Remember

Another draft that was never published on this blog.

My name is Zac. Well, Zachary, actually. Either way, it is a derivative of the Hebrew name Zechariah which means, “the Lord remembers.” But remembering is not a task just for God. It is a command to us.

Joshua’s memorial stones

Psalm 103

Deuteronomy 6

Zac wrote that back in September, when the cancer had left his body. For one month and 2 days we enjoyed our new life together. We were like newlyweds. We saw the world wide open. What could we do? Where would we go? Hoping God would use us for something amazing. We were ready. Waiting.  Zac was so excited to have this new life yet wanted so deeply to never forget what he had gone through. He kept telling me,” I have to remember. I ask God to always remind me of the cancer and His goodness”.

Life was so good that month.

I had him back again. The cancer was gone.

Then it came back. And now, it is Zac that is gone. (and God is still good)

I am camped out on the concept of what Zac was talking about. Remember. The Lord remembers. There are so many ways I can take that road.

Lord, help me to remember what you have shown us in this journey.

Lord, remember me in my pain. Show me your purpose

Lord, Help my kids remember Zac through me.  I need to remember Zac and the wisdom he gave to our family.The fun we shared. The person that he was.

That my friends, is where you come in. I make it a point to tell stories to my children everyday about their dad. Sometimes it’s silly, most often it’s wise words that are seeded in our hearts.

I would love for everyone who is a reader of this blog, to be so kind and share a memory. A Zacadote if you will.(he used to say that when he would tell a long story) If you will write them in the comments section and I will approve it.  I would love to print these out and have them for my kids. I cherish the  opportunity for them to see their dad in a different light than my own.

Help us remember and who knows, maybe it will be good for you too.


About The Author

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Comments

23 Responses to “Remember”

  1. Patty says:

    Hi Mandy,
    When Zac was just a little kid we had a family reunion. Even then it was a big production. Dan and I had been in Turkey for two years. The family pictures had been taken and we were all at lunch at a local cafeteria place. Zac and Matthew were sitting together and Zac looks at him and says ” So what are you going to be when you grow up, a preacher or in the Air Force?” Jim heard him and so did we. It was so funny, these were his choices from his young perspective, all he had seen.

    We pray for you and the children daily. God is so good to us all.

    love you,
    Patty

  2. Todd Mitchell says:

    One of my best memories of your Dad was playing Xbox together. We use to get together on Friday nights around 7 or 8 pm, and we would set up two projection screens and hook up 4 xboxes. Zac was the best of all of us that would play Halo, which on some nights were about 10 people. We would play until 2 or 3 in the morning, and the whole time, Zac just sat on the couch with his legs crossed, drinking a Mt. Dew, and smiling every time he would kill us.

    The last time I was able to spend time with you guys in April of this year, Zac and I were talking about the great response his video was getting and how people’s lives were changing. I’ll never forget it, he looked at me and said “I know when I get to heaven, Jesus will look at me and tell me good job this last year. But what about the other 30 plus years?” Zac challenged me right there to always share the good news that is Christ Jesus. I am proud and fortunate to call your Dad my friend.

  3. Traqcy27 says:

    I plan to do this for sure, Mandoo! We have a houseguest at the moment so I don’t have much time, but I WILL be back – because lady, I have some doozies.

    Love you, and still thinking of Zac quite a bit too these days. Takes a while to sink in, it seems.

  4. Shawn Herrin says:

    I wrote down a story of Zac a little while ago and wrote it down on Facebook so I wouldn’t forget it…

    ________________

    Remembered a funny story tonight at dinner with my wife. I got a little choked up and couldn’t really tell it to her but wanted to write it down so she can read it later. Most of this story is true.

