I Miss Joshua Ragsdale

I miss Joshua Ragsdale and I never knew him.  Joshua died a year ago, and his brother, John, is a good friend to my family, and I know about Joshua through John.

I miss the pithy statements that Joshua succinctly expressed because he often published my thoughts better than I can.  He’s like the clean version of Lewis Grizzard, a distillation of thoughts random, now compressed to Twitter soundbites.  He messes up proper grammar just enough to let you know that he knows what he’s doing.

I miss someone who could say things like,

•    What would we do if God got the blues?
•    I just had a bone marrow biopsy and a bone punch while looking at pictures of my doctor’s new baby on her phone.
•    You can spend too much time alone and too much time with people…it’s such a fine line.
•    Chemo and Cap’n Crunch…that’s what I call balance.
•    I’d burn your picture if it wasn’t still in my pocket.
•    I love people who are strong.  People who can bend steel with their spirit, and then be strong enough to tell you they need to go home and take a nap.
•    My platelets are up so I am tweezing my eyebrows.

So I have a couple of questions:
•    Who do you have in your life that can challenge you?
•    Why would a bone marrow donor back out after knowing they are the chance for someone to live?
•    But here’s a bigger question – why am I not a registered donor?
•    Gotta go.  It’s time to register to see if I can save the next Joshua.

I miss Joshua Ragsdale.

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Comments (14)

  1. Brett,

    If only Joshua were here to give me the words to express how much this post meant to me and my family. I cannot express the feeling… I have laughed, cried and thanked God that there are others that appreciate the depth of my brothers life like I did. I know that Heaven is a much better place with him there, but this world is sure missing a lot now that he is gone.

    Thank you,


    1. JRag,
      You and Joshua share the DNA of communication. Before your mother knew you were in her body, God did, and He designed you guys from special cloth.

  2. This was very touching, thanks for posting this. I have been thinking there needs to be a “JOSHUA” law. To protect those who are in need of donations, and people who are registered should have to donate. Im just sayin

  3. I read the post and said to myself, "yes, that is a few of the witty things that sweet Joshua said when he was here with us"…Joshua was loved by so many and loved by those who never met him. He was an incredible, talented, loving young man. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of Joshua. So many things that I see or hear that remind me of him, things that he would love, things that he would laugh at. Joshua was and will always be an inspiration to me and hundreds of people that he touched.Yes, we miss him so, but I thank God that I knew and loved him and I thank God that I was blessed to know JO! How precious he was, I can still hear your voice, Josh and I will always love you!!!

  4. I agree, Brett. Few are the people who can make you love them though you never met them and now they're gone. I never met Josh either…but you and I have had several conversations about his way with words and outlook on life. I admire and envy wordsmiths like that.

  5. I’ll never hear a Lyle Lovett song without song without thinking of him as “Pastor Lyle”. I only met him a few times but I prayed for him so often. I prayed because of what he meant to John and Kristen. I became a donor because I would want someone to save me…Joshua was my age and that’s just so young…

  6. Thank you for writing this. I knew Joshua. He had a gift few have. He was forever the optimist, til the very end of his short life. Look at how many people have been affected by his battle with cancer. He was and always Will be an inspiration to me and so many others.

    The donor that backed out, it would be so easy to be angry at him. This world would be a better place with josh in it. And he could have helped keep him here………but that wasn’t to be. God knows what he is doing. I trust that he does.

    Josh’s testimony he left behind should encourage us all to give back, give to those who need it, give to those you don’t know…….give because it’s the right thing to do.

  7. i never knew him but i heard his music he had a beautiful voice i am sorry he's gone i have heard john preach he has a good talent too i know what it is to lose a sibling i lost a sister she was a beautiful person i think of her a lot'gods blessings on john and the sister too .

  8. Thanks Brett. I a short time of knowing him and during terribly challenging circumstances for all, his spirit struck. He lives with us each day whether it be UGA cheerleading, warm thoughts towards others, or a little chicken dancing, he's here (in New England… a long way from Nashville). Thanks for your post.

  9. I never had the pleasure of meeting Joshua either, but I've certainly laughed, cried and been inspired by many of his "ism's". I am extremely grateful that I am blessed to be influenced by Joshua and his legacy will carry on for many generations to come. John is one of the greatest men of God I know and I'm proud to call the Ragsdale's my friends!

  10. This post is very moving. I am Joshua's cousin and we are and were so blessed to have him and be loved by him. Josh loved deeply and with all his heart. I still have days that I catch myself wanting to know why he had to be taken so early in his life and so blamed angry for the donor backing out not once but several time. God know why better than any of us. Through Josh's illness alot of people were made aware the importance of becoming donors. I was diagnosed in early 2008 with the same blood disorder they just caught it in time to treat it. So for the longest time I carried quilt for being spared but God has his plans we just have to trust him. Thanks so much for the post. Love the Ragsdale Family