Sunday, September 12, 2010
Josh LOVED chocolate milk...LOVED it! Here he is out to breakfast at the local Waffle House with a bunch of his friends after they all had a camp out night. He's wearing the silver marcasite cross I gave him for love and protection.
I came across this pic while researching all of the VAST material he left behind. There is everything in that massive stack, and it's exhausting to have to sift through it all. I do it because I don't want to miss a thing that's important to go in his book.
I do it because I feel the need to get the timeline right on what he wrote when. What year of school was he in..how old was he, what were his feelings at that particular time of his life, all the things that are so important in making you know and love Josh the way I knew and loved him! It's all relevant, then I can edit out parts that might need to be trimmed.
I had all of his notebooks, yearbooks, manuscripts, pictures, his wallet and his driver licenses all laid out over the entire surface of his queen size bed today. I was playing some of his favorite music at the time. I put all the information into a timeline of labeled manilla folders...so much stuff...that child had SO much to say...he lived three lifetimes in his short 22 years. I haven't even glazed the surface yet on his livejournals (an internet diary before MySpace came about). Or his MySpace posts, or his screenplays, his hundreds of poems, his computer too...is full.
I have to discipher all of these things to get into Josh's head to understand why what happened happened. Why did he make the wrong choices that he did and what propelled him to do it? This comes from my training on my first job out of high school working in the newsroom of The Des Moines Register and Tribune. I loved that job, I loved telling people's stories, and I loved probing for the facts that made the story crediable.
It would be easier just to pluck out what I remember from my head, but that would be slacking, and since it's been four years alot of important information would be forgotten, mis interpreted, or glossed over. When I read Josh's words I stay true to his character. This is what I want and need for his book, the HARD way is usually the RIGHT way.
He WAS his mother's son. He had the same start, stop, jump to another project personality that his mom does. A million irons in the fire and not the best follow through. I always chock this off to the 'creative' personality, but it might be lack of disipline.
I can tell you right now I just want to jump to another project, this one is HARD! I don't like HARD. I like EASY, BREEZY, and quick.
I'm learning that life is hard, well, I knew that, but I'm learning that disipline is a virtue.
I'm realizing that this is a project I can't walk away from, this is a challenge I MUST complete...it's not for me, and it's not even COMPLETELY for Josh, it's for the millions of kids out there that want to give up and walk away when life gets too hard. It's for the parents that want EASY BREEZY and get frustrated and stifled when parenting gets exhausting.
So yesterday I didn't get to write because I was surrounded with the din of noise and people. Not that I don't love people..I was working or socializing with them all day.
But, writing is a solitary effort, you can't be distracted by ANYTHING while your doing it. And if you DON'T do it...it just doesn't get done. They will never invent anything that can take the disipline of writing away...and I consider that a GOOD thing. You just have to face your demons and plough through them.
Today I worked on Josh's book most of the day, by myself in his bedroom. Going through his yearbooks seeing all of the gifts right there on paper...that was MY boy...MY talented beautiful boy with all he had to offer this world! This day was sad and sweet at the same time, but I did face my "I don't wanna do this"... and I did it anyway..that is progress even if it wasn't sitting in front of the computer pounding out my word count challenge. I can't tell the story if I don't feel that I've properly done my research, and that's the PART I've been avoiding all of these years. The part that forces me to sit down and face the vast abyss of guilt and saddness. Handling the very papers that Josh wrote his true essence on, the notebooks of his life.
It will get done, it's just so DARN hard! I'm doing it for me, I'm doing it for Josh, I'm doing it for all the broken hearted people in our world that keep ploughing through...one hard day at a time!
Friday, September 10, 2010
I'm happy with myself on my writing challenge. I'm right on track and that is a GOOD thing. I've got Josh up to his senior year in high school. Sadly, I think that's when his problems began.
I also think that's about the time he started writing his live journals which was a very early form of MySpace, so his voice can take over for much of the point of view.
Not that I haven't heard him loud and clear through all of the work I've done thus far, he is a taskmaster, THAT one. I'll come up with some lame butt excuse to do something BEFORE I plop down to type and I just can not get him out of my head....MOM....MOM...GET IN THERE MOM...GET THIS DONE for me...you promised!
Being the good and devoted mother that I am...I have no choice. I bid his favor.
I AM worried about my friend. I called her house last night and spoke to her daughter. I asked if I could pop over to see her for a minute and was told that she was sleeping.
Today I called the house about 10 a.m. and it went to message machine. This worries me greatly. I left a message saying I was concerned and asked for a call back. I called her ex-husband at his CPA firm, got a message on his machine explaining the above and asked for a call back. So far it's 12:30 and nothing.
