This year marks the second back to school without Zachary. This picture was taken the first day of Kindergarten with his little sister Grace. He was so proud to be going to the Big Kid school and to be her big brother.
As time has passed, he will always be like this. He is forever frozen in time. My little adorable kindergarten man. As we walk forward, he is frozen in time. Forever in Kindergarten. This hasn’t been too bad to think as he was still older then Grace. Until now.
Now, she has begun her first day of school as a new kindergartener. She has gone through her first week of school. She has her backpack, lunch bag and folder. She is waiting anxiously for the bus each morning. She is a kindergartener but wait…. So is he. No, he’s not. He’s suppose to be in third grade now. He is suppose to be holding her hand as they walk to the bus each morning and showing her how to get to her classes. Being her Big brother except he is gone.
I thought I could deal with it. I knew it was coming. I counted down the days until her first day and I was ok. Really, I was ok. We went to see who her teacher was going to be and the lists where up. We looked for the kindergarten list and searched for her name. I found myself looking at the third grade list and felt a sinking feeling when his name wasn’t there. In my mind I thought, “why would it be! He is gone. What are you doing to yourself?” But I still looked. Searching for him there amongst the kids that were not frozen and we’re now no longer kindergarteners but big third graders. I couldn’t handle the feelings and left as soon as I could. Smiling, chatting, and just putting down the pain for a minute to enjoy her excitement. That is the thing. She deserves a happy mom for her new adventure even if it hurts to be missing him.
We made it through the first week. She had a great busy week of firsts. She is so excited about this new place and new things to do. I put down the pain and leaned into her joy. Until tonight.
At dinner tonight, Grace announced that she wanted to buy lunch at school. We discussed that she could plan what days she would buy lunch and we planned out the week. She is so excited to have chicken nuggets (although she is currently not eating meat because you don’t eat animals and she doesn’t think birds count). It was decided that she would buy lunch tomorrow. She bounced down the hallway and I had to setup her account with school.
i signed into the school mealtime account and setup Grace in the system. I put money in her account and saved it. I checked my profile to make sure the money had cleared into the account and it was there in black and white. Zachary Dean Conzo. His account still has money in it. After catching my breath, I realized that I had transferred money into his account just days before the accident. Just days. It was still active. Still existing though he is gone. Now, I had to make a call to ask the head of dietary to close his account because he had passed away in 2014 and to transfer the money to his sister or send a check, whatever the protocol. It was done but it left me feeling empty. The last account with his name will be closed.
This loss is deep. This hurt is forever. I miss him so much it physically hurts. The fact that Grace is starting kindergarten scares me to death. This is uncharted territory after this year. Grace surpassing him in time. We all move ahead and move into new beautiful adventures. I hope and pray that his little life impacted others to the extend it did mine and he is frozen in their minds and the beautiful, caring, loving kindergarten man that he was.