We are at the end of the 5th month of a 12 month project! My family wanted to do something special to celebrate what would have been Zachary’s 10th upcoming birthday. Our idea was simple. We opened up this project to all of you! We are asking anyone who is interested to do something special in Zachary’s memory. What has been so special about this project is many of the people who have participated so far have been people who have never met my little boy.
I have been humbled by the response to this project. So many special and unique ideas have been thought of. A lesson I learned in the past few years is that we can each make a positive impact in the world. We can make change happen, whether you have been inspired by others or you inspire others.
I have written a reflection at the end of each month, to serve as a written memory of Zach's big 10th birthday. You can look back at all the amazing projects that have been started in honor of Zachary. There are still 7 months to go. I cannot wait to continue to hear the ideas that you come up with. It feels great to help others and be a part of something so special!
Eileen and Anthony
This month Anthony, my cousin and Eileen, his girlfriend, made me a beautiful bracelet with Zachary’s name on it. It was such a sweet surprise. Neither Anthony or Eileen have ever met Zachary. I was in Florida last year and I got to see my cousin for the first time in many years. It was also the first time that I met Eileen. We got to talk and I was able to tell them about Zachary and the journey I have been on since he has passed. Sometimes people are uncomfortable because they aren’t sure if I want to talk about Zach, but I love it and I was grateful that they listened. I love getting to share his sweet little spirit with everyone. It was a complete surprise when I got a text from Eileen this month, telling me that they wanted to do something for the Remembering Zachary Project. It was so incredibly thoughtful of them. Thank you Eileen and Anthony!!
Just a few days ago my long-time friend stopped over. She was excited to share with me some of the details of her Remembering Zachary Project. Last month I wrote a little bit about it, but I didn’t have all of the details just yet. Colleen is one of the most active mothers you’d ever meet. When she’s not working I swear she has her two boys out of the house enjoying nature and life together as a family from sunup to sundown. Her Remembering Zachary Project is so fitting for her! She is committed to running 10 races this year by the end of March in honor of Zachary’s 10th birthday!! How incredible is this idea?? She will run 5, 5k races with her boys and anybody who will join her (like us!!) and she is also committing to running 5 MARATHONS (YES, by the end of March!!!). She’s already got one Marathon done. She’s working on finalizing a schedule for the year. She has even decided to tie fundraising to her adventure and maybe even a blog?! As I learn more details you will be the first I share them with! So neat!! My family is so excited and we can’t wait to sign up for a race to run with her. Love you Colleen!
Moments ago, fittingly as I was writing this month’s reflection, I got an update from Elisa! Her family will be donating 100 books to local Pennsylvania libraries for her Remembering Zachary Project!
Elisa knew Zachary very well. She owned the daycare that he went to from the time he was a few weeks old up until he sadly left us. He was so happy there. All parents know that it is hard to leave your kids when you have to go to work, but it is so reassuring to know that your kiddos are loved where they are being cared for. Elisa and everyone at Karing for Kids loved my little man.
I cannot believe the generosity of her family. I have helped her design a sticker that she will place in each of the 100 books that will be donated. She is looking for suggestions of some of our favorite children’s book titles. If you have any ideas, let me know and I will pass them along.
'Zachary’s Way' at Marley’s Mission
Last month we went to Marley’s Mission for their grand opening. Bill and I (90% Bill, 10% me) put together the Remembering Zachary Benches. Seeing them all together and beautifully placed at the Mission made me emotional. I miss my son, but I also felt pride in seeing his name on so many benches. I’m realizing that little by little I am accomplishing what I said I wanted to all those years ago when I sat in Gene and Jeanne’s office. When I lost Zachary I desperately wanted him back. One of the hardest things to deal with was reality. There was no rewinding time and I knew that I could never have him back. But I could do something someday to make him remembered. I am so thankful to my amazing friends at Marley’s Mission. April and Gene are always showing me how much they care. We are looking forward to returning to Pennsylvania in August to make Zachary’s Way beautiful! Many of the benches sit on one side of the stables. It will be decorated beautifully and dedicated to my little Meatball. It will be an amazing way to end our family’s summer vacation. I wanted to say a very special Thank you to Amy, Katie, Mandy and Bobbi. They donated this month to help make Zachary’s Way beautiful.
Another fun thing that Mandy, Kenzy and I are going to do for Zachary is run a 5k. Scranton is having a Color Mania 5k, and a portion of the proceeds will go to Marley’s Mission. It was the perfect opportunity for us! Kenzy loves to run and it will benefit the Mission! Mandy and I made a team. We are “Zachary’s Blue Angels.” If anyone will also be running the 5k,we’d love to have you on our team! If you know me, you also know that running is just about my least favorite thing to do! But I am really looking forward to this race because so many positive things will be infused with it.
Finally, as a family we did a little spur of the moment good deed for Marley’s Mission, on behalf of Zachary’s memory. They needed some supplies. Each of the kids who go to the Mission use journals to keep track of their sessions and experiences at the Mission. The kids and I went out and bought a case of notebooks to donate. As soon as we got home, Kenzy went on the computer and she designed labels to put in each of the notebooks that will read, Remembering Zachary. It’s little, but it’s moments like these that I hope to teach my children what my parents taught me, to give to others when you can. My mom is always giving and helping others. She’s always told me that when I get older and I can, she’d like to see me do the same thing. She’s taught us all well and I hope to pass on that same lesson to my children.
It’s been another amazing month! We are just so fortunate. I cannot wait to see what the remaining 7 months hold for Zachary’s memory.
<3 Zachary's Mom