Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My nephew Joshua, "keeper of the sword," was playing in the Atlantic recently, when he got stung by a jellyfish. While this was not a pleasant experience, his desire to share his story came quickly.

In light of Steve Irwin's (Crocodile Hunter) recent unfortunate encounter with the normally docile sea creature that claimed his life, Joshua's story brought a heightened level of curiosity. Steve was recently quoted as saying that he wanted to be remembered for his "passion."

If you have been around boys who are Joshua's age (turning 7 this month) you have seen passion in action! No doubt the retelling of his own sea creature encounter is filled with much enthusiasm! What a badge of honor to share with others!

I have several memories of being with Joshua at the ocean's edge. In fact, my brother has a framed picture series of Beej and Joshua walking along the beach.

The two of them loved each other deeply. Recently, Joshua was telling his mommy (my sister) that he wanted a brother like BJ, who was older, and that would play with him. No doubt he remembers the hours of fun the two of them had together. Beej loved Joshua like no other. He poured himself into that little man, and cared for him endlessly. Who would not want a big brother like that?

One of the pictures Brad has is of BJ 'rescuing' Joshua from the crashing surf in a chilly November stroll along the water's edge. BJ is holding him up just as the salty brine licks at his feet. You remember the picture of a child running from the chasing tide as it comes into shore?
This is similar, only there is no running, just the loving exchange between cousins as they laugh about the cold water trying to soak them.

These two were virtually inseparable on this day. Seeing that picture of BJ carrying him brings such joy and longing.

On that same walk, a Joshua did something else that Brad captured on film. Something that had each of us a bit befuddled. He stooped down just out of the water's reach and began to write in the sand. I recall that they were ahead of us, and we saw him do this from a distance and wondered what he was doing. He could not spell much at that point, he was only 4 or so. He did recognize his letters, and he had obviously been practicing his writing skills.

We arrived on scene and stood for an extended pause looking at his script. Marveling at his skill at such a young age, and being transported by Scripture to a similar picture in our minds. The Word does not tell us what was written. Neither could we decipher exactly what Joshua had penned.

As we stood in silence, each trying to crack the code of what had been written, a little voice rose above the lapping surf. "What does it say," Joshua asked?

Up to that point, we were trying to find deep meaning from the heart of a young sand scribbler. In that moment, the stiffness in each of our postures broke free in the ocean breeze. We realized there had been no intended message... save the joy and love of spending the day with his favorite cousin.

The other picture in Brad's frame set is from this past Christmas, the first without BJ. A bit older and a bit broken, Joshua forces a smile at the camera as he holds up his favorite cousin. In his hands are a picture of BJ and a sword.

Oh how I miss him.

uncle brent


At 10:29 AM, Blogger illusion_of_me said...

Thank you all very much!! In my profile is my contact info... God bless!! have to run to my next class!!! x0x0x0!!!

At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Illusion of me
So glad to hear you are a cheerleader. As i pray for you, I cheer you on, whether you are cheering a sport team or cheering spiritualy. I cheer you on!!! Blees you child.
In Jesus name, I am praying for you and strength, one day at a time.
Love and hugs from
Indpls., IN

At 7:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can only imagine. I can only imagine how many lives you and your family have and are touching through BJ. Your son is awesome and your family is Awesome!!
As days come and pass and memories prevail, I pray you and your family find comfort through your friends,
and blog family, and all the photos capturing BJ, bring a smile to you.
I pray for your srtength and peace within. May God hold you often and lift you up.
You are all in my prayers.
Love and huggs to you all.
your sister
in Christ
Indpls., IN

At 11:13 PM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

Illusion of me. . . still praying. Your story inspires us. You can, you have been, and you will be used of God to make a difference just as BJ did!

Father, we thank you for the gift of memories--even painful ones. Thank you for the Higgins family/extended family and the relationships that continue to mean so much to Brent and Deanna. Thank you for young Joshua and his open, tender heart. Thank you for BJ and his legacy of boundless, unguarded love.

Lord, I pray Your peace on Brent and Deanna especially right now. Go before them and behind them through these days on their jobs. You are their Strength, their Source, their Provider, their Protector, their Shield, their Defender. Show Yourself to them in new ways as they walk out all that You have been teaching them. Continue to provide new friends and mentors and supporters who can love them and hold up their hands so they can continue the battle. Remind them of Your love. Remind them of our prayers. Remind them that they know the reason why they're here. May they both lie down and sleep because You alone, O Lord, make them to dwell in safety.

in the matchless name of Christ our Savior,


sent with tender love from


At 9:47 AM, Blogger the leaf family said...

Just wanted to say we are praying for you.. and Thank You for todays message... reminding me to slow down.
With all our Love and Prayers from KC-Tracy


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