A Grandmother's Words

Zachary's grandmother, Granbarb, has written many poems this year for him. As a family we have learned that grief takes on many forms and we each have different ways to walk through it. I'm fortunate that she's used her words to help express herself. It's special to have them to look back on. Thank you, Mom. 

This was the last picture taken of Zachary and Granbarb. We had gone over to her house for a visit around Mother's Day, just weeks before he passed away. Zachary walked around the yard and played with his cousins. It was a nice day spent with family.

Zachary and Granbarb

Zachary and Granbarb

As an ocean of tears comes pouring out, I listen to and sing worship songs.
Songs to our Father, who is in Heaven, with our darling Zachary.
Father, hold him tight for us today, let us feel his presence with us.
Help us to never let his memory go, to never truly feel the hopelessness.
We love you Zachary, more and more as the years pass.
We will always remember you as a little one, as our youngest at the time.
Today is your birthday and you would have been 12. Almost 11 years taken from us.
I can’t wait to be with you in glory, to hold your hand once more.
Happy Birthday, my precious Grandson, my little angel.
I will be there soon, so wait for Granbarb. I know you are happy there and I will be truly happy when I’m with you.
We are sending balloons up to you today. I hope you can see them.
Thank you, God, for the gift of Zachary!





Some days go by and I don't think of Zachary at all. Then everything comes back, like a bomb exploded. I never know what's going to do it.

Today seems like yesterday, and if I could only bring it back
I would bring you back, much older now.
If I could stop the tears, I wouldn't. They help me grieve. 
They are part of my pain and help me to let it go.
My life is different in so many ways because of you, Zachary.
I never thought I would be the one telling a story such as this, but I am.
I tell everyone about you, sharing my grief and at the same time
giving them a warning to be very, very careful.
I watch the tears streaming down their faces as they listen to me,
and on the inside I join them.
Not only have I lost my Grandson, but I have to see the pain in
my daughter's eyes and that of her family. 
My Grandson, Liam, who never met Zachary, loves him and constantly
speaks of him. It makes me smile because he is truly our special
gift from God!
Days pass, years pass, and it never gets better. We just go on with the
memory of a sweet little boy that never said "Granbarb".

Sometimes the stars align just right and I see your shadow.
When I go to bed, you're my last thought before I close my eyes.
I miss my Grandchild, the one I never got to know.
The one that never said my name - Granbarb.


You're not far from me, my beautiful eyed darling.
You're right next to my heart. You're in the tears I'm crying now.
Life isn't fair. Life isn't predictable. Life wasn't fair to you.
But I know when I die I will see you again. Will you look the same?
I don't know where Heaven is, nobody does. But I know it exists.
And I know you are there and not in pain, so that makes me happy.

I will never stop being sad. Sometimes I go for a week or two and everything is ok.
Then something reminds me, and I am sad again. Sad for me!
I hope you can see us all - because we see you in our hearts and when we close our eyes.

Be happy, little one. Our sweet Zachary who never hurt anyone or did one thing wrong.



zach playground2.jpg

Some days, when the world is quiet around me, I can hear a small voice, a happy voice, very faint. It makes me stop and think. And then, like lightning strikes, I remember HIM. I remember Zachary…

My darling Grandchild, such a blessing for a very short time. Are you okay, are you happy?  And at that moment I am reassured. Yes, he is happy.  Don’t you know Granbarb?  I am forever an angel, I’m here with God.

When you’re driving and someone cuts you off, it is me pulling at the wheel. Guiding you safely along.  Don’t you feel me near you? It is me amongst the stars in the sky twinkling and smiling at you It’s me listening to you tell my story over and over again. I am there when you cry, I am with you always.  My memory lives on.

Granbarb, a thousand years is like a day in my world, so I will see you tomorrow. I’ll be waiting anxiously for Mommy and you, for all our family. Until tomorrow.

How many times will the tears come back?

How many times will my stomach sink?

I look at his picture, he's so far away.

I feel it's a dream and I blink.


There is nobody here to wipe the tears,

There is nobody here to hold.

