Thursday, July 27, 2006

Joshua Michael

"The grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise." -- Quote from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Chapter 9, The Grey Havens.

Regina Doman is one of my favorite authors and writers, having written such beautiful books as Angel In The Waters, which you can read online. Tragically, Regina and her family suffered the greatest trial imaginable, the death of their 4-year-old son, crushed under the wheels of a car they themselves were driving. The family’s five other children witnessed the heartbreaking event.

At Joshua's wake, an overflow crowd watched her stand in front of the congregation with head held high. It was the unassuming strength that comes from true humility. She started out like this, word for word.

“Every parent’s worst nightmare is to lose a child. When you become a parent, when your child is born, you sit there with this tiny, vulnerable infant in your hand and the fragility of life overwhelms you. From that moment on, in every waking moment, you are vulnerable because you care so deeply, so very much about this little life intrinsically connected to your own. Every danger or hurt you encounter yourself is magnified because you see it on some conscious level as a threat to that little being who smiles up at you.”

That’s how much she loved Joshua. This is how much she hurts now.

“What happened to Joshua was, literally, my worst nightmare. The one trial that I prayed that God would spare me from was hitting someone’s child with my car. God, in his strange and mysterious mercy, has not chosen to spare me that trial. Pray for me.”

Those were the only words about her. The rest of the extensive eulogy that followed was about her son. She told story after story about Joshua’s boyish adventures of swords, battles and being a warrior, about his delicate spirit, his love for each one of his brothers and sisters, and even the cute crush he had on the girl next door.

You can read the rest of Regina's beautiful eulogy and touching photographs of Joshua here. A word of caution: have your kleenex or handkerchief handy. But please read this testament to life, love and family. It is something you will never forget, and help remind all of us to hug those we love a little more often and a little longer.

As we went through the pictures of Joshua, I was struck at how many times we caught him in action in his cloak and sword. When he was alive, he was troubled with worries. He was afraid sometimes. He was scared sometimes. But now he will never be worried again. He will never be scared again. He has gone to the country where there is no longer any fear. He is as God meant him to always be.

Just thinking about Joshua makes me smile. I am so glad to have known him, so glad and proud to have been his mom. I will always miss him, and I will never forget him.


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