This is when my writer imagination runs rampant! THis is when I remember my friend asking if I could be her advocate if she needed me to be. Her daughter is very PRO traditional health care and Donna is definitely 100% skeptical of that approach fully. I'm so afraid that with the horrible pain she has been experiencing she is drugged into a submissive state and pliable to anyone's will. I'm also thinking how her ex has been paying alimony all of these years and if anyone has a reason to see an opportunity to end that obligation it would be him.
Then I berate myself for being so suspicious of her family, and realizing I'm only a friend, I'm NOT family. So the story unweaves but it scares the bejabbers out of me how such a strong, strong woman can be riddled into a soft pile of cotton in a matter of pain ridden days.
Okay, enough of that...this sounds like I'm writing a story for Dateline! I don't want that job at all!
I'll keep you posted, I hope I hear something soon! Keep those prayers flying upward!
Maybe they are at the doctors, but I thought her appointment was on Monday next week, maybe I got my dates mixed up...it's certainly happened before! Fingers crossed!
I've got to get my special order for Loop De Loo anklets going, I have a special order of 20 of them with the little cancer charm in pink. A customer is buying them for the Susan B. Komen run for she and her friends...hummmmm that's A LOT of friends don't ya think? But I'm happy for the business!
I've also got to clean this big ole' house, we are hosting the Friday night group (SATURDAY since we have to work and can't stay out to all hours tonight) to our house for hors d'ouvres then we'll all go out to eat. Twenty people is a big hostess job...I'd better get to it...my house is a mess...THAT will burn those calories big time!
Update: Settle down Bobbi, Donna was at the doctor's office with her daughter...her ex-hubby called and then Donna herself called...her voice was music to my ears!
Thursday, September 09, 2010
Writer's write. Or at least that's the old addage. Today was a tough tough day on my challenge. And beyond that when i wrote my blog about it...it flew away into Spark heaven so this one will be much shorter. If you can't say I'm NOT persistent, you can't say anything.
I'm sleep deprived. I'm riddled with worry over my dear friend who has inoperable colon cancer. I went to see her yesterday. I've been attempting to visit for a few weeks now and she always has an excuse. My house isn't clean, I'm tired today, I just don't feel up to company. I've heard them all.
I gently reminded her that I'm NOT coming to see her house, and I surely won't stay long I just want her to know that I love her and care about her and friends see friends when they are feeling low.
She finally succumbed but only with the bribe that I'd bring her some homemade wonderful fresh organic veggie soup. Food gets us every time doesn't it?
I was shocked when I was let inside by her daughter who is over from Miami, I don't shock easily, but her house looked like something out of the t.v. program "The Hoarders"
Honestly, I don't know how this happened. I think she just always meant to get to it and never did. I also know that she tended to shop alot to occupy her time after she got let go from her last job several years back. It broke my heart. It's all dark and dank, and well, a wreck. Certainly not conducive to health and healing. I offered to help her daughter clean if she needed any help. I know my friend is trying to sort through things for a garage sale, and believe me I hope she has a sucessful one...there is just SO much stuff to sift through.
Beyond that, my friend is in terrible pain. That breaks my heart even more so. She got up for a minute and had a few bites of the veggie soup which I know she really savored...but ONLY a few bites...how can she exist on 2 tablespoons of anything?
I hugged her and told her that I loved her and that I would be back in a few days when her daughter has to go back to her job in Miami.
This beautiful friend has always been a little prickly. She is very opinionated and honestly a little pushy about getting things done HER way. I know this has driven a wedge between she and her girls. I think I'm one of her few friends that can see beyond the facade that she puts on to the true beautiful soul that she is.
I woke up at 3 a.m. last night and just couldn't stop thinking about how short our lives are and why we can't get over our ego self to let others be the way others have chosen to be.
Then I started thinking of the big ole' grudge that I've had for some 30 plus years with my mother-in-law and how that grudge caused so much pain for DH who was always caught in the middle. I'm thankful that last year when we went to visit I was finally able to lay my ego aside and see his mother through HIS eyes. That went a long, long way towards healing past wounds. I think of all the supportive and loving advise that came from my Sparkies that helped me put things in perspective for what they were.
I look at my dear dear friend, and I want to heal her immediately. I don't want her to have to suffer this pain. I don't want her to suffer the lonliness that she is enduring due to her obsessive need to ALWAYS be right about EVERYTHING.
It's NOT fair, and I intend to call her older daughter and tell her that she needs to lay down her grudges and her hostility and come to her mother who has always loved her, right or, wrong, she needs her now!
Please send up your prayers, she needs some fierce powerful angels by her side, we'll ALL be there for her...I know we will!
