- Joshua Cantrell - Joshua Cantrell - Chance Harman - Kassidy Foster
Updates on Joshua

August 24, 2007
Looking Back...

I never have to wonder if anyone else still wonders what is going on in our lives.  Everyday it is evident to us that people are still very much in touch with what we have gone through this year.  We will never be able to express to you all our thanks, but other feelings are hard to express as well. 


It is surely hard to know what to say sometimes, but I am reminded that there are still things to be said when I hear that someone has referred someone else to our website.  So to someone who might just be learning about the story of Joshua, Chance, and Kassidy and of, here is my perspective, nearly six months after the death of my oldest son:


My husband, Travis and I have a good life.  We have jobs that we enjoy.  We live in a cedar rancher with a great front porch and inviting rocking chairs.  We laugh with our son, A.J. and enjoy bumming around with our Cocker Spaniel, Bristol, and our “fuzz-bucket” cat, Marty.  We also have great friends and family, and so at the end of the day, we are able to thank God for many things here on Earth.


The tangible things that we enjoy here on Earth, though, are only half of what we thank God for these days.  This was not the case a year ago.  At that time, our world revolved around the four people that lived under our roof—Travis, A.J., myself, and our first son, Joshua.  We had strong relationships with other people and we worshipped God on Sundays at church, but the truth is that our world pretty much turned in and around the cedar ranch on Black Forest Road.


But during the Holiday Season of 2006, a heavy fog hung over our family as we prepared for Christmas.  Our good friends and neighbors, the Harmans, had received some startling and unwelcome news about their son, Chance, who was just a year older than Joshua.  He had a brain tumor.  The two boys were so similar in age and interests since both of their fathers were basketball coaches for our school that it affected me greatly.  My sadness was compounded when, only two days after we heard the Harmans’ news, I got word from my dear friend, Corey, in Colorado, that her son, Isaac, a former playmate of Joshua’s, had been diagnosed with leukemia.


I remember having a discussion with our friend, Patrick, and my sister-in-law, Melissa on the evening of December 26, which revolved around the two boys and the diagnoses.  I thought to myself over and over, “I just don’t know what I would do if it happened to my child.”  Joshua had not been feeling well for several days, but I never considered it to be serious—only counted my blessings that his ailment was just a flu that would soon be gone, unlike the problems that had come upon our other little friends.  I even told Joshua on the first day I took him to the doctor, how lucky he was that he would soon be over his sickness, but that our friends, Chance and Isaac, would have to be in the hospital for awhile.


Little did I know that two months from that night, my Joshua would leave me to go to Heaven.  I do not even know how to describe the events that happened during those two months because it all happened so fast.  I do not like to revisit those two months.  I can only be satisfied to find peace with God’s will for Joshua now.


After all this has happened in our lives, we still find happiness.  Our perspective is just very different now.  Our spiritual journey during this year has been expedited to the point that I do not even relate to the way I must have thought and felt a year ago.  Sometimes I don’t know whether to be sad for the me that existed a year ago or the me that exists now.  In my worst moments, I am undeniably a mother who aches eternally for her son, but in my best moments, I am a Christian who can actually comprehend that peace that surpasses all understanding.


Whether you have followed our story for months or have just found us, I thank you for what you do.  We have been uplifted in so many ways by our friends and neighbors, but I don’t think anything means more to me than the opportunity to share witness with anyone who happens to run across  I will write and share as long as you care to check the website (at least once a month).

Cantrell Family Journal

c/o CW Harman & Son, 2894 Floyd Hwy S, Floyd, VA 24091 •
© Copyright 2007