Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Marker

We were slow in making decisions regarding a marker to place at Josh's grave. We wanted to get it just right as it really was 'set in stone'. We had chosen a picture to have etched; it was one that was taken while he was doing a service project with the other scouts. We had decided to keep the format simple, his name, the dates, and then a tribute..."Forever loved by family and friends." We received the 'proof' in an email from Bott's Memorial that we were pleased with, but we sat on it, just wishing there was something we could add that was more personal, more Josh-like. It was during this time, about three months after he passed away, that I finally emptied his school backpack. While thumbing through all his papers, I found a worksheet that asked this question, "List four words that you would want people to use to describe you when you die." There in his beautiful cursive handwriting were the words, "kind, funny, smart, and loving."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Anticipating A Joyful Reunion

Last Friday evening I heard the revving of a four wheeler from the open window of the upstairs bedroom at the cabin we were staying at in Island Park. It took me back. Several years ago, I reluctantly hopped off the back of a four wheeler to let Josh take off on his own; his first solo ride. After he had rounded the bend and disappeared out of sight, I started feeling more and more anxious. Was he okay? I was so eager to see his little dust cloud return, I considered jogging along the road until I could at least catch sight of him. Finally, there was his helmet. He sat confidently on that four wheeler with a smile spread as wide as can be.
As this memory came back, it came with tears. I thought of what it will be like to finally see him again. As I imagined the joy, I cried without reservation. Then I prayed. I simply asked Heavenly Father if He would give us something before we returned home from Yellowstone that would help us feel close to Josh.
The next day, we stopped at my Grandma's in Idaho Falls on our way home. While there, for some reason, I walked over to the far wall, and picked up the first of a small stack of CD's. This uncovered a CD I had given to Grandma for her birthday six years ago. It listed nine songs that I had written and recorded and as I scanned through the titles, I realized that there were a few on that CD that I didn't have anywhere else, not even saved on my computer. I asked Grandma if I could take it home and copy it. I asked Enos if he had recorded (sung) the second song on the CD, "The Holy Ghost". He answered, "Probably."
Back in the van, I put the CD in. When that song started to play, it about took my breath away. There was Josh's sweet little voice singing solo. I didn't even remember recording it...not until he sang the word "comfort", with a strong playful accent on the second syllable. We weren't sure whether to laugh or cry. It felt like someone had just handed us a priceless gift. I whispered a quick "Thank you, Heavenly Father" and then played the song again.
On this video, the first picture you will see of Josh is one that the Primary President from our old ward mailed to us not too long ago. She said she found it in the Primary closet and that it was taken the year he was baptized. I wrote "The Holy Ghost" the week he was baptized and confirmed a member of the church. It is truly a tender mercy that we get to enjoy it now.

He testifies of Jesus Christ and through his holy whisperings
we may know the truth of all things.
The Holy Ghost, God's gift to us, will comfort, guide and uplift us.
When things go wrong, we can be strong, for if we'll pray to God above,
we will be encircled with love.
The Holy Ghost, God's gift to us, will comfort, guide and uplift us.
He helps us see what we can be and if we'll listen and obey,
He will lead us safely each day.
The Holy Ghost, God's gift to us, will comfort, guide and uplift us.
The Holy Ghost, God's precious gift to us.