When Joshua was in 7th grade, he was asked if he wanted to help with the football team as one of their football managers.
Or, as he put it when he wrote it down, "football MANGER."
His best friend, Lindsey Walker, was one of the football managers, and I think everyone understood that she would be carrying the bulk of the job, because...well...ya know.
And she did. And Joshua enjoyed helping with the team...most of the time. He did not really like having to be at practice before school, but he was typically up at the crack o'dawn anyway, and Jim could take him most days on his way to work.
But one day, it was a bad day. Joshua tells it like it was yesterday. I mean, seriously, his memory is awesome. He says it was the day he thought he would be fired from being the football manger. Searcy lost to Alma 24-0 that night. Joshua thought that was the worst, most embarrassing thing EVER, and proceeded to throw the biggest fit (I don't remember any of this, or know where it all took place). He was so mad! The Coach says he kicked a sign, and was using every Downsy-boy bad word he knew....AND MORE.
The Coach let it go for a minute, and then told Joshua to go change clothes...and "let's try this again."
We remember this story, and I'm telling it on here now, because this young coach, husband, father...will soon be leaving this earth. He's on Hospice care now, and while his suffering will end soon and he will be in Heaven with Jesus...it's sad for his wife and children who will have to live without him.
We don't live in Searcy anymore, but I wanted him (and his wife) to know this story, and to know that he made a difference in Joshua's life, and in ours. So when our friends said they were going to visit him yesterday, I gave them permission to share this with him, if the timing was right.
His family said he was sleeping a lot. And that he was having trouble remembering things.
But when our friends brought up this particular story, they said he grinned and said, "oh we ALL remember that day."
I was just so thankful he got to know that we remember him...that he made a difference...that he touched a life.
"...encourage one another and build each other up..." 1 Thessalonians 5:11