    Zac and I were in California for some VMS internals training. We spent an off day in Hollywood and Beverly Hills. At one point urinating in a 2 foot wide alley because Spagos wouldn’t let us use their restroom (sorry it’s true). In the days before GPS when Mapquest was first out, directions weren’t as easy to come by and we found ourselves driving 2 hours back to our hotel after dark. We didn’t really know our way around but had a general idea of where to go. The conversation was great and littered with laughter as it always was. After a while, the realization dawned that we didn’t really know where we were and we started to pay a bit more attention. As we looked around we noticed how run down and decrepit the neighborhood looked. Boarded up businesses, trash on the street, broken streetlights and cars with no wheels. Right about that time we came up to a red light. The next events were perfectly fluid, synchronous and seemed well rehearsed as if we had done it a million times. We leaned forward in perfect unison, craned our necks to read the street sign. It read Crenshaw. We sat back slowly and turned towards each other with blank expressions. Peripheral vision to the right of the car drew our attention and our carefully choreographed heads turned to our right just as a low rider full of scary looking individuals came to a stop and it’s hydraulics made it hop up ever so slightly. Our monotone expressioned heads snapped to the forward viewing position, the door locks snapped down, the light turned green and you never saw two more nervous white boys, driving double the speed limit, leave Compton.

    What felt like a full 30 seconds of silence were followed by relieved, nay almost hysterical, laughter as we drove our butts back to the hotel.

    That was a great day and at the end my face hurt from laughing so much.

  5. Kelsey says:

    My name is Kelsey and I knew Zac for a brief period of time when I first moved to Colorado Springs about 6 years ago. I had just moved away from my family and was looking for a way to get connected with a new church and get adjusted to a new life and make new friends. So i started going to the 605 service at Pulpit Rock church. Zac was one of the very first people to come and greet me with a warm friendly smile and to help me get plugged in with my surroundings. I was always remember that. He always had a very witty sense of humor and I always remember thinking what a truly wise person he was. He always had such great insight when he would speak in some our smaller group settings. That is how I started getting hooked on reading his blogs, because I wanted to hear more of the great thoughts he would provoke in our discussions. I didn’t know Zac well, but he is someone that left a huge impact on me by the way he lived his life,….by the example he was to others, and especially by what a great father he was to his kids and husband he was to his wife. :) . Your family continues to bless me today through your strength and courage. Those kids are going to accomplish great things in life because of the example he left behind.

  6. jeri watson says:

    I had only a few, rare occasions to talk to Zac one-on-one. Once was at your parents’ home on Arroyo. He was talking about having children and what it meant to him. He quoted this verse to me (ALMOST verbatim, but not quite): Psalms 127:3-5 Children are a gift from God; they are his reward. Children born to a young man are like sharp arrows to defend him. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them.

  7. Thea says:

    I never met Zac, however, not long after discovering his blog, my dad who is only 49 was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. We are very close and I am heartbroken. What a hard process this is. I have been so blessed with Zac’s blogs on suffering and at the thoughts about how God is good…always. Thank you so much for blessing me in a time of unexpected, unanticipated need to be reminded about the bigness and goodness of God.

  8. Dear Ones … I have no memory to share because I am one of the thousands in the outer circle surrounding your family … last March I was sent a link to the Vimeo video — I considered using it in a piece I do weekly but it was too sacred. My content is typically “inconsequential” … I didn’t want to treat this in the same listing as other links that could be humorous or whimsical. I probably feel that strongly because I lost my husband to esophageal cancer five years ago, after 34 years of marriage. And, yes, Mandy — God is good. I attest to that from the view a little farther down the road from where you are today.

    So … no “Zacadote” to share … except this — isn’t it a wonder that God ordained Zac’s life would minister to people far away who never met him … that your husband, your dad, has created a legacy that not only will susstain you all but … has reached far beyond the four of you to thousands more. Seal that in your heart.

    I am uplifted by his example … I am the eagle that soars again because I see YOUR example too, Mandy.

    Bless you today … and in the days that flow out of this sacred territory where every kindness is a drop of grace, every pain both intensely felt but salved by His special balms … my love and prayers join all the others!

    –Peggy Campbell / Brea CA

  9. Lizzy Smith says:

    I love you more than life can offer and I see so much of Daddy in you but I love you more than the amount of love my heart can hold. you are and always will be my favorite person EVER!!!!!

  10. Lee McD says:

    hey mandy and lizzie and jake and luke!

    ok… for L and J and L, you guys just need to know that your dad was like the coolest guy ever.

    when you guys first moved to SC and zac joined our staff, he and i got together for lunch. i think it was within the first month that you guys moved here. i was pretty blown away by how brilliant he was… such a calm and easy going guy who was super motivated to change the world using the gifts God had given him.

    one of my favorite memories with Zac was several weeks before he died… i brought him a cheeseburger and we decided to play piano together for a little bit. he’d had this song in his head for quite a while and wanted to play it for me. i have the recording of it… i’ll shoot it to mandy soon. it was so great! your dad was a very deep man… brilliant in science, logic, leadership, the bible, history, and classical music. it really blew me away that he had composed something so cool.

    you all have so much to be proud of in him! and he is so proud of you. I remember him telling me often how blessed he felt to have been given all of you.

    may you always remember!!

