Born on Aug 3rd 1973 in Montreal to newly immigrated parents and me as his big sister. He was a rambunctious, energetic, and somewhat of a troublemaker. Jovi was very much the Bart Simpson of our family. But no matter what he did, from pouring flour all over the kitchen floor and unwittingly leaving tiny footprints in his wake to the letters from school outlining his most recent escapades, he would look up at you with his big brown eyes as if to say “Who me? What did I do?”. As he grew, Jovi matured as we all do but he always had a silly side to him. He loved to talk, joke and imitate (with great accuracy) all those around him.
Our father passed away in 1999 when Jovi was only 26. He left an indelible mark on him in so many ways including his love of shoes! All who knew him, knew about Jovi's passion for shoes. They had to be polished or brushed and kept impeccably clean. Our father used to say, shoes tell you a lot about a person. When not on his feet, they were neatly lined up and filled with shoe trees to keep them in perfect shape just like papa.
Life continued and Jovi got his dream car, a Jeep Cherokee. The jeep was washed and polished at every opportunity. Tires and rims gleamed year-round. When asked, why all the tinkering and endless accessories? He would just say “it's a Jeep thang”. Around the same time, we welcomed our first dog into our lives, a German Shepherd puppy. We named her Xena. Well Xena and Jovi became inseparable. Xena loved Jovi and Jovi loved her right back. Jovi doted on her with expensive food, toys, play time, and lots of kisses and hugs.
The Coroner was the first person to mention SUDEP: Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy. It was something we had not heard of before. WE had no idea epilepsy could cause death. The lack of awareness of this is shocking. In the last year since Jovi’s passing, everyone has tried to cope. We have tried to find solace and meaning where none existed. What to do? What can we do? How do we honor his memory? How do we remember him?
That brings us to the here and now. Let’s do something. Let’s try and make a difference to people and families coping with seizures. Let’s get funds for research and awareness. Let’s remember Jovi by making a donation. We can’t change the past but perhaps we can change the future.