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service tomorrow


vanessa17

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vanessa17

We are having Josh's memorial service tomorrow. I wrote this to share with the loved ones attending:

This is definitely not something Iconsidered I would be called upon to do at this time in my life, but sinceshortly after receiving the news that Josh had been taken from us, I have beenwriting this in my head and imaging what I would say here today. Josh was manythings to all of us who have gathered here together to remember him, to celebratehis life, and to say goodbye. He was a loving father, a beloved son, an admireduncle, a trusted cousin, a nephew, a friend, and to many, a brother. And whatis a brother? For me, my brother, Josh, was a friend, a protector, and aninspiration.

My childhood with Josh was full ofgames and music, he loved both. In a sad coincidence, the music world just lostone of the founding members of The Beastie Boys. Well, I will never forget theevening that Josh and I were on dish duty together. I couldn’t have been mucholder than 10 and Josh insisted that I call WMMS and request “Girls” by theBeastie Boys (sorry mom). Man, was I so excited, not only to impress my brotherby making the call, but later to hear my squeaky little voice on the radiobefore they played our song. Josh’s love for music was literally written allover the walls of his basement bedroom. I’m sure it wasn’t quite so awesome forour parents or for the Shannons when they bought our home, but for me, itillustrated just how much a person can be filled with and inspired by music.And boy, was our house filled with the music of Josh’s basement band. As ateenager, I got the surprise of my summer, when Josh told me that he could geta couple of last minute tickets to a Dave Matthews Band concert and I waswelcome to catch the show with himself and Gregg. Thanks for that, Bro.

Playing sports in ourhouse was not a huge deal except for baseball. Our summers were full of it, andJosh and Gregg were natural talents. Josh was a born pitcher, with the addedbonus of being left-handed. I loved going to their games and keeping stats.Unfortunately, my talent was not quite as natural, and I spent many a summernight weeping over another lost game. Josh, seeing that I really wanted to getbetter, introduced me to some of the older, better girl softball players (healways had the connections), and they gave me pointers. He even went so far asto continue to play backyard baseball with me, knowing full well that I wouldmost likely take advantage of the batting practice and then quit when it was myturn to field all the balls he would hammer around the yard. My dart and pingpong games only improved because Josh refused to go easy on me and I refused toalways lose. He gently pushed me and never criticized or teased me for myperformance. Of course, he only took advantage of my willingness to playblackjack with him for money and then go double or nothing in a game of 300 rummy.As adults, he was always calling me with his latest poker victory. He was soexcited to be doing well at something he really enjoyed and I could tell thatbeing able to share it with me mattered to him. I just regret that we never gotto play a game together. I’m sure my wallet thanks me though.

As most of us here, Josh had hisstruggles in life. But really, when I think about him now, and I of course,have been thinking about him almost constantly, those struggles are not whatcome to my mind. When I think of him now, I often think of someone we shared inlife. Many of you may have known our great cat, Scamper, and some of you mayhave smirked when I referred to Scamper as great. Scamper, you see, was alittle bit of a neighborhood punk. He had a look in his eyes of being a boss.You didn’t mess with Scamper, and really to be honest, there were people thatScamper didn’t want to have much to do with. But in our family, Scamper lovedme and he loved Josh. Just like Scamper, Josh didn’t have any problem putting atough guy image out there, but as a childhood friend of our brother Greggmentioned, under his Metallica T-shirt was a great heart and a caring andloving soul, with a deep need to care for those in his life. He has left wordswith me that will inspire me always. He reached out to aunts, cousins, andfriends in need, with a phone call in a time of need or words of support andencouragement in some people’s darkest times. I am proud to be his sister,knowing all the lives he has touched, and I am blessed to have receivedmessages of love and encouragement from someone who had experienced so manytrials and triumphs.

Ultimately, Josh was someone whotoo often viewed others as more worthy of his protection than himself. Whatsometimes came across as being a mean older brother to me or Lauren, I know wasJosh trying to protect us from making the mistakes he knew he was making. Beingborn only 19 months apart, Josh and Gregg had the closest of any siblingrelationship in our family. They grew up as the best of friends, and sometimesthe strongest of influences. If Josh could say something to Gregg now, Ibelieve he would tell him that he is wrapped around him as a protective shield,that he knows the strength he can offer to Gregg now far surpasses anything hehad to offer before. Some would say this is a tragedy, and it may be, but fromJosh to Gregg, it is the ultimate protection. When Josh would hold back inrevealing all of himself to mom or dad, it was to protect and spare them fromknowing more than he could stand for them to know. His love and respect for ourmom and dad was so deep. All he ever felt from and for our dad wasunconditional love; for and from mom, compassion and support to pursue a more fulllife. When you become an adult, you realize that your parents are only human andyou love and forgive them as readily as you breathe.

In 2009, our uniquely broken, yetloving family gathered at Gem Beach, as a whole, one last time. Josh was ableto fish and play with his nieces and nephews. He was able to spend time withthe family that had vacationed together there so many times in the past. It wasa joyful time, something I am sure we will always treasure.

I want to say goodbye with a quoteshared with me by my sister-in-law. It has brought me comfort in the past weekand I imagine it will for years to come:

"You in others - this is your soul. This is what you are. This iswhat your consciousness has breathed and lived on and enjoyed throughout yourlife - your soul, your immortality, your life in others. And what now? You havealways been in others and you will remain in others. And what does it matter toyou if later on that is called your memory? This will be you - the you thatenters the future and becomes a part of it."

Josh, your spirit will be carriedon infinitely in those who you have touched and those who, in turn, will betouched by them. The cycle will be never ending, and therefore, you will benever ending. And so, I suppose this is not really a goodbye; it is more like Iwill be seeing you in all of those familiar people, in the faces of all ofthose who have known and have loved you, and we will carry you with us and passyou along for always.

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ModKonnie

Vanessa,

You did a wonderful and obviously heartfelt job. I wish you well.

ModKonnie

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