Zachary Words

I made this:


Then I made one for each of my living children as a gift.

Then I made several as gifts; including a few that were memorials.

I decided I wanted to make one for myself that is a memorial to Zachary.

I made this list of words:

  • son
  • grandson
  • brother
  • uncle
  • artist
  • musician
  • thespian
  • Macbeth
  • Spiderman
  • gentle
  • loving
  • giving
  • gothic
  • gamer

Then I asked a handful of people to give me the first three words that came to their mind when they think of Zachary. The words that they sent to me were so beautiful. I only wish Zachary could see just what and how much he meant to others. 

This is the list of words from the people I asked:

  • infectious-personality
  • compassionate
  • understanding
  • adventurous
  • free-spirit
  • easy-going
  • passionate
  • accepting
  • different
  • hilarious
  • long-hair
  • quirky
  • skinny
  • unique
  • black
  • purple
  • drama
  • funny
  • gamer
  • goofy
  • loyal
  • gone
  • goth
  • kind

I am working on a shadowbox but sadly, I cannot fit all of those words in. I do intend to tape a copy of the list to the back of the box so I will remember all of them. Thank you to the people who took the time to share their Zachary words with me. When I finish the shadowbox I will post a picture.


Celebration of Life Seven Years Later

Seven years ago today, we gathered to celebrate the life of Zachary.

The auditorium was full. A lot of people who loved him dearly came to the open mic to speak about him.

He was loved by many and he touched many in ways that left them changed forever.

His life had impact. He left his beautiful mark on this world.

He had no idea how many would miss him, mourn him and feel so lost without him.

Here are a few facebook posts from that day.

Words that let this grieving mother know that she did a fine job raising a fine young man.

Words that let this grieving mother know, he will never be forgotten.

“In Zach’s short life he learned, and lived by, something that takes many of us a lifetime to learn; tolerance and acceptance. He had friends from every walk of life and every ethnic background. Social orientation had no place in Zach’s thinking. He did not find it necessary for anyone to explain their differences to him. He accepted every person he met as they were, and took them at face value. What a great gift to have; tolerance and acceptance.”–Sandy Huff (maternal grandmother)

“Zach’s memorial was good. I miss you so much bro. Wish I could see you one last time, but rest easy bro. You don’t have to live in this messed up world anymore. We’ll miss you for the length of all our lives.”–Vincent Key (friend)

“Earlier today I had the honor of sharing the stage with Zachary Vaughn, and I got to talk and listen to people who got to be a part of his life, and see the effect of the lives he touched while he was here. There wasn’t a person there whose life he hasn’t touched, and everyone there is a better person because of him.” Lee Brewer (family friend)

Seven Christmases Later

So here we are seven Christmases later. Each one has been different but you were missing from all of them. Actually you have missed eight Christmases since you were gone before we actually celebrated Christmas 2013.

We have tried big celebrations and small ones. We have had trees and no trees. We have celebrated on different dates but it didn’t take the sting out.

I don’t know how not to relive that morning every year. I really have tried not to but it seems inevitable.

This Christmas feels especially dark to me but I can’t explain why.

In the darkness, I wrote this poem:

Death comes without prejudice and steals children without remorse;

No begging nor pleading will change Death’s course.

Leaving bereaved parents in its wake;

Literal pounds of our flesh, Death did take.

Mothers and Fathers, broken and battered;

But to Death none of that mattered.

Not money nor treasures nor favors to trade;

For there are no deals with Death to be made.

Yes, Death comes without prejudice and steals children without remorse;

No begging nor pleading will change Death’s course.

I know it is dark and sad and not how a person should feel on a holiday but it is the ugly truth. I miss you more with every passing minute, hour, day and year. I will miss you until my heart stops beating and I can be where you are. I will love you for all eternity.