A few months ago my co-worker and friend lost his baby boy, Declan, to a battle with cancer, he was 11 months and 358 days old....a few days ago my brother's best friend (and subsequently, a friend of our family), Josh, lost his life in a car accident, he was 34. At this time of year, Thanksgiving, I want to be thankful for their lives. Both of them taken too soon, they had more to do, I'm sure of it. Declan's parents have started a foundation in his memory to help raise awareness for pediatric cancer...hopefully in the coming years we'll be walking/running/fundraising for them the way we do for so many other worthy causes. Josh's friends have started a memorial page on Facebook and I don't doubt for one minute that there won't be a fund created in his honor that will benefit a charity in the near future.
I'm a firm believer in remembering loved ones for the lives they lived...they should be celebrated. Josh should be celebrated for his exeuberence for life, his love of words and for his hearty laugh and smile. I remember him at different stages throughout his life...as a boy on the football field, as a young adult home from college, at my brother's wedding, at their restaurant chatting with customers welcoming them, joking with me whenever we were in town on a visit about how crazy I am to live in New York, but still getting a hug anyway :)....he was a force and I know he will be missed by so many. The special thing about the town we grew up in is that it truly is a community that comes together in good times and bad. I know Josh's family is sorrounded by family and friends who will support them and love them and help them through this horrible time. His family is strong, they are faithful and they are blessed to have had the time they did with him.
I used a quote in my post about Declan when he passed away and I'm going to use it again here. "People think a soul mate is a perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that's holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it." Josh, I know some of your soul mates and I know you are missed terribly, and I know your memory will be kept alive through them everyday.
This Thanksgiving, be grateful for the ones we have loved and lost and the ones who are here with us to celebrate. Be thankful for your sorroundings, for your family, your friends, your children, your faith. Life is short, live it.
Rest well Joshua Douglas Crews...05.18.76 - 11.21.10