"Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth." Aldous Huxley
After Joshua died, I had to process.
What is it Lord that I am not seeing? What in my ignorant prayers am I failing to say?
Why did he kill himself when he was just entering the most exciting years of a young person’s life? He wasn’t the introspective type full of fear and loathing. No we weren’t dealing with Holden Caulfield here. I don’t think he even read the book. I would bet he didn’t even know who J.D. Salinger was. If given to him as a class assignment, he would have offered his report from either cliff notes or copying from a friend. Don’t get me wrong here, Joshua was not a cheat. He just wasn’t the bookish type.
He was going to be a movie director and put his uncle Bob in a blockbuster.
But not before he traveled. He was going to backpack somewhere. He asked me if they had scholarships where kids can backpack. Of course my look of curious dismay made him immediately change the subject.
He was some act. He loved to talk about how popular he was in school. He had to have exactly the right clothes, shoes, his hair bleached on top and dark in the back in a sort of curly flat top. He always had a story of this girl or that guy.
He was working several jobs for all the goodies he required to live a healthy teenage life. And of course to buy the all-important rad car.
He had a lot of friends, from what I heard, there were hundreds in the church for the funeral. And they all talked of his bravado, sense of humor, and most importantly his kindness. But I was not to witness this first hand because I was not told when the funeral was. I was 1200 miles away from Kenosha, but it may have been halfway around the earth as it went. I couldn’t just “drop in” and wait.
I cried for weeks about this,
Mel doing whatever she could to quiet my anger and sorrow. She too was grieving. She and Joshua developed a special rapport when he stayed with us those 6 weeks. The occasions we went to Kenosha all 6’ plus girth of this handsome boy would grab her and lift her 5 foot chubby body off the floor. He adored her and I trust she loved him.
My children were also left out. My daughter was very hurt by this, as she was the last person to talk to him. And they talked every day. My daughter knew Joshua's last words. What mother would not invite the person who heard their child's last words, relative or not?
What were they afraid of?
Did they think he told her something and they did not want it discussed?
Perhaps since she had a daily talk with him….you would think this would have been exactly what my sister needed. Wouldn’t you?
Wouldn’t any mother want to hear her child’s last words?
And they knew Devon. If he told her something he did not want anyone to know, she would’ve taken that to the grave.
My son Billy was even more upset. More because of the technicalities of the situation and how they did not make sense to him. He focused on the lack of a letter or any clue as to why he did it. He felt there was something that was just not being said.
And what of his little brother 14 year old Justin. This child was already suffering the repercussions of an absent father who denied obvious paternity and let the child know. Now his brother had hung himself and he was the first one to find him.
Yes they fought like wildcats, what set of brothers didn’t? Heck, the Dalai Lama when at age 5 or so, after identifying all of his predecessor’s belongings and being told he was no longer an average kindergartener, but a deity, was put in the hand carried royal carriage with his brother. They were to be carried in this luxurious little house to Lhasa. They fought so bad they almost turned the transport over.
Now Justin was alone. And had that image for the rest of his life. He was alone with Justin for a time, in that silent house waiting for his mother to come home and embrace him and tell him he was going to be ok. What did he do during that time? Just fourteen years old. What do you think he had to look forward to in his future?
And what of my sister Mary? She and I had our spats, they were never quite normal and were filled with contemptible threats, from her, never from me. Just prior to this, she had told me she wished me nothing but bad luck and that she hoped “I would die alone”. Yet this seems to have turned on her. Maybe that was the reason for not having me come there. I could never wish this upon her. I needed to be with her and she needed me. I know that in spite of everything, she would’ve wanted me.
Joshua had his pick of girls. When he was in Houston, a beautiful little blond sprite was all over the boy. And like young men are want to do, initially he returned the attraction, but quickly changed his mind. He had a girl he was in love with at home. Did this girl in Kenosha somehow hurt him? He would certainly have left a letter to her. That is especially concerning.
The more questions I asked, the farther from any sort of conclusion I came. Before all of this, I thought the only mystery in life is why the kamikaze pilots wore helmets. This is just so unbalanced. Joshua should be hanging with his friends, going to concerts and the theater.
Some of his friends came around the months after his death, but not so often after a while. The young woman he had been seeing came by after a few months and we thought we finally had the answer. She had an infant daughter. Maybe that is what happened. Perhaps they had a confrontation where Joshua had found out he wasn’t her one and only. No doubt she broke the news to Joshua that she was no longer going to be his girlfriend.
She asked Mary if she could speak to her alone. She never got the chance to after the funeral, so much had happened in her own life.
She laid her young baby daughter in my mother’s arms, as she took my sister by the arm to talk to her. My mother held the child and as the sweet little girl reached up; my mother and that is when she saw the little bend on one of her ears identifying her as Joshua's daughter.
Beginning of Book
Yes, this is absolutely positively true. If you lived this wouldn't you write about it? Some of the names of characters in this blog are fictitious. This is an account of actual events. Some of the events have been compiled together for the flow of the story. Even when I read my own work, I wonder how it could be so. But if you study your own life and compartmentalize it into less than 200 pages, you would be surprised how interesting it really is!
TRUTH HAS WITNESSES (Dianne Lindsey) This material is the copyright Dianne Schuch Lindsey and cannot be duplicated in any fashion without the express permission of the Author. All rights reserved ©