July feels like it lasted forever. It started off difficult, for more petty reasons and then continued to get worse for more serious ones. At the very end of June, I moved back to my home state. Moving is always stressful, for anyone. On top of that, my sweet cousin gifted me her old car, so I finally have a vehicle. Which some asshat sideswiped while it was parked outside my house and took off my side mirror. And didn’t stop. Some neighbors saw the whole thing and let me know they got the license plate and rather than try to confront them myself, I called the cops to let them handle it, which they did wonderfully. Of course, this angered Miss Asshat and I woke up the morning I was supposed to be moving to find eggs smashed all over my windshield. People are lovely, really.
Something then came up with a family member, which I can’t and won’t go into, but it was definitely a stressful and emotional time for my immediate and extended family
And then, if you read my last entry, you know that an old friend of mine was killed in a car accident.
I wrote that post roughly 24 hours after I found out he died. It was one draft that I didn’t even edit. I just typed and typed until I finished it at 4:00 AM.
Since writing it, I of course went to his funeral. I generally don’t cry in front of people, mostly because I don’t like to, but I’m just one of those people that can’t cry when I watch movies or hear sad songs or read sad stories. I was once told I had no soul because Up didn’t make me cry. But I cried more at the funeral than I thought I would. Still, it was a wonderful service and a great tribute to his life, I thought. Afterwards, the burial was private and there was about an hour to spare before the mercy meal, so my friend, Jenn, and I drove to our old church. I wanted to go sit on the hill where Josh so many times dragged me to go “have a talk,” which is what the picture above is. The mercy meal was actually very therapeutic to be at. I saw so many people I hadn’t seen in a long time, from people from church to Josh’s family to people I worked with when I worked at his dad’s company. Everyone said the same thing, which was, “It’s great to see you. I just wish it was under better circumstances.” But it just felt nice to be with everyone and there was just a huge sense of love around the room. There wasn’t this dark, somber, depressing atmosphere that you usually feel at things like that. Everyone was sad, of course, but it wasn’t this oppressive feeling that just made you want to leave. I’m sure I’m not explaining it right, but bottom line: It didn’t suck to be there under the circumstances.
I’ll also say that his parents have since read the blog post, which terrified me at first and I haven’t seen them since they read it, but I’ve heard from my mom that it meant a lot to them. So I think my big takeaway from that is that you should never be afraid to express your feelings about a situation. I really struggled with that this month (hell, I really struggle with that every month). You know how when someone dies, there’s sometimes that one drama queen that acts like they were so incredibly close, when in fact, they had one conversation in their life? I was terrified that that’s how my entry would be taken, that I was making more of our relationship than it was, even though I made it clear how little we talked since our unpleasant end to our friendship as teenagers. I even struggled with the question of, “Were we even really friends? Am I just remembering it all wrong?” Even though I laid out all the facts in the blog. Even though I found old diary entries documenting going to his house and the famous “I think you’re cute” talk. Not even my parents remembered us being friends. Suddenly, I felt like a horrible person for telling the story of my relationship with Josh because he wasn’t there to tell his side of it. It felt unfair that he didn’t get to say, “No, that’s not how it happened,” if I screwed something up.
But before his parents even read the entry, the first time I saw his dad after it happened, at the mercy meal, he gave me a big hug and started telling a woman I didn’t know who I was, how he’d been my youth group leader since fifth grade. And then he said, “She and Josh were the same age and they were really good friends. And then they weren’t. And then the day before his accident, he got in touch with her.” Simple. Everything I wrote summed up just like that. But it was confirmation. Someone remembered it the same way I did. And not just any someone, but his dad. That was all I needed.
And again, there’s the comment Josh left me. My best friend, Danielle, texted me one day and said, “I really think that was a gift to you,” and I think she was right. In some ways, the comment haunts me just because it literally came the day before he died. But I think I would have been more haunted if I didn’t get it. I really think God knew that I would need that little reassurance of, “Yeah, you were friends at one point and you still crossed his mind every now and then too.”
So, playlist. Some of the tracks on here are more upbeat and seem random, as I was trying to find some tunes for a workout playlist (oh, right, I started going to the gym regularly again. I told you this month was long). Some tunes are more somber for obvious reasons. And some are Josh specific.
“How to Save a Life” by The Fray definitely got the most plays this month. I mentioned in my last blog post how after Josh and I stopped talking, I heard that song and could have sworn it was written about the end of our friendship. The day after I wrote the blog, I was driving to the gym and the song came on my iPod. As soon as the chorus kicked in with the line, “I lost a friend/Somewhere along in the bitterness,” I couldn’t stop crying as the lyrics all took on new meaning for me with his passing. It took a few more times listening to it to not cry anymore when I hear it.
“Tears In Heaven” was played at the funeral, though not the Eric Clapton version like I have here. A girl named Hayley we went to youth group with played it and it was gorgeous. So many people were literally sobbing during it. “Let It Be” was also one played at the funeral during the slideshow.
I’ve only been karaoking once in my life and it was with Josh, Jenn and Jon (Josh’s best friend at the time and Jenn’s brother). Josh and Jon sang “Gettin’ Jiggy With It,” and I have to say, they killed it. That same night, we came back to Jenn and Jon’s house and recorded a sketch on their video camera (yes, with an actual VHS tape). It was a parody of a talk show where all the guests were members of dysfunctional families. Josh played the host of “The Joshy Jones Show” and the theme song was done to the tune of “Sugar, Sugar”, with Josh singing loudly over the real chorus, “Joshy Jones Show … Ooh, Joshy Jones Show.”
When I was in sixth grade, a bunch of us from youth group formed a worship band and played two songs at church one Sunday (I was a back up singer, which I hated being called because I wanted to just be a regular singer. Josh was sang lead and played lead guitar). We played “Whom Have I But You?” and “To Him Be The Glory.”
As for “Amish Paradise,” recently someone posted it on their Tumblr and I realized the first time I ever heard that song was in Josh’s room on a home group night, so I thought I’d throw it in there.
- “Everything Is Fine” All Time Low
- “Carried Away” Overstreet
- “D-Day” Blondie
- “Want To Want Me” Jason Derulo
- “Birthday” All Time Low
- “When A Man Loves A Woman” Percy Sledge
- “The Night They Invented Champagne” Vanessa Hudgens, Victoria Clark, Corey Cott & Gigi New Broadway Company
- “Little Dressmakers/The Work Song/Scavenger Hunt/A Dream is a Wish Your Hearts Makes/The Dress/My Beads/Escape to the Garden” Mice Chorus
- “We Are The Champions” Queen
- “A Hard Day’s Night” The Beatles
- “How to Save a Life” The Fray
- “Wish You Were Here” Pink Floyd
- “What Hurts The Most” Rascal Flatts
- “Zoe Jane” Staind
- “Tears In Heaven” Eric Clapton
- “Let It Be” Beatles
- “Blue” ROB.GREEN
- “Paint it Black” Rolling Stones
- “Help!” The Beatles
- “Rubberband Man” Spinners
- “Gettin’ Jiggy With It” Will Smith
- “Born Again” Austin French
- “Up Up & Away” Fifth Dimension
- “Buzzin” Mann
- “The Avengers Theme” Alan Silvestri
- “Rhythm Of The Night” CORONA
- “The Ballad of the Green Beret” Barry Sadler
- “Sugar, Sugar” The Archies
- “Whom Have I But You?” Vineyard Music & Brian Doerksen
- “To Him Be The Glory” Vineyard Music & Scott Underwood
- “Amish Paradise” Weird Al Yankovic