Today was Martin Luther King Jr. Day which meant that I had the day off - very fortuitous as the motivation to sit, concentrate and work was non-existent.
I went to the store near your park hoping to buy a 25th Birthday balloon but no such luck. But as the woman was blowing up the balloons I did choose, and saw me grab a bouquet of red roses, I wondered if she wondered who the balloons/flowers were for, and why the two incongruent balloon messages. She didn't ask and I didn't volunteer.
It was cold and blustery at the park, so after securing your balloons and scattering rose petals, it took a while to get a picture in which the balloons were legible - my fingers were numb when I got back in the car. Once thawed, I sat and wrote my weekly (most times) letter to you....a small section shared below:
I am grateful for your life, Josh, and in a weird way - never thought I would say this - for your death. JOLT - like being hit by lightening bolt....SHOCK - like those pads on chest that shock the heart to beating again. Your death put me on a journey...on a path....to awareness and awakening. Why does it take tragedy or crisis to wake up? Why take tremendous suffering to become a seeker?
After the park, I went to see a movie that he would've wanted to see....Rogue One, the new Star Wars movie which was surprisingly good. Gillian is working in China now (time difference is 13 hours ahead) so when we FaceTimed yesterday, it was already January 16th and she was feeling sad. I mentioned the idea of seeing the movie which she did as well. So if Josh was hanging around us, he saw it twice - at the Tysons Mall in Virginia and in Guangzhou, China.
I feel there is something I should be doing with this life but don't know what. And running out of time at 55 years old. What am I supposed to be doing? Show me.
Throughout the day, I received texts from friends/family as well as from Josh's friends. It has been almost 8 years and he is still remembered by his friends who are all now mature adults, moving forward in their lives and taking Josh with them. This thought brings much comfort.
Posting this picture on Facebook brought more comments - it still surprises me how connected we can be through social media. Which reminds me of the awful day and how most people found out - it was via Facebook and text messages on phones. By the time school let out mid-afternoon, all of his friends knew - many of them came to our home as soon as they could.
But as connected as we are, and even more so now with Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, imessage, FaceTime, wechat and who know what else is out there or will be invented, why are kids still taking their lives? Josh had many friend's numbers in his phone - why didn't he or couldn't he reach out?
I will end this post with one quote from a dear friend we knew while living in Australia. She never knew Josh as we were back in the US when he was born, but she is a mom so knows.
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.
Love Mom xxxooo