Sunday, March 3, 2013

First writings since the funeral (by Joshua's father)

I just spent the last hour reading through Stephanie's posts over the last 2 1/2 weeks.  Even after a few weeks, the whole experience is so fresh in my mind and I was tearing about 59 of the 60 minutes.

Yesterday, I was talking with a friend that attended Joshua's funeral.  He mentioned that as time goes on, some of the memories he's had with his two sons has started to fade.  As I look back on my life, I believe it!  At the funeral, my friend decided he wanted to write more experiences and memories down for future reading.  After talking to him, I realized I have not written any of my feelings, thoughts, and experiences down since I wrote the words I spoke at Joshua's funeral.  Although some of the experiences, thoughts, and feelings I have had recently are one's I don't think I'll ever forget, I think it is good for others to have access to them--especially Stephanie.  Over the next few weeks, I want to write my memories from the time we found out that Joshua had a heart defect to the current day.  Today, it'll be my feelings from his baby blessing.

Joshua was very influencial to me, my family, and to all those around him.  Stephanie depicted this influence well in her post on Friday, February 22, "Dear Joshua".  In this post, she shares the letter she wrote the night after Joshua passed away and the mission he completed in his short earthly life.  What a great tribute it was! On December 8, 2012, I took our little Joshua in my arms and gave him a blessing.  In the baby blessing, I blessed him that "he would serve a mission".  I had a strong feeling at the time that the 'mission' was not the typical Mormon mission.  After the blessing and knowing his condition, I always pondered what type of mission call he might have--would it be an unique mission on earth or on the other side of the veil?  What was it that the Lord had in plan for him?  All I knew was that the Spirit prompted me to say those words at that time.

While Joshua was in the hospital, I took Logan to our home ward in Spanish Fork.  In Sunday School, a sister in the ward shared an experience that a father and a mother once had:  They had a son on life support in the hospital.  They prayed to know God's will and whether to keep their son on life support.  Obviously, they wanted their son to live.  The answer from God came to them as the boy's father was giving him a blessing--if you desire him to stay a little longer on earth, then keep him on life support and he will survive; however, the boy has a special mission that he needs to complete on this side of the veil.  The parents decided to let their desires go and allow God to take their son from them to help Him accomplish His work.  This story impacted me hard.  I thought back to Joshua's blessing and felt a strong feeling that Joshua had a mission on the other side as well.  Whether it was fear of losing my son as well, I'm not sure.  However, the Spirit testified to me that Joshua had an important mission that he would complete.  I didn't know where or when.  Little did I know that Joshua was already half way through his short earthly mission.

There were several times throughout his short life that I thought about his blessing and the story from Sunday School.  I really didn't know how long our sweet Joshua would live.  I thought perhaps 2 years, one at the least.  The fear of losing my son and having to bury him pained me greatly.  Each time I thought about it, I would break down crying.  All that carried me on was Stephanie's support and knowing that God had a plan and that His will would determine how long we would be able to enjoy Joshua in our arms.

My fear of burying my son came true that Wednesday morning of February 13.  The pain was great and even more intense than when I had thought about it.  However, in the pain and anguish, there was an inner peace in my soul.  I let the Lord touch my heart and reflect on the great things Joshua did while he was here on earth.  He completed his earthly mission--to bring as many of God's children closer to Christ in the short period of time he was here on earth; which included his own father.  Although I miss him greatly, I am sure he has moved onto his other mission on the other side of the veil.  What he is doing right now, we don't know.  However, I know he has work to do and someday he will be able to tell us all about it.

On the way to the cemetery, our driver from the mortuary said, "I'm not sure why I'm telling you this, but this week, there have been two other little children that have come into our mortuary.  I can't help but think that God must have a great work for all of them on the other side".  In our heart world, February was a difficult month--two of our ICU friends also lost their heart babies.  This makes me truly wonder the same thing as our driver:  Is the missionary work on the other side being strengthened just as it has been here on earth?  Someday we will be able to find that out.  Until then, we will always remember you Joshua and will try to keep your legacy alive!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing these thoughts. Joshua's mission has also been to testify to those who experienced his life thru you two of the plan of salvation and the nature of eternal families. He has made a deep impact on us. We love you guys.


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Joshua Kent Ipson was born December 1, 2012 with a very complicated combination of congenital heart defects. After 2 1/2 months of fighting for his life, he passed away on February 13, 2013. We invite you to share our experiences as we grieve his loss, rejoice in God's plan, & keep Joshua's message of hope alive.
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