in honor of Joey


When Joseph Benjamin was born on December 2, 1992, he had 2 big brothers. David Alan was 7 ½ years old and Ari Michael was 2 ½. “They were three big, beautiful boys and we had every reason to think that Joey, like his brothers, would grow into a healthy, energetic little boy”, says his mother. But, just before his 1st birthday, Joey was diagnosed with a fatal, neural-muscular disease, called Tay-Sachs disease. Stunned and broken-hearted, Robin and Jodi , Joey’s dad and mom, began a journey into an unknown world… they would learn about community…about moving beyond fear…about love, unconditional love… and about healing. “It was with this strong and loving community that we celebrated Joey’s short, yet beautiful life, and with the same community that we grieved his untimely death.

Joey lived for almost 3 years, and died at home on November 7, 1995, surrounded by love. When a photo session with Lynette Huffman Johnson was given to us as a gift, we wondered why we would want a stranger to come to our house to photograph our dying child. We put off calling for months… but finally did. From the minute Lynette entered our home and saw Joey, it was clear that she was no stranger…and that this photo shoot wasn’t about dying at all. It was about life… Joey’s life and Ari’s life and David’s life… it was about the life of our family. A decade later his love endures, and through these photographs, and the memories of Joey that we carry with us in our hearts, we are at peace again. Joey’s headstone reads, ‘Baby Joey…Adored Brother of Davey and Ari… He Showed Us the Place Where Heaven and Earth Touch.‘”

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