Monday, January 31, 2011

The Other Elder. The Brother.

Or should I say The Best Friend.

I can't even begin to describe the love I have for this kid
If you would of asked me how
I felt about this young fellow a few years ago,
I would say,
"The boy is insane, I cannot stand to be around him for even ten minutes."
And to be honest, back in the day, I did everything I could to avoid Josh.
He was angry. He was upset. All the time.
This behavior started roughly in 8th grade and
 continued until his senior year.

Growing up, Joshy boy was the sweetest kid around.
He stood up for me at all times.
We played everyday. Whether it was

Cowboys and Indians, 

Power Rangers, 

or princes and princesses, 

we were inseparable.

Then everything changed. Josh shut off. He stopped talking to the family. He lived in his basement. My once loving brother turned into a disturbed teenager. What on earth could have started this change? How did my big brother, my prince, leave me hanging so suddenly?

I realized the catalyst.

I was blessed with many aunts and uncles, resulting in many cousins. One of them being named Brady Jensen, also my brother's BEST friend. They loved each other so much. They played sports against each other and had man sleepovers every weekend. Brady was beyond his years in spiritually and kept Joshua grounded. He reminded Joshy boy of eternal priorities. He constantly pushed for Josh to gain a testimony of this gospel.

My dear cousin Brady was diagnosed with 
Viral Meningitis at age 14.
  • Day 1 - Brady could not stop throwing up. He had multiple migraines. 
  • Day 2 - Went to a various amount of doctors. One doctor saw the problem. Brady was immediately life flighted to Primary Children's Hospital.
  • Day 3 - Brady was diagnosed with Viral Meningitis.
  • Day 4 - Brady went blind from the virus eating away at his brain.
  • Day 5 - Brady was induced into a coma.
  • Day 6 - Life support was needed to support his life. 
  • Day 7 - Either the doctors perform a surgery and Brady will be mentally handicapped for this life or they completely pull life support in every way. 

Brady Jensen died on October 26, 2005.

In the time spans of one week, my brother lost his best friend. 

My family lost a grandson, cousin, brother, nephew, and son.

This is the day my brother changed. He shut down. 
Its almost as if, He lost hope
He turned to friends that weren't doing the right things. He lost sight of what was important in life. Josh couldn't quite grasp why Heavenly Father would take his best friend away from him. Other ways to cope soon presented themselves in his life. Not only did this tragedy result in Josh losing a best friend
I felt as if I lost my brother. 

This is where my love of the gospel comes into the story. 

Families Can Be Together Forever.
And I bear testimony of it.
Without this knowledge, I would forever have a haunting feeling in my heart knowing I would never see my cousin, uncle, and grandpa again. I know my Savior died to atone for my sins as well as break the bonds of death, so that ressurection in the last day can bring families together again. I love this church and this knowledge. It is the only thing that got my family through that hard time of our lives.

Joshua could not grasp this concept for many years.
It was heart breaking to see him cope in his own way. Even more so, watching those behaviors become habits. Watching his life go down the wrong path. My best friend had almost lost his way.

A change began. A simple book ignited this change.

The Book of Mormon.

Josh has one of the best hearts I know. It is truly so pure and loving. I don't know what started his want to read The Book of Mormon but it changed Josh forever. He began to prepare for his mission.
He started to pray.
Reading the scriptures.
Love unconditionally.
He testimony grew leaps and bounds.

I had my brother, my best friend back.

I have always heard that you need to learn from others mistakes.
And after watching my brother's struggles, I know the true route of happiness.

Stay close to your Savior. Life is going to get hard.
Curve balls are going to be thrown every which way and when you fall..
Christ, my big brother, the redeemer of the world, will be there to pick you up.

I know my brother became a better person through this trial. He is amazing.
I look up to him in every way possible.
He is strong.
He is my hero.

I miss him dearly.

Joshua Andrew Brown is currently serving in Anaheim, California.
He has been out four months.
I still cry once a day.
I still need my big brother.

Josh is a babe. I love him more than he will ever even began to realize.

Practically, our relationship.
I know he loves me. 

Between the late night talks, 
the help sneaking out,
the fights,
the laughs,
the tears,
the road trips,
I knew I had my brother back 
when I needed him most.

I love you Elder Brown.
You are always in my prayers.
Thank you for teaching me so much.
20 more months.  :)

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