In my routine prayers, I have always thanked God for all that we have been blessed with and prayed for our children. In praying for the children, I have always asked for them to be kept safe; for God to protect them throughout their day and return them home. I also prayed for them to carry with them the moral compass and set of values we taught them; I prayed for them to make good choices whether it be choosing friends or choosing reactions to situations. I always asked God to guide them when I wasn’t there to help them choose. Even though it feels as if this prayer went unanswered for one child; I will continue to pray this prayer for our other children.
Zachary made one bad choice in the wee hours of Christmas day. In that one moment of anger and hurt he picked up his gun. We will never know for certain if it was truly a suicide or a horrific accident. Given his level of theatrics, it is entirely possible the gun was a prop to make a point in the heat of the moment. Either way, the result is the same.
That one bad choice has left me stripped of my joy; hollowed out; and permanently scarred. I am assuming that in time I will be able to smile again; that joy will return to me; that the hollowed out space will decrease in size; and the scars will become less painful. Our family will forever be “one less”; a brother gone to heaven to soon, a grandson painfully absent; an uncle that isn’t going to be here as our family grows; and a son that will never be forgotten. One bad choice that has such far reaching consequences for so many.