I am so full of emotions right now. I’m angry, frustrated, confused, but more than anything I am so stinkin sad. Why? Because the world lost such a special, amazing little soul this week and it tears my heart right out of my chest. I was blessed to cross paths with a gal named Kelly so many months ago. Kelly brought with her a special little man named Josiah. Josiah was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer known as DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma). This is a brain tumor that covers the brain stem and is inoperable. That is right….INOPERABLE and INCURABLE. This little guy, only 5 years old, has his entire life ripped away in one day. He goes from being a carefree kid one day to a dying child the next day. How can this happen? Why does this happen? I know the gut wrenching feeling of being told that you are going to lose a loved one and there is NOTHING you can do. NOTHING…..not a damn thing. All you can do is watch them suffer through treatments that is not going to do a thing but make them sick and give them maybe a few extra months. Cancer, what a nasty, vile word. The word no one ever wants to hear because for so many it really is a death sentence. I’m just so angry. I see someone die from this and I am immediately transported back to the last few days I had with my brother. Almost 25 years ago I said goodbye and the pain is still has strong today. It’s just not fair and I don’t care who says we should not question or complain because I just cannot stop myself. Josiah had his entire life ahead of him and now he won’t get to enjoy any of it. His dad won’t get to see him drive his first car, have his first girlfriend, graduate high school, go off to college, get married, and have kids of his own. His dad will have to celebrate his upcoming birthday without him. He will go through the motions of everyday life but he will NEVER be the same. His life is forever changed. Kelly’s life is forever changed. I want to tell any of you who read this to please go to Josiah’s site if you never have and read about this amazing little guy! Learn about who he was because even though he is gone his journey is NOT over. He will live on in the heart of his family, friends, and the thousands of people he touched in his short life. Although I never met Josiah in person he taught me a few lessons about life. He reaffirmed the fact that life really is short. It is over in the blink of an eye. He taught me to enjoy the MOMENT because the moment is really all we have. We are not guaranteed tomorrow! He taught me to look at the world through the eyes of a child. Look at everything for the miracle that it really is!!! Enjoy the beauty of life….the trees, the clouds, the grass, even the little tiny ladybug that crawls over your foot as you sit on the ground. Feel that breeze that caresses your face like you have never felt it before. Listen to the words of a song or a poem and truly process what they are saying. Take the time to just sit and do nothing at all. Look into the eyes of your children and see yourself looking back. Hold them tighter for a little bit longer. Don’t rush! When your child says “look mom” stop what you are doing and really LOOK. When they want to tell you something, no matter how silly you may think it is, listen to them. When they crawl up in bed with you at night, don’t get mad, pull them into you and be thankful that you can hold them. The next time they break a dish or color your walls with markers, don’t get mad, be thankful that they are healthy because you can buy new dishes or paint a wall. Don’t ever leave mad…always make it right! Say your sorry more and really mean it. Josiah taught me all of these things. Josiah taught me that bravery comes in small packages. He taught me that even though we know how the story is going to end that it is the chapters of the story that really matter. Ultimately, we all know how our story is going to end. WE will ALL face the same end as Josiah. We will all face death so right now we have to LIVE. Don’t just exist….really live! Let Josiah teach you a thing or two! Let him show you life is about the journey…..not the destination. Josiah was blessed with an amazing family who loved him more than life. They made his last few months of life spectacular because everyday was full of love, happiness, laughter, and HOPE. They never gave up hope. Cancer may have won the battle but it will not win the war. Josiah has started a journey that all of us must finish for him. We must push for awareness and for a cure. DIPG has to be stopped. Please, don’t stop hoping just because he is gone. Don’t stop fighting just because we feel “lost”. Josiah would NOT want that. He was a fighter and he would want us all to keep fighting for him and for the other kids that will be affected by this terrible disease. So, as I sit here tonight so full of mixed emotions wiping the tears away over a little boy who touched my hear in so many ways, I pledge to keep forging on and to do my best to support this cause.
Josiah, I never met you in person and I really wish I could have. I feel as if I knew you though…and that is because of your amazing step mommy Kelly. I know that tonight you are soaring so high among the clouds playing with angels. I know you are surrounded by beauty and love. I know you are pain free and that you can walk and talk perfectly again. That ride you took on that airplane, well I am sure that was nothing compared to the ride you are enjoying now! Josiah, you were a blessing in my life and I am so very thankful that I was given the opportunity to have known you. Thank you for reminding me what life is about. Rest in Paradise sweet angel and if you happen to meet my brother please give him a big ole squeeze for me.
Please watch the video, join Josiah’s page on facebook, and help support his foundation.
In Josiah’s own words: I love SpongeBob, Spiderman, Cars, Marvel Super Heros Super Squad, Monsters INC, I love playing Soccer and football with my dad! I love building big things with my blocks.I love to color and draw and I am very smart and can write I also love having tattoos just like my daddy!
Josiah David Loyd May 27, 2008- February 27, 2014