Sunday, December 6, 2009

My best blogging buddy

My nephew Josh is the reason I started blogging. He had started a good 6 months before I did and told me how much fun it was and how much he was getting out of it. I decided to give it a try and we often compared notes. I had a pretty sharp learning curve, but I caught up eventually and loved sharing blogging tips with him.

Josh met people from all over as a result of his blogging. He loved the ability that it gave him to connect with so many, so easily, although nothing was really easy for Josh. He was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy at the age of 3 and lived with and fought against the disease until just yesterday, when he died at the age of 31. He had a remarkable life and his mother, father, 2 sisters and his entire family and network of friends are going to miss him deeply.

The important things about Josh weren’t his limitations or what he COULDN'T do. It was all that he DID do. He was the author of an uplifting book, Worth The Ride, about his life with muscular dystrophy. He was a college graduate and weeks away from getting his Master’s in Urban Planning from Temple University.

He blogged by controlling his mouse by a laser on his headset (I never understood how that worked), as well as dictating to some wonderful helpers. His blog, Winheld's World gave him the opportunity to talk about his disability issues, as well as more personal things. Josh was the original Philly fanatic. He lived and breathed his sports teams. You knew never to ask him about them, if they were on a losing streak. He loved visiting baseball parks and had quite a few of them under his belt.

Interestingly, another connection we had was that Josh loved to cook. He would go online and find recipes that interested him. Then he would instruct his nurses just how to do each step and he would come up with a delicious dinner. His favorite gift to folks was a jar of his homemade pickles that had the same spark and fire (WHEW, they were spicy!) that he did.

Maybe Josh was in a wheelchair and had great challenges in, really, everything that he did, but he accomplished more and was more interested in the world outside than most people. We were all so lucky to be in his life and there’s really nothing more to say but that we love him and we’ll miss him very, very much.

19 comments:

Nutmeg Nanny said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your nephew. Prayers go out to your and your family.

Amy said...

Sorry about your nephew Sue.

DebCarol said...

What an inspiration Josh must have been to everyone who knew him. I read his blog from time to time after finding it in your 'blogs I read column'. I loved all the Philly talk and admired his sense of humor and never quit attitude. My sympathies to you and your family Sue.

Emily said...

Oh, Sue. I'm so, so sorry for you and your family. I teared up from reading your post. He sounds like an incredible man.

theresa said...

I'm so sorry about your nephew, rejoice in the fact that he really lived a full life. That's a wonderful thing.
take care.

Cynthia said...

Oh Sue, I am so sorry to hear of Josh's passing. I know how much you loved him, how fondly you always spoke and wrote of him. My heart goes out to you and the entire family.

Nandini Vishwanath said...

I'm so sorry, Sue.

Heather said...

What sad news, Sue. I am truly sorry for your loss. I believe the purpose of one's life is to fill the space you are in with valuable things. Strong, inspirational, friend, son, brother, nephew, author...

A life well lived.

Tom said...

Sue, what sad news. My thoughts and sympathy to you and your family.

Sue said...

Thank you all so much for your kind thoughts. I really appreciate it and I'm going to pass them on to his mom and dad.

Lys said...

So sorry to hear about this Sue! What an amazing young man. My best to you and your family.

Jen said...

Sue, I'm so sorry to hear about your nephew. Your tribute to him is really touching.

Sue said...

Thanks again to all.

Sheila said...

My thoughts and prayers to you and your family. :-(

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

What a beautiful post about your nephew... So sorry to hear about your loss. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Deepest condolences to you. He is obviously a very special person and I thank him for starting you on blogging!

Tiffany said...

Sue-I am truly sorry to hear about your loss. He sounds like he was just a wonderful human being.

Vanda Calmeyer said...

Sue, sorry I did not read your blog till today.... really so sad to hear the news about Josh. I am enjoying his book you gave me at Thanksgiving.Know he was very special to all of you and how he enriched all the lives he touched. May he rest in peace. Love to all the family. XOXOX

Sue said...

Thank you, Vanda. I really appreciate it. Josh was really special to a lot of people.