My name is Melissa Bissell , and this is the story of our precious son and brother Joshua.
Tell them you love them every chance you get... "I love you, go have fun." I kissed the top of his head and tossled his shaggy brown hair. I thank God every minute that those are the words I will forever remember as being the last thing I spoke to my son Joshua.
"What in the world? Joshua! What are you doing?" These were the words of our oldest daughter as she walked her boyfriend out to his car one late summer night. About 10:30 pm. Joshua was standing in the middle of the front yard playing with a ball. He had decided it would be fun to open his bedroom window, remove the window screen and climb out to play since Mommy and Daddy had told him no, it was time for bed. The next day, alarms were in place. This is just a sample of the excitement and humor that Joshua brought to our lives.
Our son Joshua was born five weeks early in December of 2001. He was on the vent but did incredibly well and was able to come home after only 8 days. He has always been a character and a blessing to our entire family. Joshua is number six of seven children. He passed his brother Noah, who is 15 months older, in height and weight and every one thought they were twins. One blonde one brown.
"Joshua, do you know where the bars of soap are?" I asked him one afternoon.
"Yep." He replied as he started to walk away.
"Hey, wait a minute Chewbie, where are they?"
With pride in his voice he walked to the trash can in the kitchen and answered, "I threw them away."
"What?" I walked over and looked in the can and saw every bar of soap from the house in the bottom of the bag. "Why?"
"I don't like them." He toddled off to play. He decided to taste some and realized it was yucky, so, he got rid of the soap. Joshua was always doing funny little things like this.
On July 15th 2006 we went to a church friends house for a swimming party. The kids had been invited to join and swim so Mommy and Daddy could go on a date. Two of our older children didn't want to go so, our 14 yr. old son stayed at home with our 2 yr old and our 17 yr. old daughter went to the movies with her boyfriend. Our 17 yr. old son, Matthew, wanted to swim so he joined us that day.
During the course of the day, at approx. 4:28 pm a dear friends daughter came running into the house yelling that he was under water help, call 911. At first I thought "ha ha", she is a jokester after all, then I saw her face as she said "They thinks it's Joshua he was under the water he's not breathing." When I got to their side, Matthew and our friend who owns the house (pool) were doing CPR on Joshua. I knew when I saw him that he was already with God and I almost told them to stop. There was a part of me however that continued to have hope. The paramedics arrived and I believe that they simply went through the motions to make us feel better. They rushed him to the hospital and were planning on meeting with life flight. He was pronounced at the hospital before life flight was able to arrive. 5:08 pm.
There is a song "Praise You Through this Storm" Casting Crowns- It sums up everything about our lives, especially that day. I was on my knees before God at the side of that pool begging God not to take my baby, to please breathe life back into him. It started to thunder and then rain, I turned my face to God and cried out "Your Will God, Your Will for Joshua."
We never imagined what would unfold in time to come. The homeowner didn't realize he was missing. He had not come inside. At some point "Chewbie" must have gotten back into the pool and 'forgotten' his float. Around 4:26, one of the children at the pool party threw diving rings into the deep end of the water. 8 feet. When she dove to retrieve them, they had landed on our son in the bottom of the pool. She came up yelling for help. The water had been so cloudy that no one could see him lying there. They had no idea he had even gone under. We don’t really know what happened and I guess we never will, not while we are here anyways. We have been given a logical story by one of the other children, we tend to believe it may be true. To protect other children we will keep it quiet.
We have already seen many miracles because of our son Joshua. We never knew that God would bless us with such an honor. The honor of being his parents and siblings. Joshua's story has touched so many lives already, I just pray that his short life will continue to have a great impact for God's glory. <><