The news that Andy’s Pumpkin Pie Concretes are back brought a smile to Josh’s face today, even though his appetite is much less lately.
This delicious dessert truly is one of Josh’s all-time favorites. Each year, he looks forward to October when these become available. He loves telling everyone about how they put a “whole piece of pie” into the creamy treat and mix it. When I learned these were already available, I couldn’t wait to share the news with him today.
When we lived in Nevada and traveled to Missouri for fall breaks, we’d try to squeeze in as many trips to Andy’s as possible before flying back. Now that we're back in the Ozarks, and have a few nearby, our trips are more rationed. But still with this news, I know for sure, under normal circumstances, we’d be taking a weekend adventure to Andy’s to taste our first one of the season.
Instead, tonight we rested at home, with the smell of pumpkin candles burning while Josh slept soundly.
Frequently friends and family pose the question, “How’s Josh?” And while it is a simple and sincere question, I find it hard to answer. My thoughts range from “Not Good” to “He’s sleeping a lot” to “He is really weak and doesn’t talk,” then back to “Hmmmm, not so good?” Maybe I should start saying, "Not as good as a Pumpkin Pie Concrete."
In all seriousness and to more specifically answer this question (because we know you truly do care for us!): Josh is really weak physically and his brain is working hard most of the time to do the basics. Over the past couple weeks, there have been subtle changes but primarily Josh sleeps solidly most hours of the day and night. He eats very little and communication is very limited. He does comprehend some conversations and can still recognize friends and family but can't communicate back with his own words. We rely on A LOT of eye contact and simple one-word answers. There are few special occasions when he still flashes a smile and a few treasured words like “I love you” or “Goodnight.” Generally, it's tricky to navigate it all and means a bit of guess work, patience and a lot of extra grace and love. Interestingly, Josh still seems to enjoy watching movies and shows. There's something about the creative process that still stimulates and captivates his mind. I don’t understand how, but it does seem to happen.
Of course, it continues to be hard to see the person I love so much decline. It’s challenging to process how much has changed in such a short period of time. Yet still, I treasure each day and night together. We move forward day by day, one step at a time. As we go, I know the Lord is with us. This reassurance helps and God’s word to Joshua in the Old Testament still rings true today:
“The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” - Deuteronomy 31:8 (NASB)
I find that the truth of this verse needs much repeating as we walk, rest, navigate and sometimes even doubt our way through our day to day reality. Trusting God is critical but still is not always "as easy as pie."
Thanks for your continued prayers for our family. We are stronger because of your prayers and encouragement. I can't imagine doing this without God by our side and such great support.
In April of 2019, we learned that Josh had a large brain tumor, a glioblastoma, in the middle of his brain. At the age of 41, this was quite the surprise. Josh sadly passed away after a short battle on September 30, 2019.
View his obituary
These past months, we've navigated the complexities of treatment, and hospice care and learned that there wasn't really treatment and that in Josh's case, the tumor was inoperable.
We're sharing our hearts and experience as we navigate this unexpected turn and God's goodness in the middle of it. We hope to encourage others by sharing our story.
Thank you for following along with our journey even in grief.
Feel free to message us.
If you'd like to donate to medical expenses, here's a link or you can email us questions
More about Josh & Jenn
Jenn Brown is the author of this site, a loving wife and communications guru.
Josh Brown most recently served on staff at Fellowship Bible Church in NWA as a Springdale Community Pastor. We've served in ministry in Missouri, Texas, Virginia and Nevada.
Cancer has been big part of our story. Josh has battled cancer three times already with the first to being non-Hodgkins lymphoma at ages 15 and 25 and the third thyroid cancer last year and a GBM, brain tumor this year.
Jenn's mom, Carol passed away from breast cancer 21 years ago and her father also went through treatments for Chronic Leukemia (CLL) in 2017 and is doing well now.
Friends & Family
We have been so encouraged by friends and family. Thank you for the practical ways you are caring for us! We love you all! This is just few photo highlights of some meaningful moments.