Joshua Horizon was born 10 September 1982 in San Luis Obispo, California and died 20 April 2002 from injuries sustained in a motorbike accident on Auburn Folsom Road, in the mountains of rural Placer County. He was a student at American River College in East Sacramento and worked for The Gap in Citrus Heights and at MillGuard Windows.
Josh will be remembered for his beautiful smile and his ironic sense of humour. He loved the movie "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and the films "Blazing Saddles" and "Snatch".
Joshua was athletic and lettered in wrestling at Foothill High School. He also was an accomplished snowboarder and inline skater. Josh enjoyed spending summers down at the Susan River with his dad and siblings, jumping from the second bridge and splashing his brothers Joe, Sam and William, and teasing his sister Noel.
He was also skilled at carving wood, and won two ribbons at the State Fair for his sculptures. He played clarinet, loved music (mainly Tool and Rammstein), and was always helping family and neighbours fix their motorcars (especially his dad, who can't even hold a spanner!).
When Josh wasn't installing an alternator or fixing a computer, he read constantly, his favorite authors being Brian Jacques ("Redwall"), Richard Feynman, and Stephen King.
At the memorial held Thursday 25 April 2002 over 370 friends and family recalled Joshua's love of family and love of the outdoors. He spent many hours tent camping with his mum and dad in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties; as a young adult, he camped at the lake with his best friends Mike H. and Tzonu Genov ("Bob") and long-time girlfriend Amanda Mitchell.
When Josh came home from college, the first thing he always did was hug and kiss his mum. And he never forgot, before hanging up on the phone, to say "I love you, Papa". Family and relationships always came first for him, and he came to work every day with a smile.
We will always love and cherish Joshua, and hold him dear to our hearts. We would like to thank all of our friends and neighbours for the flowers, cards, food and condolences we received during the weeks following Josh's passing.
We would also like to thank singer Kate Rusby for dedicating the song "Bold Riley" to Josh at her May 2002 concert in Chico, California. We miss you, our sweet, handsome son.
(On April 20, 2002 Joshua Horizon Zekas died of "multiple blunt force trauma". This is a letter sent to the Sacramento Warrior Nation Sportbike Club, of which Joshua was a founding member).
Hi, I am Josh's dad. I knew him, loved him, and cared about him for nineteen years. I am really happy that he had so many friends.When I was a young man, I rode motorbikes. Then I had a serious accident, and stopped riding... kind of like a "message from god". You are all adults. No one can tell you what to do. But, if you loved my son, and if you love your own parents, then you will stop riding sportbikes. Today, tomorrow, or in a couple of weeks, another one of you will be seriously injured, or perhaps killed. Maybe you don't care... after all, "It's my life!" you would say. But think about the broken hearts you leave behind. Imagine your parents mourning your death for weeks, or months, or even for years afterwards. Imagine Christmas morning, and you are not there, and your friends and folks are crying over you and missing you. Imagine the pain everyone else will feel, when you are gone. There are other sports that are fun and exciting, but that won't kill you. If you loved my son, if you really care about others, then give up riding motorcycles. Or else, someday, your parents will be writing your obituary, and grieving over their loss of you. Thank you for listening.
Jeff (Horizon) Zekas,
Over the past year that I have known Josh, I have been very fortunate to have spent hundreds of dollars riding thousands of miles with him. I will cherish these memories always. Josh was always fun to be with and always himself, never trying to be someone else. He always seemed happiest riding his 929. Josh will always be in my heart and in my prayers.
sincerely, Ron Gardener
And sometimes I wonder:
Who would you be today?
Would you see the world?
Would you chase your dreams?
Settle down with a family?
I wonder what would you name your babies?
Some days the sky is so blue,
I feel like I can talk to you,
And I know it might sound crazy.
It ain't fair: you died too young,
Like the story that had just begun,
But death tore the pages all away.
God knows how I miss you;
All the hell I've been through,
Just knowing no one could take your place.
And sometimes I wonder:
Who you'd be today?
I was very saddened to hear about Josh's untimely passing. Although I did not know Josh very well, and was just an aquaintance and classmate of his, I could tell he was a very nice, polite gentleman. He always greeted me and every other person in the class with a smile.
