Tuesday, December 9, 2008

One Year From Today

Today marks the one year anniversary of Joshua Travis Upshaw's death, a death that stuck us all by surprise. Till this day I can recall the day it all happened. It was a Monday night around 9 or 9:30pm, my mother and I were sitting at home at the bar talking when my sister called the house saying she was on her way home. When my mom hung up the phone, she turned to me and said that something sounded wrong so we waited until she got home. My sister came through the door sobbing with tears rolling down her face. Mom, asking what was wrong, was unable to understand what she was saying and all I could understand was "Josh mom, Josh." My sister began to make more sense and she said that Josh had been killed in a car wreck sometime today. My sister didn't know when, where, what happened or any details, so I grabbed my phone and went out side to call the one person that I knew would know, Chris Osborn. Chris answered and I asked if it was true. Chris goes what do you know? Upset I said I don't know anything, what is going on? Chris told me what he knew, said that he had a car wreck, from what he heard he was going around a corner and over corrected and ran into a tree on the drivers side of the car. Chris said that he was pronounced on scene and did not get transported to the hospital. Instantly I knew what I had to do, something was telling me that I must go over to his house to be with his Mother, whom I am very close to. I went back into the house and explained what Chris had told me and told my mom that I was going to Brenda house to be with her. I arrived at the house, of course full of family and friends. I spent most of the night over there with Brenda. At around 11:30 or midnight I told her that I was going to go home and that if she needing anything that I am only around the corner and that I would be here in an instant. I knew I had to be very strong around Brenda the next few days. I couldn't let her see me break down. The next day, I went to Kilgore for finals and explain to my instructors what happened and took all my exams that day so I could be finished with them and spend the rest of the week helping or doing whatever I needed to do for the family. The next several days were really hard for me to be strong, but held it together while I was around Brenda and the rest of the family, but I did. I was apart of pretty much the whole process of arranging a funeral which was a first for me. The second night when I was getting ready to go, I asked Brenda if there is anything I can do and she just looked at me with tears in her eyes and said "if you find Josh, bring him home to me." It was hard to let go of our embrace because tears began to roll down my face and I didn't want her to see me with tears in my eyes. The next day was vistation at Radar Funeral Home. I got to the funeral home early so that I could see him before Brenda and everyone else got there to have a few moments alone with him. In those moments I feel to my knees and cried and laughed at the same times with the memories that I will always have in my heart. Few momemts past and Brenda walks in with the rest of the family. During the whole time of the visitation I stayed right by Brenda side, never leaving it. After visiation I went back to the house to once again be with the family. Back at the house the family was talking about stories of Josh when he was younger when his father was still alive. A little background, Josh father died when he was pretty young and Brenda told me that he had been asking about his father and saying that he wish he could be with his father. As the night went by and we all shared and cherished everyones memories it was time to bring the night to a close. That night I did not get much sleep at all and the morning came early. I didn't go to the house before the funeral because my mom didn't want me driving from the church to the graveside so I rode with her. We get to the church early so that I can see Brenda before hand. The service was a Cathloic service which was the first for me. One of Josh's closest friends wanted to sing 'I Can Only Imagine.' He gets up on the alter and the music begins. You could tell that his voice was extrememly shaky and he was having a difficult time getting through it, but he did. After the service we went to the graveside. I have come to realize that gravesides are the hardest thing on me. I was standing just outside of the pavillion in the front so that I could keep an eye on Brenda. Halfway through I began to loose it and thats when Brenda finally saw me break down and I just began to sob. My mother and sister was around on the other side and my dad and I were on one side and he placed his hand upon my shoulder. After the graveside service they carried Josh to his final resting spot, next to his father Travis Upshaw. I walked Brenda back to the car and told her that I was going home to get my car and then will be at the chruch for lunch. After the lunch I went back to her house to spend some more time with her and then went home. The death of Joshua Travis Upshaw was an extremely difficult one and I don't know why, perhaps because it was such a sudden death and someone a year younger than I shouldn't have past away so soon. Everytime that I heard his name, or thought of him I always broke down and cried. For the longest time I didn't know how to deal with his death until several months later I had an idea for a photograph. The photograph was difficult for me but after I had finished it, there was like a relief off of me. Maybe its because I looked at the newspaper clipping and his obituatry for so long that I had to accept his death. But this single photograph has truly help me with the death of my dear friend, Joshua Travis Upshaw.

Josh I know your up there looking down on me
Enjoying your time with your father.
Always remember that you will have a place in my heart.
Don't forget about me and I know
one day we will run into each other again.
Remember to look over us, especially your mother
who is an amazing woman.
Till this day, I wish I would have
gone with you to that Ranger's game,
so when I get up there, we are going to go watch
a Texas Ranger's Game
from some very special seats.
Your Friend,

I'd like the memory of me
To be a happy one. I'd like
To leave an Afterglow of
Smiles when day is done.
I'd like to leave an echo...
Whispering softly down the
Ways of happy times and
Laughing times and bright
And sunny days. I'd like
The tears of those who
Grieve to dry before the
Sun of happy memories
That I leave behind when
Day is done.

In Loving Memory
Joshua Travis Upshaw
May 8, 1988 - December 10, 2007

Parson's Family Portraits