Mike got a call Tuesday morning from our friend, Joel. He was calling to let us know that their son, Josh, was going to die. I won’ t go into details because that isn’t my story to tell. But, a 21 year-old young man that we have known for the past 15 years is gone. There just aren’t words to express how sad we all feel.
I am sad for all that Josh is going to miss. I am heartbroken for his parents and his family. We attended an open house memorial for Josh this afternoon. The house was crammed full of people to the point of bursting – the front door had to be propped open so the people standing in the front walkway could hear the speakers. The back patio was full as well. I loved how everyone supported one another and that they were able to show their love for the family as well.
It is amazing how many different people Josh brought together today. Many of the people who attended his Bar Mitzvah were there. There were a lot of people from Scouts – Josh and Danny earned their Eagle Scout badges together (with Kyle and Zach), there were people from Cub Scouts, family, Josh’s friends and neighbors. I remember the love we all felt the day the boys were awarded their Eagles. Today, there was just as much love but for such a terrible reason.
I remember Josh as a cherubic little boy with a wicked sense of humor. He could always make me crack up. His family has been part of our New Year’s, Fourth of July and Super Bowl celebrations forever. One of my favorite memories is of Josh and his mom, Pam, breaking into song during half-time at a Super Bowl party not long ago (Josh was well over 6-foot tall so it was just a few years ago). If you knew Josh and his mom, breaking into song is not that weird for them. Their song choice, however, was! They sang the song “Sisters” from the movie White Christmas. It was funny and sweet and really funny. (I’m pretty sure Josh was singing the Rosemary Clooney part.)
I’m glad Danny was here (we were at the beach for the past two weeks) and was able to get to the hospital to see Joel and Pam and to say goodbye to Josh. Ian, Tim and Andy were there this afternoon.
Please keep Joel and Pam and their families in your thoughts and prayers.