One thing I vividly remember about him is that he was always humming something, and I recall turning around one day, and giving him a look of curiosity as to why he was humming. He smiled and said, "Oh, it's something that I always do; I'm always humming a tune of this or that."
I will miss his company in our corner of the room; I am glad to have had the pleasure to meet such a reserved and silently charismatic guy. I'm sure he made very many people happy. My heart and sympathy go out to you, your family, and friends.
My heartfelt condolences,
Just remember...Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars.
It's a hundred thousand light years side to side.
It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick,
But out by us, it's just three thousand light years wide.
We're thirty thousand light years from galactic central point.
We go 'round every two hundred million years,
And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe...
So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth,
And pray that there's intelligent life
somewhere up in space,
'Cause there's bugger
all down here on Earth.
Here I stand, sad and free
I can't cry, and I can't see
what I've done
Oh God, what have I done?...
I poured my heart out...
I poured my heart out...
The world came to a standstill, when Our Lord died on the cross, for all who knew and loved him. Three days later, when he rose from the dead, they were all stunned and were in disbelief! You are now immersed in the same reality of life- death-life, for the one you know and love-- Joshua. His song now is Alleluia, for he sees God face to face. We walk by faith, not by sight, so our song is Amen-- Yes, Lord, I believe-- help thou my unbelief. I share with you in your grief, over sure and certain hope of reunion in the Kingdom, revealed by Our Lord's rising from the dead.
Love, Father Jerry
It's hard when the world loses a bright light. The potential Joshua had was beyond imagining. Wouldn't it have been amazing, if we could see what may have been? The humor Joshua had about the bad things (Cal Expo and Mike McCabe) could really put perspective to our troubles. He had the rare ability to find the humor, where others would see anger and hurt. Joshua touched all he saw, whether he knew it or not. I remember the close call he had at Cal Expo, with the lumber falling. He came so close to going to the Lord, then. God must have needed another angel to watch over the rest of us. He's not gone from our hearts, and will always be a part of each and every one of those he met.
love, Caree and Neal
(ralph waldo emerson)
As the anniversary of Josh's
death approaches, I am saddened
once again at the loss of your fine
young son. I remember exactly
where he sat in class. Josh signalled
in so many nonverbal ways that he
was PRESENT. His warmth, friendliness
and humor drew people to him even in a
class of strangers.
I hope you and your loved ones
find solace in your warm connections
with each other, and the knowlege of
how many lives were enriched from
being touched by Josh.
Sincerely, Nancy Miller
The life Joshua lived was everything one could have hoped for. He loved, he laughed, and he lived life to its fullest. I remember the first time we had a chance to talk after class. He immediately asked me about my family. He was so intent: that was how I knew that he loved and looked forward to a family of his own one day. Age was not an issue, neither was race... Joshua was able to see people for who they were as an individual. We should all be so lucky to love people for who they are, regardless of all circumstances. The thing I remember most about Josh is that he was vibrant. His smile and his eyes were enough to make others want to smile. I know that the loss is heavy on all of you, but be sure that Josh is with the angels. He was always one here on earth. Be thankful that each of you has someone watching over you everyday. Love and memories are the only things that last forever. Keep his memory alive today and always. You're in my thoughts and prayers.
With love and respect, Kristina Stanley
I only knew Joshua for a brief time, but his essence of sweetness and caring were evident from the start. Sharing only our interactions in psychology class, I learned quickly that Joshua was a special soul. I am a mother of three (ages eighteen to twenty-five) and I knew immediately that Joshua was a "good kid". He was wise beyond his years. And I will always remember his sweet smile. I was comforted by his memorial service, which reinforced what I already knew. Your son was a gift to so many that he shared his life with. May all the wonderful memories of Joshua give you and your family comfort.
with love, Kathi Bignami
Joshua would never take his hat off. I loved his room... it was really cool. Josh, I loved you like a brother, because you treated my like a sister.
love, Amberlee Talbot
Joshua excelled at sports, but he was SO nervous before a game! Age 13 and pitcher for the Larchmont Cardinals
"Joshua, you have made a huge impact on me, because you have let me explore more things about myself... You have made me stronger and want to be a better person... I also want to tell you why I have chosen you over anyone else: It is because you are a hottie, a goofball, (you are) interesting, sweet and sour, an intellectual, responsible, a care-taker, helpful, honest, and a fighter. All of these things make me want to be with you...love, Curly
Josh, We love you and miss you with all our hearts.
