Township Resident Remembers ‘The Love Of My Life’

Jessica Juliano holds a collage she created to honor her late boyfriend, Jesse Silva.

Jessica Juliano smiled as she remembered the day Jesse Silva popped the question.

Well, not “the” question, but close.

The two had been dating for a while, and were with friends one day in Silva’s house in Bound Brook, Juliano said.

“It was so cute,” she said. “He got down on one knee, and he said, “Jessica Juliano, I think I’m in love with you. Will you be my girlfriend?”

“I said yes, and everybody clapped,” she said, laughing at the memory. “It was Jesse’s way.”

Silva, 35, a popular bartender at the Stage House Tavern on Amwell Road, died suddenly in late April after collapsing in his home in Hillsborough.

Juliano, of Somerset, recently spoke about the man she called “the love of my life.”

The two met rather inauspiciously, as she recalled.

Juliano said she was at a mutual friend’s birthday celebration at the Stage House, where Silva had been a bartender for about a year. She said Silva drove her home, in her car, after she was somewhat incapacitated when someone spiked a drink that was bought for her.

Juliano said she had no recollection of what happened that night, and later made Silva tell her.

“We talked a couple of days later when he called me, and I didn’t even know why he called,” she said.

But Silva remembered her, and asked her out.

“He said, “I would really like to hang out with you or take you out on a date,” she said. “I said absolutely, he was pretty much my knight in shining armor at that point.”

The first date consisted of them watching a movie in his room and then falling asleep with him holding her, Juliano said.

“And he said to me, I don’t know if I fell in love with you when I picked you up off the floor at Stage House, or if it was the night you fell asleep in my arms, but I’ve loved you from the very beginning,” she said.

Silva, she said, was never shy about telling her how he felt about her.

“He always told me how much he loved me,” she said. “He made me feel very very important. He told me I believe in you every day.”

“No matter who was around, he always showed me how much he loved me, he always gave me a big hug and kiss,” she said. “Whenever we’d say goodbye at Stage House, every time, he’d be waiting outside the kitchen doors, in his stance, and I’d say, you ready? And he’d say, yup. And I’d run and jump and swing my legs around him and pin my arms around his neck and he’d give me a big kiss.”

Juliano wasn’t all that captured Silva’s passion. He had a massive electronic game collection, and he snowboarded whenever he could.

“He was giant video game addict,” she said. “Not playing them so much as collecting them. He had every old system to new system. All the PlayStations, all the X-Box, all the Nintendos, back to the Segas. There were hundreds and hundreds and hundreds.”

Silva was also a big fan of Marvel characters, she said, especially Captain America and Ironman.

“He loved Japanese Anime, specifically Neon Genesis Evangelion,” Juliano said. “He had his entire back covered in a tattoo in tribute to it, and tattoos (on his arms). He was obsessed with that one.

“He made me read a book about it, watch it, talk about it for a very long time,” she said. “It was very important for me to see this.”

“Any weekend and day off he had in the winter was consumed with him snowboarding with his friends,” she said. “He would always go on a big snowboarding trip to Vermont. He was in California one time, he drove four hours to go to a certain mountain. He went to upstate New York, all the way to Maine, even Canada.”

“He loved that feeling of weightlessness and flying through the air,” she said. “It was amazing, he always said, he could never get enough of it.”

Juliano said one of the biggest impressions that Silva left with her was how he took care of other people.

“Jesse put himself last,” she said.

The trait extended to after his death. Silva donated his heart and his two kidneys.

“He would have donated his liver, but we couldn’t find a match in time,” she said.

“I never had anybody like that before,” she said. “My dad and I were convinced that he was the one. My dad said you just lost the love of your life, I don’t know how you’re going to deal with that.”

“He had a positive influence on my life, it was for the betterment of my life that I knew him,” Juliano said. “Now my goal is to make him proud.”

Juliano held a necklace made of two stylized hearts on a chain. Silva gave that to her on their second anniversary, she said.

“He would always tell me that a piece of my heart is yours forever,” she said. “That was so important to me.”

Friends have established a GoFundMe account to help Silva’s family defer the medical bills he incurred. Donations can be made by clicking here.

All photos courtesy Jessica Juliano:

2017 Jesse And Jessica


Your Thoughts


Please Support Independent Journalism In Franklin Township!

No other media outlet covering Franklin Township brings you the depth of information presented by the Franklin Reporter & Advocate. Period. We are the only truly independent media serving the Eight Villages.

But we can only do that with your support. Please consider a yearly subscription to our online news site; at $37 a year, it’s one of the best investments you can make in our community.

To subscribe, please click here.

Other News From The Eight Villages …