|Joshua's dad, me, and Joshua about two years before his suicide|
March 16, 2004
"You will not fear the terror of night, nor for the arrow that flies by day."
I stood in the open doorway out in the hall.
With his hand on the inside of his bedroom doorknob, twenty-five-year-old Joshua bent down and reached for something on his bed. For several years he had declined emotionally, and after trying one antidepressant after another, nothing worked and he became extremely paranoid. My mother’s heart feared all was not right. And up until that morning, I would never have guessed what Joshua was considering.
Still clutching the knob, my son stood and faced me. He swung out his arm and handed me his Bible. As I took it, our eyes locked. A look of solemn determination masked his face.
My stomach knotted. The knot clenched by an invisible fist, as Joshua firmly shut and locked the door.
I yelled for my husband. Within seconds he stood next to me, his face filled with concern.
He turned the locked doorknob, calling out Joshua’s name.
A muffled shot. Time slowed with my pulse swish-swishing in my ears. Why is Joshua shooting a starter pistol in his bedroom? My husband’s expression changed to utter horror and disbelief.
And then I understood on a heart level what my son had done. I yelled, “Kick the door.”
My husband’s shoe crashed it open, splintering the jamb.
I rushed in.
My son was falling, falling, to his bed.
Reaching him, I shouted, “No, Joshua, no!” I pressed on the wound at the side of his head, and with my other hand I felt for a pulse. One beat. Half a beat. Then quiet met my fingertips.
“Oh, God, please, no!”
A Mother’s Memories
God knew I longed to have a third child, and yet I wasn’t blessed to have one for six years. At three months’ gestation, I hemorrhaged with Joshua and almost lost him.
I got up from my bed, and down on my knees.
I begged God for one more baby. I rose up and my flow stopped.
That’s the God I know and love.
I prayed, “Father, if this child is a daughter, I will name her Joy. In Jesus’s name, I thank You. Amen.”
Father, I am amazed at how fast You answered my prayer of urgency. You knew this child would not make it if I did not pray. You are a God of mercy. In Jesus’s holy name. Amen.
~Your Mother Memories~
~Your Prayer of Praise~
~A Scripture of Encouragement~