Susan's Journey with Joshua, Motherhood and with God

January 26 1994 was the day the Joshua Aaron Perez was born into this world.  As I
held my baby boy in my arms for the first time I knew my life was changed forever.  I
never knew I could love someone as much as I loved that child.  Joshua made me want to
be a better person and became the reason I was looking for to become that person.

Joshua was a great baby, he hardly ever slept, he was always looking around.  He was
one of those children that you could not lay on their stomach.  He had to be able to see
everything.  I use to tell people that I wish I could know that he was thinking.  It was like
you could see his wheels turning all the time.

Night time was our special time.  I would rock him to sleep and sing Amazing Grace to
him (it was amazing that he would go to sleep to my singing) that song made sense
because it amazed me that God would trust ME with such a precious gift.  What if I
messed up?  What if I did not do it right?  I was scared as many new parents are when
faced with the face of God through a child.

As Joshua grew he always amazed me.  He was a special child with a very sweet spirit.  I
saw that spirit very early on.  He always had a smile on his face (OK not always, he had
his moments). His smile would light up a room.  He loved to make others smile and hear
them laugh.   He was easy going and loved to help other people.  

When Jennifer was born I was so scared that he would be jealous, I had heard all the
horror stories from other mom’s that fought that.  But Joshua was not jealous at all.  He
loved holding his little sister, feeding her, and helping mommy bath her.  Often as Jennifer
was napping in her crib Joshua would crawl up in the crib with her and just lay there and
pat her back as she slept.  As Jennifer grew Joshua taught her how to talk, he would tell
her all the names of things and get her to repeat them.  As they grew Joshua loved
teaching his little sister new things that he was learning in school and helped her to begin
writing and doing math.  He was the greatest big brother to that little girl and again I
would so often find myself asking God how I was so lucky to have such a great son.   I
obviously did not deserve to be so blessed.

Joshua did not always excel at everything though.  As he progressed in school it became
obvious to me and his teachers that there was a problem.  Joshua always brought home
great grades but it became harder and harder for him to maintain his grades.  He became
frustrated that he had to work so hard while it seemed so easy for others in his class.  He
began to doubt himself and as a parent that crushed me. During this time I often told him
how smart he was and used positive words of affirmation and this is when Philippians 4:
13 became his life verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.  So he
went through testing at school and we discovered that Joshua has dyslexia.  He was now
labeled and that scared me, I did not want him to think he was different.  Joshua was so
excited that there was a name for it and he embraced it as a gift.  He was different and
that was OK with him.  He went to special classes and if anyone made fun of him he just
laughed it off .  He stared excelling in school again and while it was still hard he knew that
it was a gift that God had given him and he was just fine with him.  He never gave up and
always strived to do his very best.  That became one of the most valuable lessons my
child taught me.

Joshua was a great friend to all.  When he started third grade he came home so excited
on day and told me about this boy in his class that was from China, Bill, he said “mom, he
does not speak much English but I think I understand him”.  They became great friends
and Joshua spoke of him often. He always seemed to be drawn to others that were
different.

Joshua had a great relationship with the Lord as well.  When he was seven he asked
Jesus into his heart.  I remember being so proud of him but a the same time being scared
that he did not fully understand the significance of his decision, after all he was just seven.  
As I watched him with other people though I realized that he did understand and he took
that commitment seriously.   The last summer we had together a friend of mine had
surgery and we went over often to check on her and help her with chores around the
house.  Joshua was always so excited to go and loved serving her.  He served other so
well, not just adults but his classmates as well.

Joshua was a great son and loved me well.  I will never know this side of heaven why
God chose me to be his mother but I am so grateful for the time I had with him. I often
say to people that I think I learned more from my children then they ever learned from
me.  Joshua taught me how to love unconditionally and how it be a friend to all.

I miss you Josh and until we are together again always remember:
I love you to the moon and back!!

Your Mommy
5 December 2003
A Mother's Words:
Susan's Message to
and about Joshua