Posted by: Jody Glynn Patrick | 12/14/2014

Our Children: Joshua Aaron Van

Joshuaatbeach2From his mother, Cynthia:

Joshua Aaron Van, born 12/29/1989, was murdered on February 17, 2014 at 6:38 pm. On the day that Joshua died, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  He gave his life to save the life of his friend and the last words that he uttered on this earth were “I’m okay.” 

Our whole family is devastated by his tragic death and nothing will ever be the same without him.  It feels like someone has turned off the lights.

Joshua was a beloved son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend. The first thing you noticed about Josh was his thousand-watt smile. He was warm, positive, and always happy to see you- and you knew it.

At a young age Josh accepted the Lord as his personal savior. He grew to be a young man of faith and discussing the Bible brought him great joy. There wasn’t a person he was unwilling to share God’s message with. At one point Josh wandered down a difficult path and found himself heading in the wrong direction, however he was beckoned back to the right path by his faith in God.

Growing up, Joshua was a prodigious child. He was well-studied and read everything he could get his hands on. Throughout school he participated in speech contests, AP classes, choir, and athletics. Not a day went by that you couldn’t hear him rapping or singing.

But above all he loved basketball. He was a youth league star who earned the respect of his coaches and teammates alike. A defining moment was when he played at the world famous Rucker Park. 

If you would like to honor your child’s memory on this site, please email the material you would like to post to Jody at jgp@glynnpatrick.com.


Responses

  1. I am so sorry that Joshua isn’t here smiling right at you! He must have been an amazing son. What an honor to be loved but such a precious heart!
    I noted his birthday and see that this year not only will be your first Christmas without him but also his 25th birthday. I believe, like Joshua, that Jesus is the Saviour. I will be praying for grace and peace to cover your hearts. For God to wrap you in a blanket of mercy you can feel each moment through these coming days. Our son would have been 30 Dec 20 so I am very aware of how the two events mesh together in joy and sorrow. Our prayers will cover you! Thank you for sharing your precious son with me. I look forward to seeing a photo of him.
    Blessing,
    Julie

    • Thank you for your kind words Ms. Julie and for the acknowledgement of the what we are facing during our first year of “firsts.” I also thank you for sharing the amazing story of your dear son Brandon. I am so sorry that your family knows the pain of being without him and that you now know the emptiness of not being able to spend his 30th birthday with you here on earth. He was a handsome young man and I know that you miss him dearly.
      I have always been a fixer and a comforter and now I just know what to do. The reason that this is relevant is because normally when people have lost their children, I have always been the one that helps with the service, checks in on everyone, ensures that they are not alone during the holidays, listened to memories, helped remember birthdays, etc. However now, I don’t know what to do. Nothing makes sense and I am so tired of feeling so badly all the time. No one knows what to say or do and so either they say move on or get better or they just stay away.

      I could write so much more but the more I allow myself to think the more miserable I feel, I will end with telling you that I am so sorry that you ihave to know the pain that we feel as mother’s who have had to bury their sons and that I hope that you will be surrounded with kind, understanding and compassionate people during this holiday season.

      God Bless you and your family

      • Dear Cynthia,
        I thought of you today. My thoughts often turn to each parent that is here missing a child. I feel like I am finally seeing passed the fog pain from Christmas and birthdays. I never took the time to thank you for your reply. December 29th must have been so deeply hard for your mothers heart to stand.
        However, you are heavy on my heart. I just wanted to tell you that someone, most likely a country away from you, is thinking of and praying for you.
        Blessings
        Julie

    • Thank you for your kind words Ms. Julie and for the acknowledgement of the what we are facing during our first year of “firsts.” I also thank you for sharing the amazing story of your dear son Brandon. I am so sorry that your family knows the pain of being without him and that you now know the emptiness of not being able to spend his 30th birthday with you here on earth. He was a handsome young man and I know that you miss him dearly.
      I have always been a fixer and a comforter and now I just know what to do. The reason that this is relevant is because normally when people have lost their children, I have always been the one that helps with the service, checks in on everyone, ensures that they are not alone during the holidays, listened to memories, helped remember birthdays, etc. However now, I don’t know what to do. Nothing makes sense and I am so tired of feeling so badly all the time. No one knows what to say or do and so either they say move on or get better or they just stay away.

      I could write so much more but the more I allow myself to think the more miserable I feel, I will end with telling you that I am so sorry that you ihave to know the pain that we feel as mother’s who have had to bury their sons and that I hope that you will be surrounded with kind, understanding and compassionate people during this holiday season.

      God Bless you and your family

  2. I too lost my precious son now will be Christmas #4 without him. I so understand how you feel about being sick of feeling bad and how things just don’t make sense and how people don’t know how to respond to you. I understand!! It has been so incredibly hard to lose my one and only son, he too was a wonderful boy (19 – almost 20 when he passed away in his sleep – from sleep apnea, I believe). What a loss for both of us. I guess what keeps me going is just God. I often have to ask Jesus to comfort my mother’s heart. God Bless you. ♥

  3. Dear Cynthia, I am so deeply sorry for the loss of your beloved son, Joshua. Indeed, his photo shows us his lovely smile. My daughter was also murdered. Her story is with Joshua’s on the “Our Children” pages. Her name is LIndsay Margaret Wilson. I do not say “was”. I have not been able to treat her as if she is in my past. We can never leave our children behind, something that many of us on this site talk about when others say to us, “You should be feeling better now”, or “it’s time you moved on”. They cannot understand that for us to take even one step forward into embracing the future feels like leaving our child behind, something we can never do. How brave of Joshua to try to save his friend’s life, and put his own on the line. My daughter did the same; she had a friend with her when confronted by surprise outside her residence by her ex-boyfriend who was aiming a shotgun at them. She, thinking only of her friend, told her friend to “Run!”, while she faced him down and tried to negotiate with him. So I know your pain very well, Cynthia. It has been about 18 months now for our family. I am still not in a very good place. My daughter was my best friend at the age of 26, and so the empty cavern in my life is something that cannot be filled. I find that the most comforting thing for me is to be with my daughter’s young friends and their little children, and with the people with disabilities with whom she worked. I will be travelling this week to have Christmas lunch with her client and coworkers, something that brings me a little bit of peace. You will find on this site, Cynthia, that we have much to share with one another. This is one of the few safe places I have found where I can truly say what I feel and where I know other people understand our pain. I will pray for you and think of you this Christmas.


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