dear zack

dear Zack,

yesterday marked the 5 year anniversary of your death.  there are some thoughts I want to share with you…not that you don’t already know, since you are no doubt with Jill + your babies every minute of every day.  first, I won’t pretend to have known you better than anyone and I certainly can’t recall most of the details about your Leukemia and treatment, since you suffered for so long.  I only had the privilege of being around you after Max + I had met…right before the birth of your middle daughter.  I was also in the room when you were surrounded by those that did know you best…and I heard Jill whisper that it was okay for you to go, right before you slipped away.  a moment that will forever be with all of us.

but what I do know is this.  you are missed dearly by your immediate + extended family and the students/teachers/coaches that you worked so closely with.  Jill thinks of you constantly and I’ve witnessed the love + memories she shares with your beautiful children.  yesterday they baked you your favorite PINK 😉 strawberry cake + shared it with all of us.  we also remembered you while cheering the Texas Longhorns to victory (well most of us…)  back to what I really wanted to share…your family.  what you left behind.  they are AMAZING.  Jill is AMAZING.  truly.  she’s always been independent + strong and that has served her pokies download well these last 5 years (and really before when you were sick.)  Jill loves and nurtures your kids…encouraging them to do their best, be good people, lead healthy lives and love God + others with all their heart.  she still has a sense of humor and personally I’m thankful to not only have her as my sister in law, but my friend as well.  your kids are well adjusted and although we may never know the impact or changes that were made when they lost you, all three are so very loved + resilient.  the little boy named after you, the one you only knew for 2 short months is now five!

so here they are, as I see them.  when we visited Galveston beach over the summer…a place you all loved to share as a family, I was fortunate to take a few shots.  it’s hard for me to look at pictures of your beautiful family and know the path it took them to get here, but exciting to think of the road ahead.  thank you for touching all of our lives Zack.  for the love you gave to Jill + instilled in your precious girls.  for the genes you handed down to your son.  for reminding us that we have important business here on earth.  as time ticks on, your memory will not fade from those who loved you.  we promise to be here for Jill, always.


  • December 30, 2012 - 3:41 pm

    Brianna Asaro Photography - What a beautiful letter. And such beautiful shots of the family. That’s a great gift to that family… Love your work.ReplyCancel

  • December 30, 2012 - 4:56 pm

    Megan - What a touching letter, Leah! In tears over here. Gorgeous photos of a beautiful family <3ReplyCancel

  • December 30, 2012 - 5:23 pm

    Sandra - i know none of these beauties but i am moved by this post.
    hands down the most meaningful blog post i’ve ever read.
    what a gorgeous gift and a blessing to cherish for lifetimes ahead.
    the smiles on this mumma are the strongest i will ever imagine.
    i am beyond moved by these photos, i can only imagine what a beautiful gift this is to them all.
    you are talented and kind.ReplyCancel

  • December 30, 2012 - 6:47 pm

    Nina - Beautiful words and images, Leah. <3ReplyCancel

  • December 30, 2012 - 6:52 pm

    Ashley Spaulding - What gorgeous images of a gorgeous family! And what a special, touching tribute you’ve given to Zack. You are such a special person, Leah, and I’m happy that Jill and her kids have you in their lives.ReplyCancel

  • December 30, 2012 - 7:48 pm

    Emily V - Leah, this is absolutely beautiful! I am certain that Zack can see this and knows how much all of you love and miss him. God bless you and this family!ReplyCancel

  • December 30, 2012 - 8:30 pm

    Tracy Heyman - Wow Leah, this is so, so very beautiful. Your words, the story and these images.ReplyCancel

  • December 31, 2012 - 1:34 am

    Melissa Stottmann - Oh Leah! What a sweet tribute <3ReplyCancel

  • January 7, 2013 - 4:14 pm

    Beckie Lehlbach - beautiful words and images, Leah. Jill is obviously amazing – keeping the family together, loving and growing and continuing to live the life Zach would have wanted for them. Incredible.ReplyCancel

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