Saturday, March 1, 2014
To my wife Jo: Thank you for everything, and for saving my life
Since my heart attack on Feb. 17 I've been overwhelmed with support from family and friends. Thank you for all the cards, visits, meals, flowers, phone calls, messages and prayers. There's one person I need to thank above all others: Jo, my wife.
Jo made the 911 call that saved my life that night. It was close. Remember I flat-lined for six minutes. Brain damage starts at seven, they say. In all my years writing I've purposely avoided saying too much publicly about Jo out of respect for her privacy. But today I feel compelled to publicly thank her for saving my life.
We dated for five years while she finished graduate school and I worked at a newspaper in LaGrange. We married at Lewis on Aug. 4, 1990. Our wedding was in the chapel; the reception was in the dining hall. Our wedding day was one of the handful of times when all 12 Slowik children and Mom and Dad were together.
We lived in DeKalb, then in an apartment on Comstock Street in Joliet's St. Pat's neighborhood. Jo grew up in Lockport and Joliet. Her dad, Jim, taught biology and coached football and other sports at Joliet West High School. She's the second-oldest of five kids. When we met her family lived on Oneida Street near the high school.
She's been my muse since early in our relationship. I wrote the song "Coming Back For More" while driving back and forth between DeKalb and LaGrange in 1988. Our friend Hound Dog recorded this demo of "More." Others originals written about or inspired by Jo include "Back To You," "Drama Queen," "I Don't Wanna Fight" and "Sparks Fly."