One year ago. This phrase has been ringing in my head for the past few months. How will I feel on the anniversary? What can we do to remember him? How can I say thank you and be gracious to the thousands who mourned, prayed, loved, and supported us?
Tomorrow marks one year since I have seen my sweet, loving, first born child for the last time. Zachary was the light of my life. He made me a mother on October 1, 2007. He gave me unconditional love from day one. He was always there with a hug or witty remark. He was my son and I was his mom. The simple things in life really are the best.
We went through it all together. He was my best friend when I needed it most. Now, he is gone.
The days that followed our last moments together are a blur to me. I remember moments in time. Feeling confused, the pain, the breathing tube, unable to speak, unable to move, and all through that all I wanted was my life back. Just to go home. Just to see my kids and John. Just the simple things again.
I was in a coma for 20 days. I was not there to see my son laid to rest. I never said my final words.
I was there to see him be joyful about his glasses on our last day together.
I was there when he took his first breath.
I was there at every moment in his life.
Every lunch I packed.
Every boo boo I kissed.
Every bath time.
Every bedtime snuggle.
Every “one more kiss/hug/drink”
I was there.
Why did I missed his last?
Was it God’s grace and ultimate wisdom to shield me from that moment? I knew when I woke up on Easter Sunday fully alert that he was gone. No one had told me that he had died. No one had too. I felt it. I knew that in some way I had said my goodbyes to him in another place. I knew and felt it in my heart. It didn’t make it any easier in the days, weeks, months to come. I was broken physically and emotionally. How could I ever live without a part of my heart? I made the decision to fight for my sweet daughter, Grace, who just lost her brother. He would want me to be the best mom to her as I had been for him. I made it my misson to have a small goal each day and meet that goal. Starting with breathing on my own, eating, talking, sitting on the side of the bed, tolerating sitting in a wheelchair and on and on. To live again. To be her mom.
Now, a year later, I am healing physically. After a lot of goal setting, sweat, pain, aggravation, and exhaustion, I am making it back to the mom I was. The one who is there everyday for all the small stuff for her. It’s a struggle someday but it is the most rewarding struggle when I can just do one more thing with her.
Tomorrow marks Zachary’s first heavenly anniversary. I will visit the place where his body is laid. I will bring flowers and candles. I will sing to him. I will be there at 4 pm when we fell from Chuckanut Drive and this horrible story began.
We will meet with family and friends to remember him through lighting candles on facebook, singing “This little light of mine”, doing kind deeds for others, making build a bears, sharing our favorite pictures or stories and meeting to celebrate his little life that left an echo into eternity. His life was important to me. I am his mom to infinity and beyond.
Thank you God for the time we had with him. I needed him here with me. I pray for just one moment more but that would never be enough. Thank you for giving me the gift of motherhood and a little Grace in my life to love. Thank you for showing me that people can support you through the worst times of your life.
Thank you for Zachary.