Life goes on…

Last month was the 3rd anniversary of when we got my son, Josh, back from UAE in a pine box.  His name was written in black magic marker on top by some thoughtful person, and I sat in the coach (they don’t call it a “hearse” anymore) with my cousin who owns a funeral home in the Dallas area, looking back at his coffin in disbelief.

Here is the website, if you would like to know about him.  For his service, we made some bookmarks for people who wanted a reminder of him, and we handed them out.  I also have been handing them out to random people for the past 3 years, like most of the workers at the grocery store who find me crying in the produce section.  It is a picture of him in the demilitarized zone in Vietnam and on the bottom is his favorite scripture, Joshua 1:9.  Over these 3 years, I have probably given out 200-300 bookmarks.

Anyway, my husband and I traveled to Dallas on March 8th to memorialize the anniversary.  I lay on a blanket beside his grave and poured out my heart to him. We placed roses in the vase on his marker. We told stories to one another about this funny, kind, and loving young man.

In his honor we went with some friends to the Addison Improv Comedy club. (Josh loved to go there). And, what do you know!  His favorite comedian, Frank Caliendo, was playing.  Nice coincidence.

The next day, Sunday, I was driving us home to The Woodlands, when I looked up at my registration sticker and inspection sticker.  They had both expired in December!  I obviously have had my head somewhere else.

I said a quick prayer, “Please, don’t let the police stop me!  I’ll get to the tax office first thing tomorrow!” (I still pray, although my prayers did not prevent my son’s plane from crashing).

I made it home without a ticket, and the next morning I stood in line at the county tax assessor’s office where 9 clerks were processing tax issues.  It was finally my turn, and when the clerk heard that my registration was so long expired, she put her hands on her hips and glared, “You haven’t been driving the car since December, have you?”

I felt chastised.  I lowered my head and said, “Well, yes, I had to visit my son’s grave this past weekend.”

She backed down and told me how much the registration was.  While she processed my registration, nosy person that I am, I looked around her cubicle.  My eyes went wide when I saw what was taped to her wall…a photocopy of my son’s bookmark!

“Oh my gosh!” I cried, “That’s my son!”

Her eyes went wide.

“How did you get that?”

“Well, she said, I was going through a really bad time in my life, and a coworker brought it down to me.  It has really helped me.” she replied.

I was so amazed that out of 9 clerks, I had gone to her and that, on the day before the 3rd anniversary of his burial, I could see he was still touching people with his message.

I don’t understand how these things happen.  What are the odds?  But I do believe the spirit lives on and is a part of our lives.


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