Nick’s birthday party and more

I love the way Nick can simply say “hey Zack” when he walks by a picture of Zack in our house. We talk about Zack a lot in our house. Our family is very lonely without him.

I encourage you to please talk about him when you see us. Don’t worry about upsetting us. We like it when you speak his name and share a memory or something that made you think of him…it tells us that you miss him and have not forgotten him.

” A great soul serves everyone all the time.A great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again. ” ~ Maya Angelou

Nick’s “Surprise” (not really) birthday party:

Nick’s early “surprise” birthday party on Friday was a huge success. Thank you to all of my friends who played a part in planning, e-vites, food, decorations and clean up….YOU made Nick’s day very, very special. Thank you to all who attended and celebrated with us.

Someone sent me an email asking “how in the world could I have a party so soon after Zack leaving us” (I almost sent an email back asking “how in the world they could ask that question” but I have come to understand over this past year that sometimes people don‘t always think before they speak (or write). But – my answer to that question is simple. Zack would want his little brother to have the best birthday party ever and we felt Zack at the party – all over our backyard….in the pool with his best friends….in the midst of the laughter and silliness (which mostly involved a blow up alligator raft)….in the birthday candles (Nick reminded us that “Zack could wave his hands through the flame on the candles and not get burned). As long as we remember Zack, he will never really be gone. Our memories of him will help us get through every tomorrow to come.

As difficult as it may have been for us, Ernie and I would do anything for Nick (just as we did for Zack) to find and celebrate the joy in today. For me, it was complete and utter joy to see my little Nick so happy celebrating his special day. I so remember last year celebrating his birthday in a hospital waiting room…

Check out the fun from his party on you tube – http://youtu.be/uIGZU9m3YCk

Leaving Wilmington: Today we finished packing the motor home and left our house in Wilmington. We are thankful to our friends who take care of our house, our pool, our mail, our plants and our yard while we are gone. We are blessed with many wonderful friends. We are also very thankful to have a great leader in our business – Alana Phillips – and a great team under her leadership taking excellent care of our business. We are also thankful for clients and associates and to our corporate headquarters.

We are at my parents tonight and plan to attend our nephew’s high school graduation party tomorrow. We are so thankful that granny (Mayo’s mom) is out of the hospital after 3 days and is doing well. Please keep her in your prayers.

Mayo has been studying the atlas… Nick wants to ride roller coasters (he asked if we could still do that without Zack). We have our passports. We have a variety of clothing. We have our bikes. We have our Bibles. We have each other and God. He is our refuge and our strength…~Psalm 46:1.

Thank you all for praying and believing with us…

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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23 thoughts on “Nick’s birthday party and more

  1. Wendy, You never cease to amaze me !!!! When I read that question, I got mad all over, teared up and I just wanted to be ugly to whomever wrote that to you. The sister in me wants to protect ya”ll from such awful questions. By the time I got to the end I just felt thankful and Blessed to have you , Ernie and Nick in my life. I am so very thankful that I was Zacks Aunt and was able to be with you through some laughter and tears. You are SO RIGHT Zack would have wanted you to have a party for Nick,if anyone would look at the pictures they could see the special love between your boys. I Love you all and I am so glad that you are coming to celebrate in Ryan’s special time.
    Love,
    Helena

  2. May God keep you all safe and guide you on your journey. You are such a great inspiration Wendy. Zack will NEVER be forgotten! He was SO blessed to have you for his Mom and of course all of his family. What a blessed boy! I think of Zack every day, it is like I knew him personally and I never really met him at all. But yet I felt so close to him. It was through your writing that did that and I look forward to every update, even now. The Mayo family has strengthened my faith in God and I thank Zack for that!

  3. Dear Wendy, Ernie and Nick,
    Wishing Nick a belated Happy,Blessed Birthday!
    Abd praying for safe travels and wonderful awesome adventures as you go!
    You are such a beautiful family. Wendy, thanks so much
    fir creating this blog, I was not ready to say goodbye to Nick or ant if the family. how can I feel so close to all iof you when we haven’t met? I think it’s. Because I know we are united in Our Lord and Savior, Jesys Christ.
    Love,
    Wunnie Rankey

