Theres a lot to be said for love. I always say that love is all there is..love is all there ever was..and love is all that ever will be. I say this with a certain knowingness.
I've had many, many things in my life. I've had some pretty awesome career success, I've had gratifying recognition for my artistic talents, I've had the sweet love of a good husband, and I've had most of the monetary attributes that come with the trappings of the above.
Of course I've had some disappointments along the way too..sometimes I've missed a coveted promotion with the corner office, or lost out on a contest, and I've never enjoyed the closeness of brothers and sisters in a big close knit family being the 'only lonely'.
I've packed on some stubborn chubbiness over the years that irks the heck out of me. I've had a few customers that I couldn't make happy even standing on my head clapping my hands...whilst clicking my heels...but all in all I have experienced the BEST of the BEST that life possibly has to offer with fierce love.
That is a mother's love. That is the gaze that adores the moment you spot your child when they walk in a room. The little bit louder than necessary...laugh that the proud as punch parent heehaws when the joke line comes from their child's lips.
Through thick and thin, through tough times and beyond that love endures and it trumps any of the successes that anyone could ever count as real. 'Stuff' isn't real...love is. Love transcends anything and everything..forever.
That's the love I'm talking about for my darling Josh. He was my angel boy. Bigger than life, full of piss and vinegar..hugely sarcastic, plenty obnoxious but PERFECT in every way!
The day we lost him from our world was the day that his dad and I simply wanted to stop...stop breathing, stop existing, just stop. We don't hold the corner on the market for grief..let me tell you that corner is plenty full of other heart broken zombie walking parents playing out their earth time going through the motions of life...but we are different..different in every way imaginable. Oh sure, we all carry on doing the best that we can...we have no other choice really. Eventually the wound stops gushing and only oozes...but the scab NEVER heals.
I'm not telling you this to have a poor Bobbi fest...I'm telling you this so that you take those blessed children of yours and hold them close with all your might. So that you realize how very lucky you are...a parent..the most coveted and valuable gift in the universe..you...lucky you...are the recipient of 'fierce love'!
Here's a few more of Josher's journals...I'm a little freaked because when I looked for the larger stack of his poems and songs I couldn't find them. That will keep me up tonight wondering where in the world I stashed them to keep them safe...so safe in fact that I can't find them either. Fierce love does have a way of going a little insane from time to time..agreed?
This is one of Josh's deeper writings..I truly didn't get it at all when I first read it. Then eventually it dawned on me it was his struggle once again about fighting the demons of drugs.
"There is a rabbit. The rabbit is in the field. The field is full of blue flowers. The blue flowers each have 3 specks of darker blue on them.
The bunny hops through the flowers. The sun is bright. As he hops he notices a part of the field where the flowers are a darker blue. On these flowers the specks are a lighter blue. Curious he hops toward the dark flowers. The sun begins to fade. But the flowers are so different from the others. So unique. The bunny stops at the divide.
Behind him the light blue flowers sway in the wind. In front the dark blue flowers stand firmly pointing towards the dark sky. He hesitates.
Glancing behind him he sees no other bunnies. He stretches his paw out, and touches a darker flower. Chaos, anger, destruction, pain, suffering. He winches as he envisions all of these elements. And in the center he sees another rabbit calling out for him. Calling out for him to share the chaos, anger, destruction, pain and suffering. The bunny thinks to himself. On this field only bad things will happen, but on the other hand I will not be alone.
He looks behind him, on this field there will be some of the same elements, but in diluted quantities. But I will be alone. He placed his paws on his head and gritted his teeth. After a brief moment of meditation, he turned to face the lighter flowers and hopped away.
The above is so profound to me. I really think that Josh was expressing perfectly what our young adult children are facing each and every day. Do they choose the dark field and have plenty of company...or do they choose the light flowers and stay the course alone.
Only Josh could have expressed these life choices in such a manner.
That reminds me of another conversation we had when he was in high school. He had started Estero High School in his sophomore year having attended a private school for his middle school years. That was a hard transition for Josh but one he was anxious to make. He told me..."Mom...you just don't get it, you think that by paying a big bunch of money for this school it's going to make me a better person...what you don't see is that money only makes it easier to be jerks...I hate the kids that go to that school..they all think that because their parents have money it makes them special...all it really does is make them buy them a pedigree enshrining them as the jerks they really are."
So finally I let Josh make the call on this..but his move to high school was tough on him. All of those kids had known each other since grade school, it's hard to break into established clicks especially if you are known as the snob from private school transfer. Josh was NEVER a snob...but people pre-judge. We surely all know that don't we?
