A year ago today….

A year ago today, our lives changed forever. It was a beautiful morning….similar to this morning. I met my friend Tracey at Wrightsville Beach for some exercise, talking and a beautiful sunrise.

Later that morning we stepped out of our lives to begin a journey I would have never thought I could survive. We have learned a lot about life, death, love and faith this past year. We have learned a lot about ourselves, about others and about God.

I am so thankful for the extra time we had on this Earth with Zack….he was gone that morning but came back to us. I am so thankful that God gave him to us. If this had to happen to Zack, I am so grateful God chose us to be his parents so that we got to love and care for him during his courageous journey.

Some would think that our journey is over but we feel God leading us, encouraging us on in this journey that has really only just begun.

We will celebrate Nick’s birthday early with a fun (surprise party – even though he knows about it he is calling it a surprise) pool party in our backyard tomorrow. Many of Zack’s friends are coming to celebrate with us. I think it will be a bittersweet day for all of us but Zack will live on through everything we do. Nick is very excited and I am very happy to see him so excited. This week has been especially tough on our little guy who is so missing his big brother.

We will leave Wilmington Saturday to visit our family in Pamlico County and to celebrate our nephew Ryan Mayo’s graduation from high school. Then we will say our good byes and leave in our motor home for destinations known and unknown. We aren’t really sure when we will be back….we are looking to have some great time with Nick and with God and wait and see what he has planned for us next.

I have started a blog (I’m new to blogging so bear with me as I learn) and welcome you to follow along with us on our journey of healing and discovery. People have said to take it one day at a time….we aren’t there yet. We are taking it a moment at a time and that is the best we can do for now.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; ~ Proverbs 3:5

Thank you for continued support, encouragement and prayers for all of us….


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31 thoughts on “A year ago today….

  1. Praying for you all the time……Amazed at how God is working through you and your family…..There is no other explaination for your ability to carry on, but God!!! Tell me what Nick’s favorite things are….would love to send him a surprise tomorrow!

  2. I pray for all of you everyday. God is doing and will continue to do amazing things through you. Thank you for being so faithful and such an example to me. Thank you for inviting me to continue to be part of your journey.

  3. I followed you here from your CaringBridge page. The prayers and caring just doesn’t stop with the loss of the patient.

    Wish Nick a Happy Birthday for me. I hope you all feel Zack celebrating his beloved little brother right there with you.


  4. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Zack was blessed with a wonderful family. I thank Him for giving you the time you had together. I pray for you and your family always.

  5. What an amazing family you are! I have followed you and your family through this journey and each day has brought many tears to my eyes. Your journey has brought me closer to God and when the going gets tough at home to look to God for answers. I have a son 10 and a girl 11 and just could never imagine having to be a strong as you have been. I know that God is who is leading you through this. I wish Nick a Happy Birthday and as you travel to be witnesses to those who do not know Christ or who have forgotten how important it is to have him in there lives as you all did for me. thank you!
    much love
    Donna Gosdin
    La Grange GA

  6. I think it is one breath at a time, Wendy. Then one minute at a time, one hour and so on until there is a day in which the weight of your grief is lessened. The pain of loss never goes away, it is just made more manageable by the passage of time. The hole in our hearts and in our lives will always remain. It becomes part of who we are. I send love and light to surround all of you as you make your way ahead.

  7. Beautiful blog, Wendy, and God has lots of work for you and your family to do. He is definitely not finished with you guys yet. There is so much more to come…..great things in store for you all, just you wait and see:) He is going to restore to you in addition to your healing. God has wonderful plans, and I look forward to seeing His plans through you succeed<3
    Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. It truly has been and still is bittersweet.
    Love you guys and you have my prayers always………

  8. Dear Wendy,

    I have been crying with you and praying for you, Ernie and Nick. Even though we have never met, I have been with you on this journey through Caringbridge. I will follow your continued journey on your blog and I will continue to pray for your family. Trissia Smith, Gastonia, NC

  9. PrayIng for you all and hope that Nick is able (and you and Ernie too) to have a good time tomorrow.
    Tell Nick happy early birthday and may God bless you all. Keep strong and know that God loves you!
    Debbie Binkley Highfill

  10. God be with each step of the way! Celebrate the years you had with Zack and the wonderful life he had! God bless all of you on wherever God leads you!

  11. Wendy- This is just beautiful. I wish Nick a Happy Birthday, funny that we are celebrating Sam’s (7) early birthday this weekend also his date of birth is June 16. I know Nick is a Lego fan, I am going to surprise Sam with a trip to Raleigh in October to go to the Lego Kids Fest http://www.legokidsfest.com/ thought I would share. Enjoy your journey and thank you! Mary Copeland PS let us know if you make it to VA Beach, we would make time for the Mayo’s

  12. Your blog is remarkable, and it will help you heal. I don’t know your family and you don’t know mine, but I have followed your journey through Caringbridge (and mutual friends in Wilmington). You are such a strong, and close family that has inspired me to be even closer to mine, and to live life one day at a time. You are a remarkable, strong woman for even writing this all down! I have sent thoughts, prayers, and wishes along the way the entire time. I hope Nick has a fun birthday, and that you enjoy your adventures this next week. Continue to lean on each other and help support one another. You are a GREAT family that I wish I actually could have met!
    God Bless!

  13. And so another journey begins. Wishing you safe travels and healing, Wendy. And being the friend to Dona that you are, I am CERTAIN you will be standing right beside all of us cheering in Wallace when Dona and Wright come home! Strength for the journey, sweet girl, strength for the journey.