Sunday, September 05, 2010
Okay Sparkies I hate to rain on your Labor Day picnic I really do
...but if you are planning on catching the new George Clooney movie "The American" here's a head's up.. save your hard earned money and wait for it on television or release on DVD.
~Yep as my DH said to me and the friends we went to see it with in his best English accent "Whoops that one was a bit of a stinker!"
He made light of it but me...I take my movies serious, and George even MORE serious so when I see a clunker movie, particularly one with Mr. Hunkalicious in it...it just puts me in a BAD mood~ like 'pissed off' bad mood!
I'm just glad that we lunched at Outback BEFORE the movie and the dining experience was really enjoyable...if we had gone there AFTER the movie I most likely would have griped and moaned my way through the whole meal most likely ruining it for everyone.
Sorry people...but really...George...REALLY...how could you? Did you not read the script???And to top off the bad screenplay you STILL signed up to be one of the producers...are those pasta carbs going to your head over there in Italy ...does that Italian girlfriend lead you around by the dumb part of your brain?...Did she have a friend of a friend of a friend that wanted to be in the movie that said ...hey we can get George Clooney, he's madly in love with dingleberries (that's where his Italian girlfriend's name goes) I mean really!!
I guess you gathered I didn't like the movie. I had to keep tapping my foot quickly (great calorie burner..so that was okay) to stay awake... I kept telling myself...okay next scene SOMETHING is going to happen! Something ...please...something!!!
This movie must have been a song to produce because they sure didn't put money into the movie sets you'll see plenty of cobblestone streets, and George does look pretty buff. Maybe the part where he is doing push ups and chin ups might have been worth the $7.50 at least for me...it probably didn't seem like DH got his money's worth...well...maybe there were a few scenes he'd agree were worth the bucks...pretty steamy in some girl with George parts!
George would have to have lost weight during the movie, he was running, or climbing up all those Italian streets with 40 million steps and bends and alleys in scene after scene after SCENE!
And of course I'll have to admit another good thing about the movie was all the close up's of Georgie...he is such a cutie pie, even with graying hair he's pretty adorable...not too smart about his recent movie making choices but we always seem to forgive pretty people.
Will I go see another Clooney movie when one comes out...of course...would I move to Bellagio to be his neighbor...you betcha~~would I ever tell him in person that I hated his movie...NEVER.....fickle... we..the loyal fan base are, aren't we?
Okay, now I'm going to watch something GOOD on t.v. and DH is making homemade popcorn for dinner...I'm ending this day on a good movie experience!
I got my writing challenge of 3,000 words accomplished and my exercise and my eating has been pretty good...well...I shouldn't say that until I calculate those popcorn calories should I?
Friday, September 03, 2010
Hey Sparklers! Happy Friday to ya! Here's Josh's pic that he termed 'God's of Myspace' no disrespect intended it was just his quirky take on things.
As some of you know I'm working all out 'b*ll's to the wall' sorry that was a little off color, but it DOES describe the climate on getting Joshie's story out to the world!
I was sent a wonderful Sparkie friend (KStyle) who put this challenge together and bless her little bones it was JUST the push I needed to get my lame butt in gear!
Today I got my 3000 words in and in record time. So now after only 3 days I'm at 9100 words...who would have thunk it? I'm only up to Josh's introduction to the private school from hell that he likes to term it. I threw that sweet adorable trusting little 4th grader into the jaws of a lion thinking the whole time that I was putting him on the fast track for a good college. One more example of how parent's can be totally clueless as to what is best for the individual CHILD not what is best for THEIR perspective on what is accceptable and proper by society's standards.
We ended up wasting a BOAT LOAD of money for four years because I just refused to see and accept that Josh HATED it there and was miserable truly miserable. But it will all be in the book.
I'm rifling through Josh's journals and papers because once he started high school he kept a live journal (on the computer) and sheaves of poems and screen-writes and journals of how he was feeling. Too bad I didn't come across those items BEFORE he was gone I might have been able to get a clue as to what he was experiencing and change the whole course of circumstances.
But hopefully when this information gets into the hands of other kids and their parents it will help with the train wreck that his dad and I had to experience in losing our beautiful son. That's the whole hope and as I've said so many times MY life mission!
I'm so blessed to have heard from so many of you that have shared your stories and your fears and your hopes and that's the whole reason I think I was lucky enough for us to find each other.
Here's a powerful poem that Josh wrote about drugs. I have it copyrighted in his collection.
