Forever and Ever.
I just lost my little brother. Forever. He's my only brother, my only sibling for that matter. It''s so unreal knowing he is never coming home. It is just completely unbelievable that he is GONE. I don't even know what to think in this moment. All I know is that, I know, hes gone away from us for now, but his memories will always remain close to my heart forever.
This boy was a rare one, one with an enormous and caring heart. He had the unbelievable ability of making friends everywhere he went, as well as the power to make everyone who met him smile. He had a great soul and I know he is looking out for us right now, or at least we can hope. I now can only remember all the great memories and experiences we shared throughout childhood and growing up, his laugh, and most of all his ability to make us all laugh at any given moment will be truly missed forever. All the petty nonsense that may have been thought of one day, disappeared with the time.
There are not many words to express the loss of my brother, maybe none at all, but when I think about it, and start trying to go back through his life hoping to pick up the pieces and find everything that he left us with. The memories, thoughts and other things along the way. I sit here knowing he would want us to be happy down here, right now, while hes up there looking down on us. While he is breathing free and no longer needing to worry about anything, including some dumb oxygen tank, pancreatic enzymes, or Cystic Fibrosis at all, which he had chosen to eliminate from his vocabulary at a young age.
I know for a fact he is up there hoping we don't stay sad for too long.
We have to remember he is happy now. Free. Healthy. We have to remember the times he was the most happy and the times he made us happy along the way. The days throughout his life that he will just never let us forget, those are the memories. Although all this might seem impossible for some of us at this moment in time. And clearly it is going to be like this for a while. Someday, sometime, we will all be together once again, but this time, this is what was meant to be. We don't know why, but there is no more suffering. I love you Josh, more than you would ever know, because what sister doesn't tell their brother they stink all the time, isn't it all in code? Thanks for stealing my toys, letting me tattle on you for just about everything I thought you did wrong, having all those crazy ideas we had to try, being my sidekick just about my entire life, especially when we were both in the hospital for IV's at the same time and keeping my friends and I on our toes with your flat out awesome craziness. The world will never be the same without you, and our family will always be missing a few slices in out little family pizza. Think of all the people who never got to know Josh. Now that is a sad thing to think about. For most of us (friends and family) he shared his life and memories with us! How lucky are we?
Here goes the days to come, while everything we see reminds us of you, only to hope we will meet again someday.
I know it will be hard to remember not to text you or mom when I see something you HAVE TO HAVE, but maybe I can just think it and you will know that I'm thinking about you. I would like everyone to know that Josh was so strong at the end, even while his Cystic Fibrosis lungs had other plans to debilitate him more and more everyday, he still let that smile and laugh show through the oxygen chord and exhaustion. He cherished his final days with his close family and friends, as well as sidekick Popeye. Josh passed away very peacefully at the Whatcom Hospice House after staying with us there for just under a week. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity for him, as well as my family, to be able to stay there. To relax in a clean and stress-free environment where some of the greatest and most caring nurses I have ever met in the world (and I know my nurses) took amazing care to make sure he was always comfortable and had what he needed. It was unbelievably comforting knowing all we needed to worry about was spending time with Josh, and they took care of the rest.
If you do consider making a contribution in Josh's name we would love it if you would donate to either the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and/or the Whatcom Hospice Foundation. (links to online donation at the bottom) Cystic Fibrosis if going to continue taking lives of young people like my brother until it is stopped and I don't want anyone to have to go through what my family is going through right now. For his Obituary, please see below:
January 5, 1991 - April 16, 2012
Josh passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on April 16, 2012 after a courageous battle with Cystic Fibrosis. Josh was born on January 5, 1991 in Bellingham to Mike and Lora Olinger.
He loved riding his Harley, carving, welding, playing his guitar, motocross, and mainly just being awesome. He had a smile that would light up the room and was known by many for having an enormous heart.
He is survived by his parents Mike and Lora, his sister Christina, Aunt Jyll, cousin and best friend C.J., cousin Makenzie, grandparents Illa and Richard Ennis, Popeye, Fuego, and countless friends and family.
We will celebrate Josh's life at Hannegan Speedway on Saturday, April 21st starting at 4 pm.