My little one’s gone, for so long now,

I’ll see him again, I’m told.


My heart sinks deeper in despair,

As I remember he’s not there.

Some day, some how, we’ll stop the pain,

But are you sure, and what’s to gain.


Sleep hard, sleep fast, my little one,

My daughter’s own beloved son.

We love you more than words can say,

We are here, we pray and pray.


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Child Abuse Recognition

The child didn't laugh, too frightened to cry; their wounds lay hidden from your eye.

How could they evade, how could lie? They knew if they told that they may die!

These children damaged, broken, ill, are yours and mine for sure.

Open your eyes, open your mind look really hard once more.

You'll never know, you'll not suspect, till they're too tired to object.

The little ones have been abused, yes they have, been beaten and used.

Can we fix them now? It seems too late. They've all shut down, they're full of hate.

The CAC and Marley's Mission are there, slowly, ever slowly, showing they care.

These damaged children learn to speak, and now their future's not so bleak.

Give much, give all, help break their fall. The child could be yours, after all.

Evil knows no beginning, it knows no end. Don't even bother to pretend!

Don't think that it could happen to you? It happened to me, right out of the blue!

Help now, while you can, make the children see, that they are loved by you and me.

Don't close your eyes and walk away, the time they need you is today!

Give to the Children's Advocacy Center 

Give to Marley's Mission


A Mother's Day Poem

I see you, Mom. I see your pain almost every day.

I love you, Mom. That will not change, please know that I'm okay.

I love you more than words can say, your smile, your hair & loving way.

I see McKenzy, Liam, Bill; I like to watch them play.

I know they love me, I know they care, it was evident today.

I'm in your heart, your memory, don't cry again today.


Just think of all our happy times and let them fill your day.

Be still, I'm here, just a smile away, Mom please have a good day.

Don't be mad, don't be sad, don't stress and get angry.

I'm with you now, forevermore, I am your Zachary!

I love you, Mom......


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A child was taken from his mother's life. No one should ever live to see their beloved child gone!

There's no excuse, no reason why, of that we all agree.

His Mother mourns, no end in sight, how can this be, how can this be!

Stop the abuse, stop the pain, can someone please help me?
I need my child, I need him here, he has to be with me!

But he is gone, and still I mourn, oh God I cannot breathe.
I cry,  I beg, I die each day, for my son to be with me.
It cannot be, it cannot be, dear God please, please help me!

Take me swiftly, take me now, somewhere safe and free.
I don't ask much, I don't want much, just my beloved Zachary.

I tell you Mother, he is safe, he spends his time with me.
Your children need you, husband too, it's not your time, you know.

Tell the world, save the children, make the changes now.
That is your mission, continue on, make sure your tears do good.

Make sure your child, ripped away, will be famous come one day.
The world will listen, the world will heed, it's not that far away.

Get mad, get even, change the world, we know you'll get your way.

Be brave, my daughter, this is my plea, you can do it, this I  see.

Protect the children, change the laws, make sure that they all know.
Go far and wide, stand strong and tall, make them Remember Zachary!

TODAY I thanked God for bring you into my life and allowing me to raise you, this wonderful, resilient woman who cares so much, who does so much, who is loved by many. Your life has been hard, filled with struggles and hurt beyond measure. Yet, you find the strength to come out on the other side with your gloves on, ready to meet the day and take charge. There are no words to describe the bond we share. The only one I can think of is mutual love and respect. You are my wonderful daughter. You are strong, you are loving, you are a teacher, you are a mover and a shaker, your courage has no boundaries. You are a wonderful mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend!


As the Mother sits to read, what the papers have to say, about the blood, the sweat, the tears, that made it go this way.

She is grateful for so many who stood beside her, smiled and shed those tears, who worked so hard to make a difference, and add those two more years.

The loss was unbearable, time was not her friend, years of work resulted in this end.

Her Mom sits proud, and sad this day, so much has happened, yet brought good today.

We love our daughter, so fragile, so strong, it seems surreal, that we don't belong.