  11. Kristin Driver says:

    I will alwys remember your dad’s facial expressions….you know the one’s I am talking about. When he is making a joke or saying something that is trying to be funny and he pauses and then he gets this look like he is waiting for a response from you….love that look!

    Lizzy,

    When you were in 2nd grade and I taught you Science, one of the topics we were learning about was Solids, Liquids, and Gases. At the end of the unit, I asked you to make a cover that had pictures representing Solids, Liquids, and Gases. You drew a picture of a boy peeing in a toliet….your dad was so proud and he laughed when I told him. He thought it was perfect for the title! Your dad loved to laugh!

    Your dad loved to laugh, he loved to challenge people, he loved to think and process and was a brilliant man. I see Zac in all of you! Lizzy: you have your dad’s smarts. Jake: you have your dad’s comic relief (you were the class clown when you were in Kinder)! Luke: you have your dad’s imagination!

    Love you all!

  12. Dan says:

    Zac and I were childhood friends and I always loved spending the night over at his house in Jardín del Este outside of Quito. Even though his toys were much cooler than mine (the grass is always greener), he was always willing to share (particularly true with the larger birthday slumber parties). But, when it was just the two of us, we would stay up late playing Dark Castle on the Mac, playing ping pong in the basement or eating popcorn mixed with M&M’s (a huge treat given the relative scarcity of American candy in Ecuador) and watching movies (I especially remember the several times we watched the “Rats of Nimh.”) That was a long time ago – in the mid 80s.

    I was diagnosed with cancer just a month before Zac was and we exchanged several e-mails about our experiences and, of course, our memories. He suspected (half jokingly) that perhaps there was something toxic in one of the foundation tunnels we’d sneak into under the old elementary school building.

    I followed Zac through the year and was relieved when I heard about the absence of cancer. And, how completely shocked I was to find out that it wasn’t the case. In some ways, my own treatment having the success that on hopes for, I felt a bit of guilt.

    But, what I feel as the unfair and arbitrary nature that a cancer diagnosis is, he seemed to view it as an opportunity to deepen his faith, and his willingness to share that with the world was reminiscent of his gift of sharing as a kid.

    I really hope these coming months and years will be full of hope and healing for all of you. Please take care!

  13. Alena says:

    I admit, I’m cheating. I commented on this before – hope that’s alright. I had been following Zac’s blog as soon as he learned he had cancer. I had the honor of meeting him in the summer of 2009 right after picking my son up from KidSpring. I was holding Ladd (son) and talking to Zac about his cancer when Ladd literally jumped out of my arms and into Zac’s. Now, this was HUGE for me because he never went to anyone, ever. My own parents couldn’t even get their grandson to come to them! Ladd actually let Zac hold him for a minute or two before coming back to me. And to this day, he is very selective about who he will go to. I’ll remember Zac for so many things, but I think my best memory of him is yet to come. When Ladd gets old enough to understand, I can tell him the story of how he wouldn’t let anyone in his own family hold him as a baby, but he went to a stranger by the name of Zac one afternoon. And that will lead me right into the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s a memory I can’t wait to have!

  14. Paula says:

    Mandy,

    I wish I could say that I had all these wonderful memories to share with you, but I never met Zac. Last summer I was looking at Newspring videos on Vimeo, and came across the Letter to Zac video. I emailed the church, and they told me about his blog. I followed your story, and prayed often for your family. I was always humbled by the way Zac handle cancer, and loved his family. The most beautiful part about Zac’s life is that the number of lives he touched is still in the making! He was so transparent, and made himself vulnerable in his struggles so that Christ could get all the glory. Mandy, thank you for continuing Zac’s blog!

    I pray that his story will continue to impact the Kingdom of Heaven, and that your family may find peace and comfort in his memories!