  4. Oh Wendy- first of all I am so sorry that someone would write such a ridiculous thing to you….I love your thought about asking how she could ask that question….My answer would have been “How could I NOT?”. God blessed with you TWO boys and the one that is still with you on earth is the one who needs you now. Zack is up in heaven and he does not need a thing from you ,other than to make the most of the days that you have on earth and to continue to be the awesome mother that you have always been. Anyone who looked at any photos of the boys together could see the special bond that they shared. OF COURSE Zack would want Nick to have the best party EVER!!! I love the photos from Nick’s party!! My very favorite is at 1:56 because you are laughing so hard that your head is back!!! I love it…I love that you know what is important and I love that Nick is such a lucky little boy to have the parents that he has. Imagine a world where all children were that loved and cherished! My dear friend Sallie Vee Zervos is here visitng us with one of her daughters. They came to see Sutton in the “King and I”. Sallie Vee’s mother, Sallie Wooten, was one of my dearest friends. She really was a mother to me and called me her “extra daughter”. Sallie passed away a few years ago after fighting ovarian cancer with everything she had. When her daughter knew she would not make it she called me and said that I should probably head to Charleston soon. (Sally lived in Blowing Rock but her doctor was in Charleston. She had gone for a checkup and was not able to make it back home). Eddie and I left the next morning and we were able to spend three days with her that were precious. Sallie Vee asked us not to cry(and we didn’t) and not to refer to death(and we didn’t). Her mother wanted to spend her last days LIVING not waiting to die. She planned her service(although only discussed it with two people) and asked her daughters several times to “divide the jewelry”! Other than that no one mentioned death. When we left I hugged her and kissed her and told her how much I loved her. It was one of the hardest things that I have ever done to not cry, but I didn’t(until I got outside of her room). She said “You are going to come to Blowing Rock soon and visit, aren’t you?”. I knew that she meant “come for the funeral”. I said “Of course.”. Ten days later she passed with her daughter, a hospice nurse and her son-in-law in the room. Sallie Vee told me that she could feel the Angels in the room. She said that her mother(who had not spoken in over 24 hours) said “Hey there” as if greeting someone. Salllie Vee said “Momma tell Deah and Gaga(her grandparents) hello for me. You can go mom..there are friends waiting for you in heaven with Jesus.” At that moment Sallie took her last breath. Sallie Vee had such a peace because she said that she knew her mother’s soul was at peace at that moment. Three days later we held the funeral that she had planned. We sang the songs that she selected with her pastor, listened to the readings from the Bible that she had chosen and listened to the Pastor tell great stories about her. We laughed and we cried( a lot) and then we laughed some more. Then we went to her home and ate her favorites recipes just as she had planned and after most of the guests had left I heard the faint sound of Beach Music. Then I heard Sallie Vee yelling for a few of us by name. She was in her parents Golf Cart and had turned on the radio in the driveway. She said “Everyone get out her and Shag like Momma would want us to!”…and we did! We danced and danced in that driveway. I am sure that some of the guests thought we were being disrespectful. It was the exact opposite. We HONORED Sallie by laughing and dancing and showing her that we thought too much of her and the hard battle that she fought to not enjoy every moment we had left on earth. She loved life and tried everything she could to stay with us.We still honor her to this day. She is EVERYWHERE in our lives. Today we mentioned her so many times. How she would have loved the restaurant…how she would have loved the play…how she LOVED the song “Getting to know you” and used to sing it all the time…and on and on. I know that losing Zack at such a young age is a VERY different thing but I have to say that you are honoring Zack by making Nick happy…by letting joy stay in your lives. By laughing so hard that your head goes back! Keep it up Wendy!!! Cry when you need to, but laugh when you can! God loves for us to be happy. No one benefits from sadness but so many benefit when you share your laughter and love of life with them. Head out on that open road and give Nick the best memories of his young life. My family will be praying for your healing and for your safe travels but mostly we will be praying that you laugh often and laugh hard!!!!!! Have a wonderful time and keep those posts coming!!!!!!

  5. May God keep you all safe and guide you on your journey. You are such a great inspiration . Zack will NEVER be forgotten! I think of Zack every day, it is like I knew him personally and I never really met him at all. But yet I felt so close to him. It was through your writing that did that and I look forward to every update, even now. The Mayo family has strengthened my faith in God and I thank Zack for that! Prayers for you continue! Praying and believing with you… Thank you for inviting us to be part of this journey with you.

  6. The party sounded wonderful; what fun for sweet Nick! Safe journey on your adventure…may you experience joy, laughter, and healing during this time! I know you’ll feel Zack’s presence wherever you go! May you bring glory to God in every town, city, state, and country as you enjoy this time together.