But this is where we all should be, cry, get mad, turn around and fight. Fight for your child, fight for punishment, fight for justice, for in the end you fight for me.

I was a little 14 month old boy, delightful, loved and full of glee. The blood the sweat the tears they shed, it all was done for me. Do not close your eyes, turn away, you can't forget about me. She is my Mom, she is the best, I am her Zachary!!

zach playground.jpg

mommy and zahcary.jpg

She was preoccupied, this young Mother. She stood at the door watching her children playing in the park together, laughing with their friends, up and down the monkey bars, on the swings, calling to one another and laughing.

For a moment her heart skipped a beat. As she gazed, she remembered and a lone tear dropped from her beautiful eyes. Her mind went back to a time of hurt, of fear, of longing. Her son was missing, the middle child. 

He had been gone for ten years. Had it been that long? Seems like yesterday he was pulling at her pants for food as soon as she returned from work. Dinner couldn’t come quickly enough for that little one! Food was his friend!

She didn’t want to remember the bad, but it came with the good. There wasn’t much time, not so much to remember. For one Christmases they were together,fort only one precious birthday. Only one. And it was his first and his last. Her eyes grow sadder now as she stands, still gazing intently at the others playing. She couldn’t make the pain stop. She couldn’t stop the” hurt” memories. She was forever tied to the good and the bad, happy and sad. There was no consoling to be done. How do you tell someone whose child was ripped from her heart that you are sorry, how do you make it stop? Impossible.

A Grandmother sits as the children open their gifts. Squealing and laughing, they toss paper everywhere. She smiles, and yet she knows there should have been one more. She will not mention his name, fearful that perhaps nobody else has noticed and she will ruin their moments of happiness. But yet, in the comfort of her chair, in her heart she knows her daughter is smiling on the outside and genuinely happy, yet sad and remembering.

She has learned to multitask. It has taken her some time, but she has just about mastered the art of “acting” normal. Will anyone notice that her smiles go away for a second here, a second there? She hopes not. She doesn’t want to spoil the day for her two sweet children. Yet, the day will never be complete again. Like a cloud, the memory of one so sweet, so tiny, so full of life will go on forever, the realization that there should have been three.

This handsome child, his last photo frozen in time, is forever tattooed on my mind. I will remember him only from his picture. I am older now, memories fade and I cannot remember the baby days. So sad for me


He was gone in the blink of an eye, this very special child, torn from those who love him and who could have loved him forever.

As the Holidays approach I think of my long life. The biggest joys are my Grandchildren; running, playing, laughing, hugging, kissing.

There will never be another hug from my chubby little Zachary. He was just starting to come out of the baby stage and I never got to have a relationship with him.

At holiday dinners McKenzy, Bella, Zachary, Brianna, Liam, Mady and Alex would have made memories together. Max, the oldest would be the one on the computer, but would still take time to play, tease and help at 16 years old.

I will never have that. Zachary would have fit right in with his cousins. What would he be like now? I will never know. The memories are pictures now. I cannot remember his hug, his laugh, his little baby personality.

These were taken away from me just before my 60th birthday. And every birthday thereafter I have lived the horrible day in the hospital. The day we said goodbye.

Why oh why did this happen? I never knew anyone who had their child murdered. Now I am the one. Sitting here, trying to think of what he would be doing now if he was still alive, the joy he would have brought to all of us.

McKenzy and Liam are often heard whispering and talking to each other about their brother. Liam never knew Zachary, but he loves him as if he was sitting beside him playing. Chrissy heard them talking about who would be taller. Sweet, innocent children having a conversation.

Chrissy married Bill. He didn’t know Zachary, but yet he loves him as if he was his own. I don’t know how she can get through a day. God is surely with her as I ask Him to be. What keeps a Mother from going insane? Prayer, guidance, love – that is what she gets from her family and friends.

I pray to God it is enough. For now. Some day we will all be reunited with Zachary. Probably me sooner than the others, and I so look forward to it. But for now our family remains empty, crushed, and helpless because of our loss. It never goes away!