'We Talk About Him 20 Times a Day'
A bike ride and barbecue will benefit a scholarship in memory of Joey Wilson.
Alison Wilson has a problem with her son Joey’s grave.
So many women have kissed it, lipstick imprints have stained the monument.
The stains had to be professionally removed. And when she approached that professional about needing the work done, he couldn’t help but be impressed.
“I hope someday I have that problem,’’ he told her.
The love that his family and friends have for Joseph “Joey” Wilson clearly lives on, months and now years after his death in a Dec. 18, 2010 car crash at age 16.
“We talk about him all the time,’’ Wilson said. “We must mention him 20 times a day. That helps.’’
The comfort she receives from his memory, and from friends and family who continue to reach out to her, has helped her through the loss of her son and then, barely a year later, her home.
A fire Jan. 5 destroyed her home at 1 Hingham Rd. “I was doing good on my journey, and then…’’
The journey through grief has been helped by the outpouring from her and Joey’s family and friends and by her fellow members of Compassionate Friends
“I take it one day at a time, one hour at a time,’’ she said. “Grief is exhausting. I get very tired and I have so much to do.’’
One of those things is overseeing the planning of the home to be built at the site of her fire-ravaged home. She had been in the process of transforming her son’s room into a memorial to him when the fire struck.
Her new home will include a room filled with photos, videos and memorabilia dedicated to Joey, including a stained glass window in his memory. She looks forward to having everything related to her son’s life in one location, so she can immediately turn to it when she needs to.
Another of her upcoming events is the second annual Bike Run for Joey, to be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 5 at the American Legion, 69 Worcester St. The run will be held in conjunction with the fifth annual blessing of the bikes at the same location.
The grounds open at 9 a.m. for the blessing. The bikes leave at 11 a.m. for Effin’s in Smithfield, R.I. They will return to the Legion for a chicken barbecue at 3 p.m.
The ride is a fitting tribute to Joey, who bought a bike with the money he received for his 16th birthday and spent hours painting and refurbishing it.
The money raised that day benefits two scholarships in Joey’s name, one at Blackstone Valley Regional Technical High School, where he was a junior, and the other at Grafton High School. The funds also help raise the $600 in tools she gives to a BVT graduate who is going directly into the workforce.
Since her son’s death, she has spoken to school assemblies, urging teens not to drink and drive and to be aware of the dangers of distracted driving, including texting while behind the wheel.
“Teenagers think they’re invincible and it’s not going to happen to them,’’ she said. “If a teenager has just one beer, the feeling of being invincible grows.’’
And from a relative to hearing his favorite song on the morning of last year’s race to Alison finding Joey’s grade-school fire safety lesson the morning after the fire that destroyed his home, signs of her son are everywhere, she said.
“I believe he’s with me,’’ she said. “It’s not the same as having him here, but….’’
Tickets to the bike ride are $10 per rider/passenger; tickets to the barbecue are also $10. To purchase tickets, visit the American Legion or Noel Auto Sales, 218 Worcester St., North Grafton. For more information, call 508-839-5464 or 401-439-5179.