Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I've had reason to think about Josh all morning.  Not that I don't, always and every morning. Theoretically I am putting together a report for tonight's meeting, figuring out a direction for Sunday's sermon, developing a new idea for a retreat that I'm leading in a few weeks, and procrastinating the eventual trip out into the five degree day.

But mostly I'm thinking about Joshie, and looking at pictures.  Herewith, some of which some of you have seen.

In the fall of 2004, with both boys not returning to college until the end of September, there was time for an early fall backcountry canoeing trip with my father and his wife.  She would be diagnosed with lung cancer shortly after the trip, in part because of questions raised that week by her coughing and weakness, but in September, all were full of good cheer as they loaded up in our back yard:

It's cold in Algonquin in September!  I'm not sure how it was that Josh was charged with the task of setting up the tent; maybe Matt was at work on the other one:
Matt, looking prepared:
For a couple of days, the boys left the older folks relaxing at the campsite and headed further into the park on their own.  Josh was evidently in charge of navigation as well, and so they promptly got lost:
Josh, pretending to know where he was going:
Matt, paying the consequences of misadventure, in mud up to his waist
The triumphant return:
It's good to remember when life was really, really wonderful.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing these. Love.

  2. My sister's 63rd birthday was this week, and we spent Saturday night reviewing some really OLD slides--some from before I was born. It's fun to take little trips in the Way-back machine. Fun to visit with those we miss...

    1. Exactly. It's like a little visit.

  3. It is difficult to grasp how abruptly life can change. One minute everything is unimaginably beautiful, all you've ever wanted, when suddenly it all comes crashing down. Life is, as you say, beautiful and terrible. I would also add "bewildering".

  4. Beautiful. Lovely. Fun. Thank you.

  5. Thank you for sharing those beautiful and treasured pictures.

  6. Beautiful story and pictures. I always love hearing about Josh, and when life was still so good. Your strength to go on, despite loss, always grabs my heart and pushes me forward too.

  7. What gorgeous boys (young men) they are - energetic, joyful, humorous, game for fun. I'm so happy that you shared these memories with us.

  8. What Karen and Karen said. The pictures of Josh draw a smile from me every time I see any. So extraordinarily beautiful--which makes it so horribly, terribly crushing that there was also such struggle and fragility that just could not reveal itself. ((0))