  14. This is my very first entry to any blog, myself.
    You are so inspirational to me (actually to hundreds & hundreds). Thank you so much for your faith. Zack is with Jesus in Heaven. No more worries, pain or frustration. God knows that your faith is strong enough to handle what has been put before you. The past year helped prep you for this year’s journey. I know that God has a way prepared for you. And you will be blessed along that way. Each day prayers go up for you.. Laura

  15. Wendy—- Your comments are always so uplifting for me as well as beautiful. Thank you for allowing all your prayer warriors to come on your journey of recovery. Happy Birthday to Nick!! You and Ernie are so wise to give him your full attention for awhile. God be with you and give you a safe trip.

  16. Wendy-You don’t know me…I am the mother of one of Donna Lanier’s friends and a recent transplant to Wilmington. i have been following your family’s journey. I lost my husband almost 23 years ago when he was 35 and my daughter was 7. I have spent much time trying to give back to people what God gave me to get through my husband’s illness and my continued journey. Each day I pray for, and think of my sweet husband and what he missed watching our daughter grow up. I spend most of my time enjoying the blessings God continues to bestow upon me and my family. When I heard of Zach’s passing I was in the Amazon jungle on a mission trip. Our whole staff has lifted up prayers and asked for healing for you and your family. I will continue to pray for your family. God Bless you and please have a wonderful celebration of Nick’s Birthday.

  17. Wendy-

    Throughout this past year I thank you for sharing Zack’s story, your family’s story. I have prayed during his treatments, rejoiced with progress along the way, laughed at the amusement you were able to come up with for Nick & Zack in the hospital rooms and now share in the sorrow of your loss. However, I am encouraged by your love for God and the strength He has given your family. Zack’s smile is angelic and will be forever imprinted in my mind.

    I look forward to hearing of your journey of healing. It is not our place to question God nut to trust, as you have. Just from what I have read, the Holy Spirit moves through you, your husband, Nick and especially Zack.

    God has a plan for all of us. I am sorry that losing Zack was a part of His plan for your family. He shines through you.

    Here is a hug & a great big thank you. You are a wonderfully beautiful mother. Zack was blessed to have you.

    God grant you a safe journey.

    <3 Arnie Smalldridge

  18. I am so glad that you are willing to continue to share your journey with us! You have been a blessing to me and so many others, even in the midst of your grief, because of your deep faith and trust in God. I look forward to keeping up with the Mayo Family as the road unfolds.

  19. Wendy,
    Thank you for finding the strength to continue writing. Your words have been such an inspiration to so many people. As others have commented, I don’t know you, but began following you through Carringbridge. I know that God is leading you… where?? … none of us know. However, it will be a path that will bring you closer to his glory. Keep writing, reading, and sharing. Your thoughts are healing to you and many others. Good luck on your journey. Zack will always be with you. You will feel him in the wind as it brushes across your face. Look up and foward, God will be with you always.
    God Bless all the Mayo’s.

    A friend and believer in Catawba County, NC

  20. I hope that Nick has a wonderful birthday and I hope that your trip will bring you peace. You have been so strong and faithful throughout all of this journey. Best wishes and Godspeed on your journey.

  21. Praying for you all!!! Thank you for sharing your journey as you heal! I think and pray for you often! I will pray for safe travels and blessings for you all during this time! Thank you Wendy for painfully sharing with us!!! Your journey has challenged, inspired, and encouraged me! Yes, God has BIG plans for you!!!!

  22. Wendy, A blog is a great idea. I consider it like a diary (yet folks can respond). Keep us up-to-date on your summer travels. I pray they will provide some healing for the 3 of you. I hope the pool party turns out good, thanks for all of your sharing over the past year. It has been good for all of us, as everyone has already said. Say hello to Ernie for me, as so many of us from the Class of ’79 are behind you guys. Lela (Cahoon) Mc.

  23. My God go before you and behind you on your journey. We have all watched as the God of the Universe has never left your side. Praying for your comfort in the days to come.

  24. Wendy, I’m so glad you have decided to keep a blog because I would be at a loss without knowing how you and your family are doing, coping, managing. Thank you for letting us all share in this; it’s a blessing. I hope little Nick has a wonderful birthday, and I’m so glad he’s excited for his “surprise” birthday party.
    Blessings to you all as you start your journey; may you find peace of mind and a measure of contentment in your soul.
    Praying for you always,,,, missing Zack too.


  25. Happy Birthday Sweet Nick!! Once again Wendy I THANK YOU for sharing your Zack with all of us! Your faith and strength has helped so many people, and has brought thousands closer to God. Thank you for allowing us to continue on this journey with you, Ernie & Nick….Please give him a great big birthday hug from Tracey and Jayda and tell him we hope he has the most wonderful birthday ever!!!! God Bless and Much Much Love!!! <3

  26. Wendy,
    I am so glad you’ve started this blog, as are many other people, aka your “readers” :) I have been keeping up with your story only for a few weeks, but again I’ll say that your son’s journey has touched my heart in a huge huge huge huge way. I’m thankful you are keeping Zack’s “fans” up to date with everyone your awesome family is doing. Blogging your thoughts and being on this roadtrip with your husband, Nick, ZACK, and GOD will be such a blessing in your life, as it will heal some very deep wounds and sadness you must be feeling, although I’m sure nothing can completely heal the loss of a child. I’m praying for you everyday, and I ask my readers on my tumblr blog to pray for you as well. Thank you again for sharing your life with us. You have really touched me, and through you and Zack, my relationship with God is growing stronger. I could never thank you enough for that!