Monday, January 23, 2012

Sand Dollars - A Reminder of Zach

While this story isn't about suicide prevention or awareness, it's a story I want to share about my son.  It's a reminder to my family that he is still with us.


My sister and her husband just returned from a vacation to the Bahamas.
This vacation was suppose to be taken last February, however, due to an error made by a Doctor my sister ended up in ICU with a serious blood clot and couldn't take the trip.

She went back and forth on whether or not she should take this trip.
She felt guilty for leaving...She told me that she felt as though she shouldn't have any fun since Zach's passing.

I told her, "If Zach were here he would tell you...Take the trip!  You deserve it...Do it!  Have fun!  It's okay!"
Taking a vacation is not saying you've forgotten about your loved one who has passed.

After a few weeks she decided they needed a vacation and since it was already paid for, they should take advantage of it.  I'm so happy they did.

My sister recalled the many stories Zach had told her about our family trip to the Bahamas in 2006.
It was the best family vacation we have taken.
He told her about how awesome the water was, how incredible the food was and just how much FUN he had while we were there.

My sister asked if she could spread some of Zach's ashes in the ocean...
I was honored and happy that some of Zach would always be in the Bahamas...a place he LOVED.

When my sister returned from her vacation she told me the story about finding the perfect spot to spread some of Zach's ashes.

She said she searched for the perfect spot and couldn't find one.
At one point she said she thought about bringing the ashes home because there wasn't a spot that felt right to her.

Then they found a little rock walkway onto the ocean.
She told me about how beautiful and crystal clear the water was and said,
"I knew this was suppose to be the spot."

She and her husband spread a tiny amount of Zach's ashes there.
She said "I had a hard time walking away...I felt as though I was leaving him there and I didn't like that feeling."

She continued, "As we were walking away I saw this beautiful sand dollar...I've never seen a sand dollar like that before and it was all alone."

I quickly responded, "What did it look like?"

She described it to me and said she'd send over a photo of it.  Because it was still alive, she didn't touch it.

I told her the story of the 2006 sand dollar.

Zachary had wondered off on his own one day during our vacation.
We couldn't find him anywhere.
My husband and I were worried about where he could be.
We were on an all inclusive beach, where in the world could he be?
My husband swam out as far as he could with no luck.
We simply could not find Zach.
We were sick with worry.

Then, all of a sudden, a happy Zach walked up the beach with a handful of cool shells and a sand dollar unlike any sand dollar I had ever seen before.

He loved this sand dollar!

We took the sand dollar home (it was already dead when Zach found it) and Zach kept it in his room until he moved out.

One day while searching for something in storage I opened a box that said "ZACH" on it.  It had been packed when he moved out.

Inside were 2 skateboards and this sand dollar.

The smile that came across my face was huge.

When my sister told me about the single sand dollar she saw and we compared photos we both felt as though this was a sign from Zach.

A sign that this was in fact the spot for him and that he continues to be with us.