Its about life and love and why

I love you

Micahel Scott makes me laugh. He just wants to be loved. I love people. Maybe not something you’d expect to hear from a sciency type like myself. I’ll be the first to admit, I do come in contact with quite a few who feel much more comfortable talking to a plate of bacteria than being forced to interact with horrifying multicellular humanoids (especially the female kind). This weekend was our nerd convention pharmacology retreat and I had a great time, because people energize me. Sure we spent a good amount of time discussing research, pretending we understood each other, and encouraging one another that our work will someday be the next big thing, but the retreat has a bigger purpose. Building community. Stowed away in an expansive retreat center we become peers, student and faculty alike. Yesterday afternoon some of us spent a few hours playing basketball, faculty vs. students. I don’t know if they realize it, but to me this simple act speaks volumes about the Pharm program and faculty. On the court jostling and joking around were all three program directors. Suddenly they became tangible people, peers, and even friends in a way that the student-faculty gap can’t normally be transcended.

It made me realize how blessed I am to be here. To be a part of this community. See, God has a plan and even when I have no idea what it is (which is most times), its always better than my plan. It happens time and time again, yet still I’m surprised. It reminds me of how much my friend Ryan and I love “object permanence”. Object permanence is a phenomenon we learned about freshman year of college in a psych 101 class. Essentially, during our course of development there’s a point where if we can’t see something we forget it exists. This is why babies love peek-a-boo, and why you can hide a toy behind your back then reveal it to the delight of some tiny human. Ryan and I like to talk about it and laugh at these foolish little children. We’ve talked about it and are both 98% sure neither one of us ever suffered from this object permanence thing… Except for the fact that I still do sometimes when it comes to God. I’m trying to do better. Maybe its like development and I’ll get better with time?

I think that part of His plan in bringing me here was that he knew about this transplant and he knew about it well before I did.  As I’ve been through consults at Lahey Clinic preparing for the surgery they keep asking me about loss of work and what will happen while I’m away. My initial reaction is normally a slight chuckle. When I went to tell my PI (science speak for boss) about my dad and our situation a few months ago, he told me to take as much time off as needed, make this the first priority. I met with the administration last week and told them I’d have to be away awhile recovering from the surgery. They told me they’d take care of everything and that all they asked was that I let them how the surgery goes and keep them updated. I think it’ll be ok if I miss some work. Last night our program director talked to me about the procedure. Asked how I was, how my dad was, and gave me a hug. She was one of the ones who was on the court in the afternoon. This is what I’ve been talking about, community.

Last time I was home my dad and I stayed up talking late into the nights. It was awesome. At one point he said, “Boy, you’ve certainly been blessed with some great people throughout the years.” I couldn’t agree more. In my early high school years a tight-knit group of us that met at youth group would hang out constantly. We were a mix of young impressionable boys and girls. We laughed, we fought, we dated, and we grew up. Some are married now, others have moved away, but sometimes I still stumble across a picture of us all dressed up at a murder mystery party and smile. From that group three guys became like brothers. We spent days, weeks, and years traveling around playing music or what we called music. Mrs. Tounge is still convinced we were just as big as relient k at the time. 

Senior year of high school led me to an amazing group of guys. It was a bible study that turned into more. All were welcome and more always meant merrier. A pair of giggly girls started to tag along more often than not. One would later hold an amazingly special place in my heart. College brought new experiences and friends from every walk of life. There were scientists, bollywood dancers, classmates, and amazing team mates. It also led me to something I never thought really, truly existed. Life-long closest bestest most special friends forever friends (LLCBMSFFF). I’ve already mentioned Ryan, who was my room mate since basically freshman year. Senior year we picked up two more room mates, Dan and another Ryan. Anyone who has seen the four of us together is absolutely certain that they’ve never met a dumber group of humans in their entire life. Its that type of friendship. We are altogether too comfortable with each other, constantly laughing at jokes that don’t really make sense, and carrying out entire conversations no one else can understand. I pray for them, I thank God for them and I know they do the same for me. We’ve even established a tradition of vacationing together once a year, we call it mancation. Even my iPhone now recognizes mancation as an actual word (a near impossible feat considering the completely non-customizable Alcatraz of an operating system apple has imprisoned us in). Man, its great to have friends.

That brings us full circle to where I am now. Again surrounded by people who astound me daily with their love. I believe God created us in his image and its in people that I see him daily. We’re made to laugh and love and serve each other. When we do those things, man, it feels good. This is why I told you that I loved you at the very start of this post. Because I do. Where I am now, its a journey, but you’ve been there to help me through those things and I appreciate it. The reason this post is so long is because of you, so don’t complain to me its your own dang fault. You’ve blessed me. Maybe not directly, but if you’re reading this we probably have a connection somewhere and if we didn’t before, we do now. So this me saying thanks. For being there for me. For being there for my dad. For praying if you’re the praying type, or keeping us in your thoughts if your not. Even for the sole purpose that you’re made in God’s image and remind me of him daily.

The next posts will probably focus back on the story of the last year and whats to come, but this one had to be about you. Thanks for reading and thanks for encouraging. Lastly, thanks for teaching me not to read your comments on the blog in public because then I have to fight back tears and look I like a fool. You rock, don’t ever change.


– Josh

3 responses

  1. We’ll be following your dad’s and your journey with prayer and great HOPE for you and your futures. 🙂

    April 29, 2012 at 8:49 pm

  2. Your Dad doesn’t fight his tears and we love him for it-you’d be surprised when your overcome by tears and let them fall how many others join in because they love you too.

    April 29, 2012 at 9:08 pm

  3. Shara

    Ok so how come as your one and only sister I didn’t get a special mention in this blog?? I wrote a song about you and multiple stories and you can’t even mention me? MAN! haha just kidding…but really haha. Also, I thought you always claimed you couldn’t write? You are a liar!
    p.s. feel free to read this in public because it shouldn’t make you cry

    p.s.s. You are an awesome brother and I truly admire and look up to you. You are doing a great thing saving dad, and I couldn’t be more proud of you for it. I love you and I will be praying for you…also, I may visit you if you dedicate your next blog to me (JUST KIDDING! Can’t get too serious and mushy though haha). Ok well I take the p.s. back now because I suppose this may make you tear up.

    April 30, 2012 at 2:27 am

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