Before it I found it I came across another quirky thing...almost as if Josh were writing his own obit it makes my eyes tear up to see how physic that beautiful boy was. I treasure the fact that many of Josh's works are in his own perfect print, he loved to use a pencil and paper for many of his works. I've heard that graphite is a magical tool to unlock the magic we all hold inside. Thank goodness our little kindergartens still use pencils!
"JOSHUA SIGNS has captivated the minds of many individuals with stories of adventure, mystery and horror since elementary school. During his youth he won an award in The Young Author's Conference for most creative storybooking. (I remember that day well, he was bursting his little 6 year old buttons!)
He continued his writing throughout high school and wrote several songs, performing them with a local band. He actually managed to sell a few C.D.s. He is currently in pursuit of his dream to share his world with thousands through literature and film."
And so you shall darling boy...so you shall!
Here's a POWERFUL poem he wrote. It still saddens and amazes me that he was so ANTI-DRUG but somehow was taken down by the very thing he spoke out against. It just goes to show you....NO ONE ever expects to get to a place that the drugs repossess your soul..NO ONE...legal with a script or illegal a drug is a drug is a drug!
i know in some cases they are ABSOLUTELY necessary so don't send me hate mail okay? which you'd never do anyway.
By Joshua Gavin Signs Copywrite 2006
Boredom leads the weak to trouble
Far beyond their safety bubble
Curiousity killed the cat
Now it kills people at the drop of a hat
Away from safety, past the light
Past the days and into night
Those who wander can never come back
The train was bound, but lost the track
"Learn from mistakes" is what they preach
But mistakes like this will rarely teach
Your first experience is always a party
The thrill resembles riding a Harley
Bikes bring danger and so does this
You'll forever be held onto by it's kiss
First comes the pleasure, second comes the pain
The leech now secures inside of your brain
No longer bored, you try to walk
But like a boat, you return to dock
Now you're scared, you know you're in need
Much like a vampire, you have to feed
So away from safety, past the light
You travel forth into the night
Knocking on doors, you'd stray from before
Begging for a fix, because you are poor
The IOU's begin to pile
Yet you always stretch that extra mile
Finally one day the debts are due
The fingers all point directly at you
Strung out cravings, empty pockets
Discolored eyes beneath darkened sockets
You stare at them, your eyes are blank
You tell them there's nothing left in your bank
They draw their guns and take their stance
You shield your face and piss your pants
Body shaking, you begin to cry
Pleading for at least one more try
Unmoved they stand, firmly on ground
the one on your left, fires the first round
It all becomes clear as you take your last breath...
The equation remains: Drugs=Death
I gasp every time I read Josh's words. He had a way of picking the PEFECT word to describe the emotions he wanted you to feel. The MOST amazing thing is that I never suspected he was doing drugs. I might have been suspicious of pot a few times because I could smell it but he'd always tell me it was his FRIENDS not him. I am so sad to say that I think Josh went down in only a short six month timeframe after he met his druggie buddy. SIX MONTHS...that's how quick they can take you down!
How can I ever measure up to his gift of writing...I SIMPLY...can't...but I know he'll do the best he can to help me tell HIS story in my own faltering, but sincere way and hopefully he'll put me in touch with an EXPERT editor!
I think I'm going to try and get the CD that his father made released with the book. That CD about killed his father putting it together but it is SO POWERFUL and because Josh wanted MORE than anything to be a film~maker this will be his film. Certainly not the one he had probably intended to make, but drugs robbed him of that opportunity.
The C.D. shows a short podcast that Josh released of he and his buddies popping coriceden then going to a rave party and having fun, fun, fun. The next clip is of his final day on this earth, he was CLEARLY NOT having fun on that one, I think he KNEW he was in deep trouble but the buddy staying with him didn't call 911. Next will be a shot of his memorial with all of his favorite things there and the over 300 friends and family crying their hearts out and telling their Josh stories of how much they loved him and would miss him forever!
So Josh...I hope your story helps someone else. I hope that some other kid will see your films and say to themselves...oh...life is WORTH living...oh...people DO love me!...oh I might want to take that second chance!
Josh's urn has an inscription. It was sitting on a high table near the front of the room with a little candle burning. Beside that table was an almost life sized picture of him.
The inscription reads: "May the work I've done...speak for me"
Josh's friends put together a REMARKABLE montage of Josh with all of the quirky crazy films they had made together. That kid was a SUPER STAR, and I'm not saying that simply because I'm his mom. I know films, I know GOOD films and Josh was right up there!
Now I KNOW why you left those journals and the mountain of poems, and screen writes...Now I know why you filmed your last day...now I know son, and the world will know too!
I love you Joshua Gavin Signs...you KNOW i do!
Get An Email Alert Each Time FLORIDASUN Posts