After considerable reticence, I have decided to once again attempt to expand Monster Island Resort to include a blogging platform, in addition to the podcast posts. I know it is simple enough to choose “podcast” from the categories section in the sidebar, but I was still afraid that the inclusion of blog posts would crowd out the podcast episodes, which are of course this site’s main focus. Most of my show’s downloads, however, come from iTunes or Stitcher Radio so I figured it was safe to include some ramblings among the regular podcast postings.
If you are wondering why I am blathering on about something that is of little consequence to anything or anyone, the reason is little more than common procrastination. Today is the one-year anniversary that the hospital’s life support systems keeping my friend Joshua Aaron Medoff breathing were turned off.
I have been indecisive as to whether or not I was going to write this at all. My brain has been over-taxed of late, and that has left it in a weakened state—a state that questions what good writing this can do for me or anyone else. Forgive me if this writing seems broken. My addled brain is to blame for that, as well.
I planned on writing this on July 26th. That is the date on a Facebook message from Ashlie Kauffman informing me that Josh was in the hospital, not doing well, and to call her right away (at the time, I missed the message and found out about everything the following morning, in a phone call from Carrie Oleynik). It was because of my ridiculous fortune in having such genuine friends that I was able to travel nearly 3,000 miles and see Josh in the hospital while his lungs still drew breath. The point of wanting this writing to have July 26th attached to it was that Josh was still living.
My indecision, perhaps my fear, made that too fail to happen. Now it is the 28th. I’ve been thinking about this since the morning; it is now 3:16pm. I am finally making some progress on this (I can almost hear Josh bugging me about finishing up so we can go do something more fun). I was finally able to think slightly more clearly because I got a call from Carrie this morning that lasted over an hour. Oddly enough, we talked mostly about things that were going on in our lives and not much about the significance of this day to us. It was a good call from one of those people I have known through virtually all the little eras of my life.
What really helped make this writing come into being, however, was a package from Josh’s parents. What timing! What divine timing!
Their attached note mentioned remembering Josh positively. The main package was this shirt:
After his passing, parts of Josh were medically donated, and they are now improving the lives of others. Indeed, that is a positive memory, and it ensures that Josh lives on in his own way. For a long time, Josh worked with people who were mentally disabled. He ensured proper medication doses were administered, drove patients on outings in a large white van, cleaned messes, and did many difficult jobs that all helped make the world a little bit better. I know he often felt like he wasn’t doing the world good, but I know that he was wrong about that.
I am surely grateful that Larry and Peggy Medoff, along with his brothers Daniel and Noah, remembered me here all the way across the country enough to include me in this surprise package. It made emerging through the clouds of remembrance possible.
P.S. My podcast eulogy to Josh, which is now about a year old, remains my most frequently downloaded, listened to, and remarked-upon work. If you haven’t heard it, you can listen to it here.