Joshua Rodriguez’s mother: ‘Wow, I feel my son was loved’

Joshua Rodriguez

Jahzeel Ortega remembered her son as “generous,” kind,” “loving” and “respectful.” He had a bike but preferred his scooter. He liked to videotape himself doing Kendama tricks, a Japanese game involving wood and string. He had a contagious happiness.
“There was never a dull moment with him,” Ortega said Tuesday.
Joshua Rodriguez—her 11-year-old boy whom family and friends called “loving” and unafraid to share his feelings—was killed Monday afternoon when a county transit bus struck his bicycle on Memorial Drive at Verdun Avenue.
“He was full of dreams,” Ortega said. “He loved to be outside. He loved his friends.”
One friend, Adrian Jacobs-Carrillo, 13, who attended Marguerite Maze Middle School with him, remembered his winning sense of humor. 
“Joshua had a funny way of saying how he felt,” Jacobs-Carrillo said. “He wasn’t afraid to say anything. He was just really funny.”
Jacobs-Carrillo remembered once being at a friend’s house when Rodriguez got the group laughing.
“Joshua said, ‘Adrian, you’re sexy—from a girl’s perspective,” he said.
Sheila Cordova—whose son was Rodriguez’s best friend—also reminisced about him as a young man with lots of affection and happiness to share.
“He was a lover,” she said. “He had the biggest heart anybody could have.”
Cordova said her son Cody, 12, and Rodriguez “were inseparable.” Rodriguez came from the type of family “that just showed their love,” the mom said. As early as third grade, Rodriguez had no problem telling people what they meant to him, she said.
“Josh would tell the kids—even the boys—‘I love you,’” Cordova said.
He spent so much time at their house that her husband finally gave him the nickname, chihuahueño bueno,”which means “little chihuahua” in Spanish.
“Josh didn’t have any enemies what-so-ever,” Cordova said. “He was never mad. He was the type of child that was just happy.”
Rodriguez’s mom knew he was a social butterfly with many friends, but she’s seeing more examples of that these days. Kids have been coming to the house to visit Rodriguez’s room and just mourn over his death, she said. Community members who never met her son are organizing fundraisers, and she is getting text messages of support from “random people,” she said.
“The community has been totally supportive. Wow, I feel my son was loved,” she said. “The support has been genuine, has been amazing.”
But a future without Rodriguez is going to be hard for everyone to handle, especially Cordova’s son, Cody.
“He goes, ‘Mom, what am I going to do now? I don’t have a best friend now,’” she said. “I don’t know. Certain things you just don’t have answers to.”
To learn more about how to help the family, go here: or visit the account that is fundraising money to cover the costs of the funeral:

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