I remember the last day I got to give Joshua a hug.
He wanted to take Sam snowboarding as a late Christmas or birthday gift, I can't remember which. It was probably a combination of the two, as Sam's birthday is in December.
Jeff, William, Sam and I drove the two hours down to Truckee; Joshua and his girlfriend Amanda drove the two hours up, and we all met in the McDonald's parking lot in Truckee. We passed off Sam, so they could go to Squaw Valley for the day. William, Jeff and I then wandered the shops in old town Truckee, had lunch, and went skating at a local rink. I took a huge fall and, among other injuries, sustained bruised ribs, which left me barely able to move for weeks afterward.
Jeff and I didn't actually get to spend much time with Josh that day. We got a hug and kiss hello, and another quick hug and kiss goodbye, when we met back up to get Sam. Joshua wanted to get on the road (and home) before it got dark and icy.
What I mostly remember about that day was standing there in the parking lot, a step or two apart from the noisy confusion that my family always creates, deliberately drinking in the sight and sound of Joshua.
I remember that for some reason I couldn't explain (a blessing, that) I was adamant that all of us went to Truckee that day. There really hadn't been any logical reason for it. Normally, I would have happily left the long drive to my hubby, and stayed home and enjoyed the quiet. Still, I had been insistent, almost to the point of panic.
I think, on some level, I must have known this was my last chance to say goodbye.
Until we meet again, I love you, Joshua.
I heard you singing to no one
I saw you dancing all alone
One day you belonged to me
Next day I just wouldn't know
One day all the rules will bend
And you and I will meet again
I've got a feeling
I've got a feeling so strong
That maybe someday
our paths will cross
A red winged hawk is circling
The blacktop stretches out for days
How could I get so close to you
And still feel so far away?
I hear a voice come on the wind
Saying you and I will meet again
I don't know how, I don't know when
But you and I will meet again
Jeff, Thank you for the message...it made me smile. Although I must admit, it's bittersweet. When I see I've received a message from Josh, it takes a split second for reality to catch up, and for just a flash, I actually think it's Josh... Although HE would probably send me a goofy comment, making me laugh about the whole experience. I knew that Josh had Cal Poly in his plans, for I was accepted via "early admissions", and knew for the majority of Senior year of my upcoming destination. We talked about how amazingly beautiful the scenery was in SLO, compared to our outlook of Sacramento, from our "Work Experience" class window.
Ahhh...to be 17 again, sitting next to Josh in an uncomfortable class chair, complaining about the day. If we'd only known that just a handful of years later we'd give anything to be sitting in those seats again. Life is hard... I hadn't realized until the past couple of years how truly harsh it can be. I really like routine, consistency, "Plan B", et cetera. And it has been really hard to have the whole foundation on which it was built-- not only "on" but "for"-- yanked right from under my feet. I'm definitely feeling like a "Castaway" (awesome movie). So yes, I'm working on gathering up all my pieces. However I'm still scared and unsure which pieces I should leave behind and how to fit the new ones together. I'm sure-- just like you-- I want the "hurt" to stop, knowing that it never will. That is a concept I'm still trying to accept. I've adopted a new motto: "It could always be worse". I must say it daily, just to remind myself of what I have, still with me, and not to be taken for granted. Thank you again for the note. I hope the family is doing well. Josh and I have birthdays coming up soon. I wish he was here... Big Hugs, Megs
Joshua's dad, Jeffrey Zekas was raised in California with his two brothers and one sister. Jeff's dad was a physician and his mom was a computer programmer for International Business Machines (IBM).
Jeff attended University of California where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree. Afterwards, he spent two months on holiday in the UK and Western Europe. Following his travels in Europe, Jeff attended teacher's college and graduate school. He then returned to work, first as a park ranger, then later as a social worker, teacher and state worker.
Let him in, Peter
He is very tired
Give him couches where the angels sleep
And light those fires...
