“Who lives who dies, who tells your story?”

Good gods, how much Bill would  have loved the amazing Broadway musical HAMILTON. His mind would have been blown, like many others have, and it would really have struck a chord in him. We spoke often of leaving a legacy, of how will our future generations know about all of these things we have done? Even the little, silly things, like making up our weird language and going to see all our favorite bands with our sisters. The big things, like Bill’s being a nurse and meeting his wife in nursing school at UVA, aka “Mr. Jefferson’s School.” His working at Ground Zero on 9/11/01 and being helpful in many ways. As I listen to Hamilton’s cast recording often with my family, i think of how Eliza worked so hard to tell the stories of the people she loved so much and lived long and shared the stories of her beloved Hamilton, or her sisters, or her son she lost so young. She even helped raise money to build the Washington Monument, in honor of the man she knew not only as our country’s first President, but as a family friend. I think also of the man who wrote this show and how he came up with the idea for it while reading Ron Chernow’s amazing bio of the ‘ten dollar, founding father without a father.” Lin Manuel Miranda is a treasure of a human being, in all sorts of ways. I’ve listened to him speak and heard him mention often how every day could be the last. It could just be GONE, over done. like THAT. and it all ties into my brain and back to Bill and and how he inspired me to live every day as if it could be the last. Our RENThead days when we sang NO DAY BUT TODAY at the top of our lungs and slept outside for these cheap front row tickets. How Bill’s eyes were opened wider to alternative lifestyles after seeing RENT with us. How much, even as little kids musical theater had toughed our hearts and souls, as our Mom would be sitting, bawling her eyes out listening to Carousel on the record player for the 8000th time. seeing my first show ever (RENT) and crying so hard I was embarrassed to be so close to the actors on the stage, but after the show and meeting them, I’ll never forget one of them coming up to me and hugging me so tight saying “Oh, girl, I thought I was going to lose my shit watching you cry!!” (The amazing Jesse L Martin). So many musicals in high school in Southold New York when Bill would be in drag for ‘Honey Bun’ or rocking out as Danny Zuko.

listening to and seeing Hamilton inspired me to tell stories again. i spent the other day talking to someone and telling stories about my life and they just kept asking for more.

Now I am writing daily. not here, but somewhere. One day i’ll share more. But I’m telling those stories. About us kids growing up together and going through a lot of different types of things together. About my experiences in my 20’s and the pain I caused people I loved. About my baby girl and the things she does and how she will one day ‘blow us all away’ with the wit and smile and amazing brain. About my life with my husband and how much he’s saved my life, over and over since the very moment we met. About friends that I have so much emotion and love for, that i’m so thankful for and wish I could be with so much more often.

And about Bill, because I lived, he died, and I’m going to tell his story.

Thanks for reading. I know my writing style is just constant words falling out of my head but I appreciate you taking the time to read them anyway. Peace.

and

AKF!

 

“See You Later!”

Recently I started reading more about mental health and different ways to help people with the things they live with. I came across a group called To Write Love On Her Arms, and they were advertising a new campaign for suicide prevention. They are calling it “We’ll See You Tomorrow.” this is from their website:

“Above all else, we choose to stay. We choose to fight the darkness and the sadness, to fight the questions and the lies and the myth of all that’s missing. We choose to stay, because we are stories still going. Because there is still some time for things to turn around, time for surprises and for change. We stay because no one else can play our part.

Life is worth living.

We’ll see you tomorrow.”

This hit me in just the right way to get me started on another post here.

I live with some health issues, and something i have lived with for years is depression. It’s gone out in different directions at times, and over the years I have found ways to deal with it. It still happens and it still sucks, but in the end, I have found myself at peace with a lot of the sad/scary/bad/hurty things that have been a part of my life.

At one point I was struggling so much. I found myself in such a dark place that I didn’t know if I’d ever get out of it. I didn’t know who to talk to about it. I had just gotten my drivers license and drove to Virginia to see Bill, who was at the time attending UVA. I had a major breakdown while visiting him, telling him how sad I was and how much i was hurting in my head. How much i didn’t want to live any more. Bill promised me that he would help me, and he gave me ideas and suggestions to maybe see a doctor and get some help. But the one thing we agreed on that day was that every time I would get those feelings, that i would call him and we would always say “see you later” instead of “good bye”, meaning that I would be ok and not attempt to hurt myself in any way. That I was choosing to fight the darkness and the sadness. I wanted my story to keep going. And my amazing brother helped me keep fighting, even when he was in dark places. Even when he was working ay Ground Zero, he checked in on me. Over the years as he got more and more ill, He was always checking in. Always saying See You Later!

The last time I saw him, we said it in person one last time. I didn’t think it would end like that. When I received that final Christmas card from he and Jen on the day he died, it said in one corner “SYL” ❤

I know I will see him later, one day.

In honor of Bill, and to help raise awareness and maybe help someone, I’m sharing this information here because things like this helped me at some very dark times. I will Always Keep Fighting (thanks, SPN Family) and I thank everyone who helped me through it, especially you, Billy.

https://twloha.com/blog/well-see-you-tomorrow/

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“So Much To Say”

My daughter Cassidy made Bill very happy. He was so excited to be there when she came into the world that he and Jenny waited the 5 days while I was in the hospital. They had to leave the morning of December 30th, 2005 and were all the way to Rhode Island (from Boston) when they got the call the Cass had FINALLY arrived. They turned around to just come and meet her. There was a very special group of people with us that morning. Having Billy meet his “Lil Niece” and seeing his reaction made me even happier. He would call me so often during my pregnancy and he was the first person I had told when I’d found out.

When Cass was a little over 6 months old, we went to Virginia Beach to visit Bill and Jenny. One of the plans we had was to bring Cass to her first concert, Dave Matthews Band – it was at an outdoor amphitheater and we had ear protection for her. One of the best memories of Bill and Cass together is him holding her and dancing to the music, especially “So Much To Say” when the lyrics go “Little feet, little hands little BAY BAY”. SO CUTE. It was heartwarming and funny. It was a great visit all around, with swimming and hanging out and letting Bill get to know Cass more.

Just the first of many memories to share. Join me and share your own!

Thanks for reading,

Jenne (aka Jeppy)

 

Billy and Cassidy – November 2007

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Thanks for reading!

I feel that someone will never be truly gone if we keep talking about them. In written word, with our voices, sharing memories and photos and love. I have toyed with the idea of a site like this for a few years now, and I recently decided it was time.

December 17, 2007. It was the worst day of some peoples lives. My parents. my siblings. My dear sister-in-law. So many members of our family and so many friends. Co workers, military members. We lost a very good person that day. His name was William Joseph Foronjy Junior. Many knew him as Bill or Billy. Some called him Thunder, the Voice, Fogger. Me? I called him Bippy.

We had a language all our own, begun as children and shared with our siblings. We have a rich history and there are so many stories I want to get out of my head and into words so one day, when I’m no longer here, the future generations will hear the stories of us, our family, and the things we loved and did.

Bill did many amazing things in his life. He was in the US Army, spent time as an EMT which lead him to nursing. He drove to lower Manhattan on his 30th birthday, 9-11-2001, and offered his help in whatever capacity was needed. This choice lead to our losing him in 2007 and while we have continued to live our lives it still feels a lot less quiet in them.

Thanks for going on this journey with me.

-Jeppy, aka Jenne 🙂

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