Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Can you see our light, Josh?

An entry from my Tender Mercies Journal dated Aug. 22, 2008

We had family home evening last Sunday. It was the first time since Josh passed away that we had an official family home evening - with someone in the 'conductor's chair', with an opening hymn, prayer, lesson, refreshments and an activity. There are some things that are emotionally difficult to go back to. After Nate finished the lesson, we talked about how different it was without Josh (less interruptions and less entertainment) and being so tender hearted, Nathan and Enos both cried a bit.

We took a bag of bread and headed to Beus Pond to feed the ducks for our activity. We felt Heavenly Father's love for us as we soaked in the natural beauty all around us.

We stopped at the cemetary on our way home. As we stood around Josh's grave, Cody pulled a little white plastic 'tea candle' out of his pocket. He turned the switch on underneath and the little flame on top started to glow. He placed it by Josh's memorial. Just then the nearby line of sprinklers shut down and correctly anticipating the closer ones would quickly turn on, we ran for the car.

We drove up and around to the top point of the cemetary and there Enos stopped. We were in the little red Cabriolet convertible and could all look down and see the dim glow of the candle. I found myself grateful to be able to see the light from that distance and I wondered, "Can you see our light, Josh?"

Enos interrupted my thoughts by pointing excitedly in the other direction and saying, "Look!" There were two deer standing just north of us. Directly above the two bucks, a star suddenly blazed brightly. We followed it's brilliant dive earthward. None of us could speak for a moment.

(Nathan made this sculpey art to remember our experience)

We all felt Josh had seen our little light and sent a sign. I told Enos when I could speak, "It's just like Josh to outdo us!" Nathan shared with us that the last time he had seen a shooting star, he was with Josh laying down on the trampoline looking up at the night sky. Cody declared that he had never in his life seen a shooting star so bright and brilliant and what a long streak it made!

We walked back into our home that night feeling like we had received an amazing gift. Instead of feeling sad and weighed down, we were in a celebratory spirit.

This week I've found myself singing, "Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket, never let it fade away...Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket, save it for a rainy day."

Some people may see the falling star as a coincidence, or the timing of all four of us paused and looking in just the right direction as happenstance, but I will always see the heavenly light as a message of love from Josh.


  1. Two years ago, to this very hour, I had to face that Josh was gone. Yet, through the tender mercies of the Lord, I've learned he's not gone, he's just not visible to our eyes for awhile.

  2. Oops, I should give credit to Nate for the art in the picture at the top of the page. He wanted to always remember our experience so he recreated it with Sculpy (clay). I wish the picture showed better detail, but hopefully you can see the white tea candle by the memorial. He even made the license plate for our convertible.

  3. Thanks again for sharing your sacred experience. We love you guys.

  4. What an amazing gift. I do believe that was a gift from Josh and what a blessing to have that. Tell Nate I love his sculpture too- We are all thinking of you and your family. We love all of our memories of Josh- one particular one that I have is when visited you in your first house in Utah and Josh was just a baby and he was playing and teasing me that he wouldn't let me pick him up finally I just grabbed him and he laughed and Eber took a picture of me holding him outside. I still have that picture!

  5. Oh, Deanne, you lift me up with your beautiful, eternal perspective on life. Thank you so much for your comments.
    I can't believe it has been two years since you lost Josh; what an adorable kid he was. Hold on to all those great memories til you meet again, they will sustain you over and over.

  6. I love you all like crazy and have been thinking and praying for you all day! Thank you for being willing to share you moments with us. I won't ever look at a shooting star again! Thank you Deanne for sharing and thank you Josh for somehow sending the stars!

  7. Deanne, Thanks so much for sharing that story about Josh. Yesterday while we were traveling home from New York we did think about you and your family. You have all been such an inspiration to us.

  8. I love the art!! I love your story as well. There truly are no "coincidences" in life.
    I was hoping that your long interview was over, hoping to not interrupt.
    I am happy to be a deer. :)
    Love you guys.

  9. Deanne, this made me so misty-eyed. What a beautiful memory. Love you.