Over a year has passed since Josh left us on that fateful day, March 18, 2009. He was a gifted athlete and school was marked not so much by quarters passed, but sports seasons. He left us two days before the opening South Lakes lacrosse game. The boys played that Friday night with a man down on defense on the first play - in memory of him. We received pictures of that night which are posted on the blog.
He would be in his senior year. Another South Lakes lacrosse season has passed. I received an email with this note from a SLHS mom. It encourages us to know that our beloved son still lives in the hearts of his teammates.
My name is Meagan Church. My son, Jeff, is a student at South Lakes (sophomore) and I wrote to you last year shortly after Josh passed away. Jeff gave up soccer last year to try out for the JV LAX team. I thought it might be a mistake (I was afraid that he wouldn't make the team since he didn't have any experience) but I supported his decision to try. Since all of the players started out together Jeff had the opportunity to meet Josh. Jeff was impressed that an older, "cool" guy would be nice to the younger, newer players like Jeff. Jeff played on JV last season.
This season Jeff started on JV but was moved up to Varsity for several games. When the season ended I opened up Jeff's LAX bag to clean things. Right away when I unzipped the bag I noticed the letters "JA" on Jeff's helmet. I was thinking JA, JA, JA... then I remember that the players had put Josh's initials on their helmets to honor him.
I took this picture to share with you. I hope that you don't mind. You know how dirty, wet and sweaty these boys get. It was clear to me that the initials were not faded--someone had to have taken the time to go over them again--they were clear and the ink was dark. I asked Jeff about it and he said that all of the helmets are that way. It's obvious that the players missed and honored your son in every game they played. I'm proud that my son had the chance to wear a helmet with Josh's initials on it.
Josh - I wish you knew what an impact your short life on Earth has had on so many people. Rest in peace, my beloved son. Know that you are still missed by family, friends and teammates. We all wish with all of our hearts that you could have found another way.