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.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Happy 18th Birthday - January 16, 2010

I have been dreading this day and now it is here. Just typing the title causes my eyes to fill with tears. What can I say? What is there to say? Nothing really, except that I wish with all of my heart that Josh were still here. To be celebrating his 18th birthday with his family and friends, not with balloons on his grave stone saying "Happy 18th Birthday."

If he were still alive, what would we be doing? Those that knew him could attest that he did not like parties where he would be the center of attention. In fact, the last birthday party that I was allowed to organize was his 13th. How could I know that there would only be four more?

Below is a slideshow of photos from Josh's birthdays, beginning with the wonderful day he came into our family.

My dear friend, Roxanne and her son have flown in today to be with us. We went to visit Josh with arms full of balloons, flowers and photos. When we got there, we found a letter to Josh from one of his friends. Tim and I were moved by the sentiments expressed. With his permission, this is what it said:

Dear Josh,
Hey, your birthday is on Saturday so I have come to visit you. I think about you all the time. You were a great friend, who always looked out for people who needed it, especially me. We were very close for a good while, and I considered you one of the most important people in my life. I miss you so much, and I am so sorry for whatever situation led to your final act. However, I feel your death has helped so many people realize what they have in this life. I am so thankful to you for making me more appreciative and grateful for everything. I pray for you and your family often, and I hope your soul has found a peaceful place to rest. I will never forget you and everything you meant to me.

Your friend,
We spent a good amount of time decorating "Josh's tree" with photos that Roxanne had laminated, laying rose petals on the grass and positioning his balloons. Below are pictures of our handiwork. As Rox said, "Anyone who sees this will see a much loved soul". I agree.

We love and miss you so much, especially on this day. Do you like the balloons? One is from Grandpa and Grandma. And Gillian thought you would like the dog with the shades. I will never know why you felt that leaving us was your only option and I confess that this question haunts me every day. I wish you could have understood how important you were to so many people. Maybe if you had realized this, it would have saved you. Please watch over us as it is still so very hard. We take one day at a time - it's the only thing we can do. I pray you are at peace, my beloved son. One day, we will be together again.



Roxanne said...

There seems to be no adequate words to express anything about this day. I have been thinking of it for so long and trying to figure out something encouraging even if it is the smallest thing. The only thing that came to my mind was to laminate photo's and place them on Josh's tree so that part of us would be with him. I have heard it said that a bit of your soul is captured in each photo.

Today, Bryce and I are honored to be here with you. We know not what to do or say but we just could not be any place else on earth today.

As we were all with Josh today Makhaila said her vows in a private ceremony with her new husband Taylor. She has wanted to honor and remember Josh in every it was special for her to say her vows on this day.

As I sit here wishing with all of my heart to hear your laughter. To see you and Bryce play video games and to enjoy turning 18. To enjoy this birthday together as you did so many other birthday's. I too have no answers and I am sure I never will until I make it to heaven. I ask you to watch over your family and Bryce and to some how give us a sign that you are there. Our hearts are breaking and we love and miss you so much and we always will. We have told stories of you all day and will continue to do so keep you close.
Happy 18th Birthday Joshie....I imagine you are up there having the biggest blow out birthday ever!!! I am sure you liked the balloon with the dog in sunglasses :)
We love and miss you!!!
Auntie Rox and Bryce

LEA said...

I have not been able to write on this blog as it just has been so hard and I have not known what to do or how to handle my emotions. Yet I have realized that expressing myself is really the only way I can survive. Josh, I miss you so much it hurts so badly. I can't believe that your journey ended at 17 years. It is just too short a time and you had so much life to live. I remember so vividly the last time I had a great conversation with you--it was in the kitchen when we were home for spring break the night before my friends and I flew out to Cabo--you were making ramen and I was trying to eat some and you didn't want me to and we were just catching up. You were telling me about how some college coaches were showing interest in you for football and I was encouraging you to use football as a means to get into a good school and you seemed interested and excited about the idea. How is it that you were that way and a few weeks later you just decided to end your life and give up on your future? It just baffles my mind to the point where I cannot think- as my mind is filled with endless thoughts.

One of my dearest friends has encouraged me to let you live through me and I think that is something I will work on everyday. Your kindness, gentle spirit, ability to think before you spoke, your smile--these are all things I do not have in the way you did and I hope to live my life in honor of you with these qualities. Josh, I just love you so much and can't believe you are gone. Seeing what all your friends wrote on your wall makes me feel very sad because so many others miss you so much too, but also brings to light how you were such an amazing person loved by so many. Although we celebrate your 18th birthday without you on this earth, you are with us and you will always be with me every day of my life. I miss you so much and love you with all of my heart.


Lorraine said...

Thanks Sue for always sharing your heart with us. I woke up early Saturday thinking about Josh, praying for your family. I was at my class on Saturday and they played Somewhere over the Rainbow. Thanks Josh for watching out for us. I think what Bryce wrote about how you closed your eyes so others would theirs is so true.

Patty said...

I've been praying for you so much. I can't imagine how hard this day was for you. God bless you Sue and all of your family and all of the friends who mourn for Josh.

Biggie-Z said...


I can't find the words to express how much we love you and miss you.

I wish we had made that clearer to you when you were alive.

I wish you felt comfortable enough to seek support from your family or your friends.

I wish that you could have seen, before March 18, how much we love you, and how your family - especially your mom and dad - would have done ANYTHING for you.

I wish we could turn back time.

I wish we could have stopped you.

I keep wishing it is all a bad dream and I'll wake up.