We are nearly 4 months into our 12 month project to Remember Zachary in a special way.
A year can be such a long time, but it's also gone in a flash. What I'd give to have another year with Zach, to have him here with us, enjoying family bike rides, swimming in the pool, reading books and cuddles on the couch.
I'm often told how unimaginable Zachary's loss is. Friends will tell me that after hearing about Zachary they want to go home and hug their children tighter. It breaks my heart that I can't be them. I can't go home and hug Zach after hearing a terrible story. But I can be strong and live a life where I proudly tell people about all three of my children. I want Zachary to be remembered because I love him and he is a piece of who I am. I also want him remembered because I want the world to be aware of the very thing that took his life, abuse. When I became a mother, the thought of losing my child to abuse didn't even exist in my world. Awareness was forced into my life and has since webbed into the lives of everyone that Zachary touches. I want this project to do two things.
1. Remember my beautiful baby boy
2. Spread awareness
Everyone so far who has participated in this special project for his 10th birthday has done that!
This month 3 special things happened that I'd like to share with you!
A Special Essay
Back in March my daughter wrote an essay for a test. The topic was to write about someone who was very special to her. On the way home in the car that day I asked her how the test went and what she had to write about. She was so excited to tell me that she felt like it went really well and that she wrote about her brother, Zach. I felt joy when she told me! Since the day Zachary left this world it has been my goal to keep his spirt with my family. Kenzy was only 3 when he passed. I didn't want her to forget him and wanted to do whatever I could to keep our memories alive. To be sitting in the car with my almost 11 year old at the time, hearing that she chose to write about Zachary, meant that I succeeded. He IS part of our everyday.
Determined Mom Finally Gets Wish
Our legislation met its final stop this month. It was voted on in the Sentencing Commission and it will be used in sentences as soon as the standard waiting period is over! It was the culmination of an amazing journey. I thought it happened at the perfect time. What a way to Remember Zachary! Throughout this process I wasn't looking for any sort of praise or recognition, but I had to admit it was so rewarding to see that all of our hard work made the Scranton Times, back home in PA. To see Zachary's face grace the COVER of the newspaper for such a positive reason, was a proud moment. My mom told me a story. She was shopping in a store for a card and happened to start up a conversation with the person standing next to her. They got into a conversation about loss and my mom talked about Zachary. The woman said wait, was he just on the cover of the paper?? The woman said she had been praying for Zachary's family. It gave me a smile. It again proves to me that Zachary's story IS being heard by so many people. People I have never met. His life is leaving a legacy. I am honored to be his mother.
Colleen has been my friend 12 years. We were pregnant together with our first kiddos and then again when I was pregnant with Zachary, she was pregnant with her second son. We were so excited when we became moms. I was young and learning how to be a mom as the days came. I was so lucky to have her by my side. I was so excited when I found out our second kiddos would be close in age also. I knew our kids would grow up together and we would continue to grow as mommies together. I'm thankful that she's still in my life and is helping me Remember Zachary in a special way! Colleen is a runner. Gosh she's always on the go. She is a great mommy who always has her kids enjoying life. Colleen has so much energy and to remember Zachary by running a marathon is the perfect thing! She still has more details to share with me and I will share them with you as I learn more. She said she wants to run a marathon in March, which is also the month that he will be turning 10!
I cannot wait to hear any other ideas that will sprout in the next 8 months!