Sunday, October 26, 2008
In third grade the theme for the PTA's Reflections Program was heros or something like that. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Reflections Program from what I can remember the national PTA association picks a theme and students around the country can enter poems, stories, and artwork related to the theme to be judged. I think I had entered the contest before, but that is not the point of this story. The theme was heros and I decided to write a story to enter into the contest. Who was my hero? My brother Josh. That is just as applicable today as it was back then. Josh is one of those unsung heros; most of what he does goes unnoticed and Josh never calls attention to himself. I had my mom email me the pictures in this entry and they made me laugh and cry at the same time. Josh has an incredible story. He was born with several and severe medical problems. He had a heart murmur, one functioning kidney, and his left tibia bone was unformed. This required heart surgery (performed by Russell M. Nelson, who also gave him a blessing) and a below the knee amputation of his left leg when he was about a year old. There were probablly many other operations and complications, but I was just a child so I don't know all the details, maybe my mom can fill in what I miss. I don't think Josh ever saw himself as disabled, I know we certainly didn't. Most of the time you wouldn't even know he was an amputee, unless he showed you or he was wearing shorts. I never remember Josh complaining. He had to have other operations to try to correct the bone growth, maybe Josh can explain it better, but the bones grew back in wierd ways that cause Josh a lot of pain. Yet, you would never know it. Today Josh works long hard hours and deals with pain. Yet, he never complains. I am proud of Josh for working so hard to support his family and be a good father and husband, I know it can't be easy, but he keeps pushing forward. I thought I would share some of my favorite Josh stories.
I remember there was this kid who wasn't being very nice to Josh and Star punched the kid and gave him a bloody nose. Star and I might not have always been as nice to Josh as we should have been, but if anyone else tried to give him crap they'd have to deal with two older sisters.
Pulling off the prothesis was always an adventure. I would grab one end and Star would grab the other and we would pull until the suction gave way and the prothesis came off.
Josh would spend hours in the backyard digging holes for swimming pools or basements. He was also always inventing or creating WMDs catapults, potato guns, and other things involving fire and loud noises.
Josh was always very tender with his younger siblings. He loves "Pooter" aka Christy Cora. I remember when she was just a baby and how much Josh would hold her and play with her.
Josh has always been a hard worker. Josh's summer chores usually involved digging deep holes for the orchard my parents planted in our front yard.
I haven't always been a great big sister. I should have been a lot nicer to Josh a lot of the time. I should have been more understanding. But that doesn't mean that I don't love Josh or think that he's one of the most amazing people I know. I get mad at myself and others when we fail to see what Josh does and the sacrifice it takes and the meaning behind it. Josh will never call attention to himself or say "Look what I can do". Whether you recognize it or not, Josh will continue to give his best effort. Hard work is the way the Andrews men express their love for those they care about.
I'm never really good about expressing my love and affection. But I want Josh to know how much I love him and how proud I am of him for the sacrifices he makes to take care of his family. I am blessed to call him my brother.