Zachary was a singer. The boy loved to sing. He sang from the time he was a toddler till he moved to Heaven and I can only imagine he is singing there as well.
As pics have come up on my phone from years past, I have struggled. We have a lot of life changes going on. Some days seeing the pics breaks my heart but, other days, they give me reason to smile. Today is a cry day. I made the mistake of sitting down in the closet to sort laundry and looked at my phone. The closet is an awful place to sit down and look at your phone as a grief Mom. There is something about that small space and feeling safe that allows the tears to come.
Last year I had an EPIC breakdown in Zachary’s closet because of his shoes. Today, it’s a small breakdown. It’s a small breakdown over life. It’s a small breakdown over feeling overwhelmed. It’s a small breakdown over time moving forward when I just want to go back to the morning of November 10th, 2016 and ask Zach how he was feeling physically and take him to a doctor even if he felt fine instead of just if he wanted to come home. It’s a breakdown of still having my days questioning if we paid attention enough to know anything was wrong with his heart.
You see, over a year has passed and I still have my moments where I faulter. We are one of the lucky parents who know we did everything possible to prevent something from happening to Zachary. He went two years before and had a full cardiac workup and nothing was found. His cardiac tumor was so rare that less than 300 people have died from it since 1964 and only three teenagers that I can find. No one would have known to look for it.
But, I still have those moments. I still have those moments where I doubt myself. I still have those moments where someone questions if it was his medicine that caused it rather than just accepting that fluke things happen in the body. My nephew explained it to me like this,
“Hey! Just read the article that you sent over. So the cause of LHAS isn’t agreed upon by the medical community. There are multiple theories that seem promising, but nothing definitive has been identified.
One theory says that there is a gene defect that can contribute similarly to a cancer. It’s not necessarily genetic/hereditary. Most likely it’s a random gene mutation that happened. This happens all of the time, but the body fixes like 98% of mutations. If LHAS were to happen from a genetic mutation it would be the unfortunate 2% that the body misses.
The other theory just says that whenever you have cells rapidly multiplying and dividing and differentiating into tissues during pregnancy and early life, some cells in the heart just happen to stick together more than they typically do.”
When I have these doubts, I have to remind myself that even if we knew why it happened, it wouldn’t change the fact that he is not here. It wouldn’t change the fact that we had 18 years with the sweetest, kindest boy ever placed on this Earth. I will forever be grateful that I was chosen to be Zachary’s “Mommy”. Nothing will change that. I am grateful. I grateful that I got to love someone so much that my heart breaks on a daily basis.
I love and miss you Boy. ~ Mommy
Zachary’s friend visiting his Memorial Bench.
Circle the State with Song 2009
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