a great fight

To my mentor, my hero
My brother and friend
May you soar with the angels
May His graces never end

I bought a ticket to Midland
Just a few days ago
To say last goodbyes
To our good good friend Joe.