Please use this blog to help us remember Joshua Lee Anderson, who made the tragic and fatal decision to take his life on Wednesday, March 18, 2009. Please post any memories or thoughts you may have in the comments.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Pictures of Josh: 5 - 6 years old

I've successfully scanned in two more years of negatives to my computer. What a monumental project this has become! Good thing I will not be hosting Thanksgiving as my dining room is now "Memorial Central".

This blog is a memorial too. In Louise DeSalvo's book, Writing As A Way of Healing, there is a section called, "Writing A Loved One's Dying". How apropos. A memoir is referenced, Heaven's Coast, written by Mark Doty about his lover's death from AIDS.

Making a record of Wally's life and death was a way for Doty to remember him, to hold onto him. Remembering, he says, "is the work of the living." It is what the living must do for the dead. Recalling faces and they way they look in all moods and weathers. Anecdotes that they tell and tell and tell again. Incidents that signify the shared life in all its variety - its ecstatic and banal moments. "Gestures, tics, nuances, those particular human attributes that distinguish us as individuals." Doty believes it is his duty to capture the singularity of Wally, to erect a monument of words to his partner. But Heaven's Coast is a testament, too, to Doty's love for Wally and to his loss and grief (188).

I can relate completely and this is how I feel about the blog. It is a web monument - being erected by each post, comment, photo, shared story and art work - in honor and memory of our Josh. It is also a testament to the love felt for him by family, friends and those who have never met him. This was articulated in a recent comment from a friend whom I have not seen for years, and who, because of what she has seen in this blog, cries not only for me but for him.

This blog is also a record of the tragic circumstances surrounding his death and a call for parents to question the effectiveness of the Zero Tolerance policy in many of our school systems.

It is reminder that the minds of our young people can be quite fragile. That sometimes, they are not as strong, competent and emotionally mature as they appear to be and need more support and protection than we may think.

It is with these thoughts in mind that I end this post with a slideshow of when Josh was five and six years old. Missing front teeth, Little League baseball, first day of kindergarten, Halloween, first (and only) trip to Disney, summer visiting both sets of grandparents in Oregon and on Cape Cod, Christmas.

Josh - we love you so much.
Rest in peace, our dear boy.

God Bless


NoLastName said...

mrs and mr.anderson,

you should watch "Dear Zachary".. it's a documentary about a family son's that was murdered. even though there are differences in the circumstances, a loss is till a loss. not only that, but the way the film is put together is basically a dedication to their son, Andrew. there is also another person that is involved in the movie/tragedy.. the son's killer happened to be pregnant with his baby. but.. it is the Andrew's parents above all that give this film its wings. and you remind me of them. i think that although it's heartbeaking you will relate to this family and be uplifted.

still always thinking about you, josh, lauren, gillian, and tyler ..even though you guys barely know me :)


Biggie-Z said...

Mark Doty's words are exactly why I visit this blog - to visit with Josh. Last week when we were going through a slideshow on Grandma L's computer there popped up a recent snapshot of Josh, and we all stopped, taken by surprise. Grandma L reached out and stroked his face for a bit before we went to the next picture.

We miss him so much, everything feels incomplete.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to express my sorrow for you and much compassion. We lost our daughter in February and the grief and sadness is so overwhelming at times that I feel it in physical strikes of agony. My heart goes out to you for your loss, which has been even more painful as your son took his life. I respect your blog, you writings are an inspiration.

Joyce said...

I remember Josh so vividly from this time period. He was always such a joy, so sweet, so happy just to be around all the big kids. He was and still is such a blessing to all who knew him and have the blessing of warm memories that cannot be taken from us. We continue to think of all of you and pray for you regularly.
Love you. Joyce