My 8 year old son died on July 7, after a 13 day battle with E. coli. This post is adapted from what I read at the celebration of life event we shared with family and friends.
In my most enlightened mommy moments, I tried to remember that we do not own our children- we are entrusted with their care for as long as they are with us.
We thought we would have Joshy longer than this.
Josh was so social, he so easily made friends and related to people, but would often want to just be on his own, introspective, focused on his own thoughts and experiences.
I would often have to force him, drag him out to do things, but once he left the comfort of his cave, he embraced experiences. He lived with full force. Laughing and discovering- I couldn’t help but laugh and get lost with him, sometimes wanting to pause and put off everyone and everything else to see things through his eyes for just one more minute.
I was often in fight mode- pushing Josh to do things according to our guidelines (brushing teeth, going to bed, getting assignments done on someone else’s time line.) Pushing myself and others to see things from Josh’s perspective. Forcing myself to put down my lists and set aside my silly timelines. Finding ways for a child to do the things he loved and cared about. I don’t know how to not fight for my son now that he is gone. I don’t know how to accept it.
But I will honor him. This little boy, so wild and wise. So fearless and now free.
Joshua cared so much about fairness. He had such clear cut ideas about right and wrong and was moved to help whenever he thought he could. So, we will continue on that path for him. He loved to choose goats and ducks and sheep from the Heifer catalog for holidays and special occasions. He loved to know what IFAW was doing around the world and helped raise money for local efforts. He cared about dogs and cats who needed homes and homeless babies and children who needed comfort, clothes or food. He knew how to be a friend and never had a harsh word or judgment for anyone (save his sisters) and he loved to learn about other cultures and traditions.
We will remember and honor what our little boy stood for.
For more information about Joshua and the Joshua Kaye Foundation, visit https://www.facebook.com/JoshuaKayeFoundation