Here's another little blurb from one of his journals...no matter how low or depressed Josh was he could always make you laugh.
11-4-04 Lately I've been enjoying movies every night, Blockbuster rarely sees a night without me, but a movie only lasts so long, and after all while I'm watching that movie, I am isolating myself from the world...which is only adding to the loneliness. I'm screwed. I'm like a fat guy who eats because he's depressed and is depressed because he's fat. It sucks..actually come to think of it..I have been eating more...crap.
Here's another glimpse into this deep lovesick little guy of mine
August 14, 2004
The uncomfortable thought of you
The blurry memories of us
The conclusions that you drew
Always led us to a fuss
And now here I am alone
In my room where you once stood
Staring at the silent phone
It will not ring so what's the good
Sitting in my empty car
Staring at a barren seat
Never thought you'd be so far
I wave my flag, admit defeat
I close my eyes and see your shape
There's nothing I can do
No matter what I can't escape
The uncomfortable thought of you
and...finally I leave you with some of Josh's friends memories
"Josh was no doubt the funniest person I knew. He always knew how to make me laugh, I'm not talking about giggling, I talking about tears running from my eyes, and finding it hard to breathe kind of laughing."
"I'm so shocked to lose Josh. I always thought he'd be around forever and I wish that he was. He seemed a little lost in what he wanted to do, but I always figured him out to be someone famous in the future."
"Josh was always in tune to other people's feelings and problems. I think deep down inside he wanted to be a superhero like Spiderman or Batman the ones that are pretty close to reality in my opinion. I remember once he took his Spiderman action figure and made a comic strip about a day in the life of Spiderman..he filmed it..pretty good stuff."
"Josh's humor would take me forever to talk about how funny he was. My absolute favorite was when he would talk about badgers we would have those say offs...Josh would say that would make any toothless badger smile on a Sunday!" or he'd say..."that would make any blind badger bob for apples that would crack me up."
"Josh was always there for me. Whenever I needed him all I had to do was give him a call. he was one of a very few people I trusted with my life and my life stories."
"Josh was always one to make people laugh. No matter why the circumstances were, if someone was mad or sad or just in a funk, he always had something to say and it just lightened up the mood."
"I know Josh felt so alone. I just don't know why. He had hundreds of people who loved him and always will. He just couldn't seem to see it."
"Josh thought of himself as different. I guess because he thought differently than other people. It's true too, he had such different opinions on everything. His theories of random things were WAY out there, but they still made perfect sense. But I don't know why he thought of himself as negatively different, he was brilliant, the stuff he talked about the things he explained and the way he explained them was just genius."
"Josh was one of the most caring people I've ever met and I'll never forget him...he was more blood to me than my own brothers."
"Josh was one of my best friends and sooo much more to me. I was closer to Josh than I was with most people I've known my whole life. Josh was the most wonderful person..he was genuine, kind, helpful, talented and caring. Josh had the warmest personality I've ever know. When I heard that Josh had died I became physically sick to my stomach. I've never known so much pain. I have had accidents, and harsh physical pain before, but I would have taken those pains over the one in my heart over losing Josh every day. I still miss him so badly that it hurts me inside and out. I felt as if I had lost a piece of my heart, my soul, and my happiness. My world will never be the same without Josh..I could never in a million years find another friend like the one I had in Josh Signs. You left this world too soon Josh...RIP 5/17/06."
Here's one last poem from one of his special friends. Her name is Marlene...if this doesn't warm a mother's sad sorry heart..nothing will.
"It doesn't matter how he died,
Because no matter what, everyone has cried
We lost a wonderful soul,
and now our hearts are not whole.
Josh was sweet and artistic
And always realistic.
He was someone we could talk to,
And the advice he gave was never untrue.
He made so many friends,
That from now on he still defends.
There are so many words that can describe Joshua Signs
From creative and sweet to loving and kind.
He will always be loved by all
and when we are about to fall,
We can talk to him and know,
that he will listen and say hello.
Josh was amazing in his own ways,
I'm just counting down the days.
The days it will take to find a place for all of this,
But no matter what Josh will always be missed.
Not one person can disagree,
That Joshua Signs has finally been let free"
"Everything about Josh Signs was interesting to me. He had one of the keenest minds I've ever come across. I said to myself on the day I met him...that kid is shiny bright!"
I love you Josh...you know I do...I will forever til the first of never. This is my love~gram to you and sharing you is what I do best.
Viva Josh..Happy Birthday up there in heaven land..I'll be with you one of these days further down the river.
and...big love to all the other grieving parents out there