Today is the fourth bittersweet birthday that we don’t get to celebrate with you, and as of about twenty minutes ago, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to write in tribute to you today. As I was sitting here staring blankly at my screen though, my eyes began wandering around at all the pictures on my desk, and I spotted this precious one of you. That’s when I closed my eyes and had this vision …
It was me looking at that the sweet, blonde-haired, blue-eyed little boy at around age 10. I was holding him in my arms like I did so many times in our journey together, and especially in the months before you left when I would hold you like an actual baby as you would cry. Your little head was resting on my chest so perfectly still and calm, and when I looked down at your face, you were smiling.
What is it, Zack? What on Earth are you smiling about?
Then, you looked up at me and whispered the most powerful words I could have imagined hearing on this bittersweet day without you:
Catherine, I’m okay. I’m finally resting.
I want you to know how deeply sorry I am that the people who were supposed to protect you from the demons that devoured your mind failed you so fucking miserably. It is my truest prayer that you did make it Home safely, that you’re very much alright, and that your soul is in the peaceful, loving care of the greatest Parent of them all.
I’ve always loved this song, listen to often, and always think of you when I do. Only this time I’m tweaking the words “my way”, as if you were singing them to me:
I know you’re down at the river bend after fighting the fight ’til the fighting end. You’ve washed the poison from off your skin, and now you’re finally whole again. I always think of you flying up on silver wings, far past the black where the sirens ring, warming yourself in a nova’s glow and rising above your nightmare below. You’re no longer a crack in this castle of glass, and never forget that you were so much to see. I know that you’re Home in a binding dream through all of the secrets that we both have seen. I, too, have washed this sorrow from off of my skin, and yes, I, too, am finally whole again. So, until that day comes when I can see you again, I’ll keep looking for your light as it slips through the cracks in this castle of glass in which I still live. As for now, though, there is still so much more for me to see. Happy Birthday Zachariah. I love you. ~ Me
As soon as Gia gets home from school, we’ll be heading down to the pier to skip a few rocks over the water before we go have our annual Red Robin burgers in your honor. Though you’re not here to physically reciprocate the love I have always and will always feel for you, that love will never be wasted. In the meantime, please just keep watching us through your telescope.
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