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His friends called him “the kid with the golden heart.”

Zena Basin called him son.

A week after her son Joshua’s senseless death, Zena still expects him to walk through the door of their Howard Beach home.

The 20 year old was killed during an altercation on a Manhattan-bound “L” train. The assailant, now identified as Ryan Beauchamp, instigated a fight with Basin and two other males, which escalated at the Bedford Avenue station in Brooklyn and concluded with Basin’s death when he tumbled onto the tracks in front of an oncoming train.

Beauchamp was arrested for two counts of attempted assault in the third degree, disorderly conduct and harassment in the second degree on Wednesday, March 28.

Zena’s happy son, filled with a thirst for life, was the light of her existence, she said. Her only child, Joshua was born premature, and doctors warned Zena that his chances of survival were slim.

Against medical predictions, the baby survived.

“He was so radiant,” said Zena of her son as an infant. “He was so alive.”

His mother said Joshua possessed a breadth of interests. He wrote stories, song lyrics and poetry. A passion for travel led Joshua around the world – as a toddler, he took his first steps in Greece and later ventured to China at age five.

A student at LaGuardia Community College, Joshua aspired to become a psychologist. He enjoyed speaking with people and listening to their problems.

Above all, Zena said, Joshua was a steadfast friend.

“He was loved by all of his friends,” said Zena. “He would go out of his way for them. He was a good kid. He was my friend.”

Zena feels thankful for the support she received from the Howard Beach community. Joshua’s buddies remain in touch, filling the role of her “rock.”

“His friends don’t know how to cope,” she said. “I feel like I’ve become a mother to all of them.”

Surrounded with support, Zena says there is still a gaping hole in the middle of her heart.

“He was the love of my life,” said Zena. “We miss him so much.”

Sustaining his memory, she says, is what will help her survive.


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