On June 29th around 9am was the last time I saw my brother alive. I wrote about my experience and posted it in this blog last Monday night. I worried about a future run in with him and his instability. I found out on June 30th, 2020 when my sister called me with the news weeping that I would never see my brother alive again.
I had always wanted a brother. For years I wished on every falling star that my mom would give me the brother I wanted so desperately. Prayers kneeling beside my bed and birthday wishes would include the plea for a male sibling as well. When I was 15 and a half years old I finally got my wish.
Joshua Nicholas Poehler was born along with his twin sister on a snowy February day in 1986.
I tried to give him the nickname “Bubba” it just didn’t stick.
Taking care of twins wasn’t so bad, my mom had me to help. When one would sleep the other would wake up, baby swings and Johnny Jump Ups were a lifesaver. Josh had a cute tuxedo zip up outfit, when we went to church, a pew filled with 5 kids and 2 adults, Josh would be the one to projectile vomit across the aisle.
My 3 sisters were often fawned over but Josh was yelled at a lot, he often got into things and trouble as kids often do, he had a hard time grasping the concept of an indoor voice.
One time Josh and his twin got into my room, they broke my aquarium that housed my two hamsters “Cagney & Lacey” Josh sliced off a piece of his foot and I never saw Lacey again...Cagney, well that’s another story.
Joshua had asthma, it was the scary intense nebulizer and steroid version. I often prayed he would make it and he always did...Not saying I actually saved him but jeez, it was terrifying watching him struggle to breathe.
I used to tease Josh by telling him that everyone was naked under their clothes, this would make him fling himself on the floor or the couch giggling, “Gross, Kara! Stop!”
He had a really hilarious Michael Jackson dance.
When our mom and my siblings’ dad divorced, life got very challenging for everyone, especially
Josh. All of the kids were wild, they all were actually banned from The Girls And Boys Club ultimately. Josh got into trouble the most, he ran away, did some light burglary... Unfortunately his first real deal breaking and entering started him on a road he could never quite get off of, I think he was 11 years old.
Joshua was smart and gifted but unfortunately this was overshadowed by bad luck and questionable choices. He spent the majority of his teen years in juvenile detention facilities. I would take mom to visit Josh in Salem, we had good visits behind the bars and security, he was sweet and looking forward to coming home, everyone was hopeful. Unfortunately, (every time) once he got home life was too challenging and he would take off or get into trouble.
As an adult Josh got into hard drugs, he ended up in jail a lot. I used to check Mugshots.com to keep tabs on him, make sure he was still alive. The last time he ended up in jail he swore to me was going to be the last time. He said he wanted to stay clean, stay out of prison as that was going to be the next place he would be headed.
I really hoped Joshua would finally get his life on track. He had a place to stay and a job the last time I spoke to him on the phone a couple of years ago. When I saw Joshua on my porch just the other day he scared me but I didn’t think it was going to be the last time. He wanted me to drive him to California to meet God.
Whether it was a psychotic break or a drug relapse, it is not certain but regardless he is no longer here anymore.
Joshua Nicholas Poehler died at 7:55pm on June 29th in Eugene, Oregon on his way to meet God.
I am glad he is no longer suffering and I hope he got to meet his hero.
Rest In Peace little brother.