    Paula

  15. Randy Alcorn says:

    Mandy, Just a few minutes ago I saw Zac’s video. Then I checked online for an update and found he is with Jesus. I have written various books on what the Bible says about Heaven. Books for adults, but also three books for kids. I would love to send them to your family if you would like to have them. My grandson Jake, 5 years old, walked in and saw part of Zac’s video. He was very touched, as was I. If you would like the books, please email me the best address to send them to. My personal email, comes directly to me, is randya@epm.org God bless you and your children, my sister. Rev. 21:1-6; 2 Peter 3;13

  16. Kristen Milligan says:

    I did not know Zac or you, though I feel as though I do. A friend of mine pointed me to Zac’s video on YouTube, and it touched me greatly. I have been fighting stage 4 cancer for the past 7 years, during which time I have praised God for the experience, just as you and Zac have done. I also have a Godly husband, and we are raising 3 young children. I love that you have asked for memories from everyone who knew Zac, as it is something I want for my children if it is not God’s will to heal me on this earth. It is obvious that your husband was a great blessing to many, and though I can only imagine your struggle now, you have already been a blessing to me.

    God’s mercy and grace led my husband, Deric, and I to start a non-profit ministry called Inheritance of Hope for families like ours, families with young children where the parent has a life-threatening illness. Our mission is to serve these families in any way possible, with the intention of sharing where we have found our hope and peace – in Christ Jesus. Our primary offering is all-expense-paid retreats for families to gain a community of support, have fun in a safe and relaxing environment, and hear our message. We offer a monthly devotional through our website and our newsletter, and we have used Zac’s video for this month. I hope that is OK. You can view it on this site http://inheritanceofhope.org/devotionals/520-to-god-be-the-glory-july-2010.html .

    God bless you and your family,
    Kristen Milligan

  17. deborah says:

    Hope you are well, please post when you can and let us know

  18. Daniel says:

    Mandy my names Daniel and I am a freshmen at the university of dayton. I just saw Zacs videos on youtube. I have been changed. Thank you

  19. Graham says:

    Mandy,

    I’m sorry that I didn’t notice until now that you have been blogging here. Here is my Zacadote.

    I only had the privilege of meeting Zac once. It was only a couple weeks after the cancer was originally discovered in May of 2009. I was on a road trip through the east coast and I had connected with Zac via twitter earlier that year. I stopped at worship at NewSpring’s Anderson Campus on a Saturday evening. Zac had offered to give me a little tour of the new facilities. He and Jared gave me and my travel companion the full tour of the campus.

    I know at that point in his life, he was probably very scared and confused about cancer. However he didn’t let any of that show. He was gracious and answered my questions and walked with me for about an hour. In my brief face-to-face with Zac it was clear to me that he is a genuine individual. He cares for people deeply and his faith in God, even in those first few weeks of cancer, was so real. I thank God for Zac. I thank him for the message of hope and faith that he chose Zac to be a catalyst for.

    But, God is still good. The videos that were made about Zac’s story were simply amazing and I know they have changed lives.

  20. amy says:

    I never actually knew your husband, but I came across the video with his story a while back. I remember watching that and just being amazed. Amazed at how great the Lord is to allow someone to have such peace through something like cancer. The video really stuck out to me…I showed it to a few of my friends, wrote about it in my journal, and posted the video on my blog. I never met your husband, but his story has really touched my life. It’s my prayer that when I go through trials harder than I can even imagine right now in my life, that I will be able to say “God is still God. God is still good” through them all.

    I pray that the Lord would show you even more fully His love, and continue to give you and your children comfort through this time!

    In Christ,
    Amy

    • zac says:

      Amy, thank you so much for your encouragement and letting me know what the video has meant to you. I love to hear when what Zac and I have gone through, has helped someone else or made them think about what they are doing in their own life. Thank you for sharing Zac’s video to your friends and on your blog. So thankful!!

  21. Shannon Greene says:

    Mandy, while I did not know your husband, I just came across his video on the internet. This comes at a time in my life where I have become greatly distanced from God and am having a hard time getting back to where I was. I have felt hopeless and began questioning if I could ever be a “good Christian”….and then tonight God directed me to Zach’s video.

    I know that God directed me to your husband’s video to show me how much being close with him changes us. The faith that your husband had was amazing, and I so much want to be a person with that type of faith in and love for our Lord.

    I just had to comment and let you and your children know that to this very day, Zac is making a difference in the lives of people he never even met!

    I will never forget your husband or you and your children. God bless you all!

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