May his peace be deep
Remember where his broken body lies
God knows how young he was
To have to die
So give him things he likes
Let him make some noise
Give dance hall bands not golden harps
To this our boy
And let him love, Peter
For he had no time
He should have trees and bird songs
And hills to climb
The taste of summer in a ripened pear
And girls sweet as meadow wind
With flowing hair
And tell him how he is missed
But say not to fear
It's gonna be alright
With us down here
Let him in, Peter
Let him in...
The moment was temporary, like everything is. Nothing in life really stays. And it's beautiful that they go. They have to go, in order for the next thing to come. You can almost add beauty to a thing, by accepting that it's temporary.
I've watched the stars fall silent
from your eyes;
All the sights that I have seen.
I can't believe, that
I believed I wished that you could see;
There's a new planet in the solar system,
There is nothing up my sleeve.
I'm pushing an elephant up the stairs;
I'm tossing up punch lines that were never there.
Over my shoulder a piano falls,
Crashing to the ground.
In all this talk of time,
Talk is fine.
But I don't want to stay around...
Why can't we pantomime,
just close our eyes,
And sleep sweet dreams?
Me and you with wings on our feet...
I'm breaking through,
I'm bending spoons,
I'm keeping flowers in full bloom,
I'm looking for answers from the great beyond...
I want the hummingbirds,
the dancing bears,
Sweetest dreams of you.
I Look into the stars,
I Look into the moon...
I'm looking for answers
from the great beyond.
You're the only one who can hold your head up high,
Shake your fists at the gates saying:
"I have come home now!
Fetch me the spirit, the son, and the father.
Tell them their pillar of faith has ascended.
It's time now!
My time now!
Give me my wings!"
A Mother's Lament For the Death of Her Son
Fate gave the word, the arrow sped,
And pierc'd my darling's heart;
And with him all the joys are fled
Life can to me impart.
By cruel hands the sapling drops,
In dust dishonour'd laid;
So fell the pride of all my hopes,
My age's future shade.
The mother-linnet in the brake
Bewails her ravish'd young;
So I, for my lost darling's sake,
Lament the live-day long.
Death, oft I've feared thy fatal blow.
Now, fond, I bare my breast;
O, do thou kindly lay me low
With him I love, at rest!
Hello, my name is Meghan Sheridan. I was a classmate and friend of Josh's... While doing a search, I came across Josh's page. I heard of Josh's tragic accident and was crushed. I tried to locate a cemetery to pay my respects, but haven't had any luck, so far. Perhaps someone from his family could give me some information? Also, as a sidenote: I was lucky enough to be on Josh's arm for graduation. My mom sent a bunch of pictures my way. I would be happy to forward you copies, if you're interested. I look forward to hearing from you, and again, I offer my deepest sympathy for your son. I now have a three year old of my own, and can't imagine imagine the pain of losing a child. My prayers are with you.
Big Hugs, Megs
(note: Joshua's ashes were laid to rest at Spooner's Cove in Montana de Oro State Park. His dad paddled out on his surfboard and, amid prayers and blessings, released Josh into the sea)
My oldest son. My stepson, but those extra four letters (s-t-e-p) really didn't change how much I love him. All big ears and straight fly away hair and gorgeous eyes with this little mole just to one side, and a humor so dry that it would make your mouth pucker at the same time you were laughing. At nineteen, like a lot of nineteen year olds, he thought he was invincible. He was killed in a motorcycle accident. I miss him every day.
On good days, I hold onto his life, well lived. On bad days, I mourn our loss, and try to remember that our time here is finite, but life remains eternal. The loss can be crushing, at times, but the pain is eased when I hear him speaking to my soul, reminding me that all is well... love, Kate
Sam coaching William for U-12 Soccer
Somewhere in the woods: Josh, Joe, Noel, Sam and Papa... tired but happy
We shall not cease exploration.
And at the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
the power within.
the path is whatever passes-- no
end in itself.
the end is,
the proof of the power within.
My life is still rich and full. But it's too late for some things. Every time I make a choice now, I realize it's no longer a choice between now or later. It's very often a choice between now or never. There are only so many years, only so many seasons, only so many chances. When I was younger, I could always tell myself that anything I wanted, but didn't pursue then, could be returned to, at a later time in life. NOW is that "later time".
What a doll! Joli Dawson, born 6 December 2006