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Zack's Grove

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This spring, when winter began ebbing away with lessening ferocity, and tips of green - Zack's favorite color - began appearing on barren branches I set myself to work on a new garden.

I threw my pent up energies, anger, and frustration at the project; I poured my grief into it.

I planned, I directed, I dug. All spring and into the summer I worked until my my hands were calloused and my muscles were sore, hoping the physical fatigue would help me get a restful nights sleep - which has been difficult since my beautiful son left us.

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Situated next to a large pond rimmed with cattails and wildlife - the buzzing, colorful dragonflies, ducks, geese, and the many critters that come to drink along it's edge - and full of many trees that were donated by a friend to stand sentinel at his memorial service last October, I call the new garden Zack's Grove.

Paul brought down the school bus shelter that Zack and his siblings had waited in on cold fall mornings, and we placed it close to the pond, so that even on the darkest of days when the storm rages within and without, I will have a place to sit and be still with my son.

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Amongst the trees, I planted as many green and purple flowers as I could lay hands on, and I guarantee there will be more to come. These are my Zack Attack colors.

On October 2nd, a year to the day Zack decided to change his address to “Heaven,” friends and family gathered here in the grove to remember him. We shared, we laughed, and we cried even more tears, adding to the millions we've shed over this past year without.  

We ate pizza and drank sour-patch smoothies, yes, his favorites.

As were his wishes, we placed his ashes beneath a tree, one that has 5 different apple grafts, that will grow large and tall and proud, bearing fruit season after season. Our "Zapple tree" is in the center of a large tear-drop shaped planting bed, that represents the tears, mentioned above, that even on the brightest of days, continue to fall.

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That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither--
whatever they do prospers.
Psalm 1:3

In the end, Zack’s Grove is a beautiful reminder of Zack's vitality and zest for living. His sylvan home; a peaceful retreat to rest, to pray, and to visit with my son.