  7. You’ll be welcomed with open arms in PA… we have Hersheypark!!!! We’d ride coasters with Nick. Enjoy your time together. Praying for comfort and safe travels.

  8. Wendy , I am so glad that Nick’s special day was a happy one.. it warms my heart that he can smile even though he misses his brother because his memories are with him through all he does. I am sadden that some one was so bold and thoughtless to write such a thing.. in the words if a true Southern woman Bless their Heart ! Zack will always be with all if us he touched . Yesterday Jennifer Finberg and I gave a friend a baby shower in the the midst of celebrating that new life that is about to begin she and I talked about Zack, and shared your story and the blessing he was to us.. So Zack was with us yesterday celebrating Life, he made people smile ,he is Blessing too us all. Wendy, Ernie, Nick be safe on your journey , know that everyday your are prayed for and loved by many. Looking forward to hearing how Gid will continue to use to to change hearts and life’s.

  9. So glad Nick had a wonderful party. Im sure Zack stood on Heavens shores looking down smiling and laughing and playing right along with his little brother and friends. Zack will never be forgotten. He brought so much too so many lives in the last year, and the 11 years before that. I never got to meet Zack or know him personally, but I feel as if I knew him his whole life. Wendy & Ernie you are two wonderful parents to two wonderful and amazing little boys. Zack and Nick are very blessed to have such wonderful parents. May God guide you and keep you safe on your next journal. Please post lots of pictures we would all love to see were God is leading you and of course Nick on those Roller Coasters. I myself love roller coasters, so I hope you guys have a blast. God Bless You and MUCH MUCH LOVE!!!

  10. This entry brought many tears of great JOY! Thank you so much for allowing all of us, even complete strangers, to continue on this journey with you. While we have never met, I feel The Mayo’s are dear family friends, and what an honor it is to experience your time of healing and new adventures with you. There has not been an hour in my day since Zack’s passing that I haven’t thought of him, his amazing strength and bravery. There have been many prayers lifted up for your entire family, just as there were since June 9th, 2010. There have been many talks in The Beasley home of how much your dear family has inspired us and strengthed our walk with the Lord.

    Thank you so much for sharing these pictures from Nick’s party!!! It looked like everyone had a BLAST!!!! I pray that there are many more happy pictures just like those to come for all of you!! Safe travels and may God bless you all as you begin this new journey. Looking forward to be “looking through the window” every step of the way!

    Much love!

  11. First of all, a very Happy Birthday (early) to Nick…..who certainly deserved a huge celebration with all of his and Zack’s friends! What better way to bask in all the love and memories!! Wendy, you and Ernie are my inspiration. Your strength is amazing. I wish you safe travels making new memories with Nick and with each other. Let the healing begin……lots of love and continuous prayers from New Bern….Paula Baker Bryan

  12. I’m so glad Nick had such a great party and got to laugh and play with his friends! Tell him Happy Birthday for me! Alisha

  13. Ernie, Wendy and Nick,

    I am so glad Nick had so much fun at his birthday party. (Happy Birthday Nick!!) It is so wonderful to have happiness shine all over that child. Just to see Nick smiling, laughing and having fun must have been food for your soul. I have no doubt that you felt Zack there celebrating with all of you. It is so important to still include Zack in your lives by talking about him, and remembering funny things he would say and do. He will always be a part of your family. I think Zack would be so sad if you didn’t talk about him….. It is through God that Zack will still touch all of you daily by a word, a jesture or just something you see that reminds you of Zack. That will be beautiful.

    I hope this trip will bring you and your family comfort and healing. I have no doubt it will be a wonderful adventure with many great stories to tell. Thank you for doing the blog so we all can follow your journey. If you come through Greensboro, give us a call! We would love to see you.

    Take care and be safe. Our prayers are with you.

    Janice

  14. To the Mayo Family- we’ve never met but we live in wilmington and I’ve followed your family along your journey throughout the year. You are amazing parents to two wonderful boys. I said a prayer in church for your family this morning asking God to bring peace and comfort to your family now and always- I can see after watching the video from Nicks party that my prayer is already being answered- and as usual God is alread several steps ahead of me! So wonderful to see beautiful smiles-
    Hilary

  15. Thank you so much, Wendy, allowing us to stay with your family on this journey! Although we’ve never met (and I live just around the corner from you!), I still feel so connected to your precious family. I too, was absolutely flabbergasted that someone would criticize you for the wonderful celebration for Nick. It looks like it was a fabulous day! I know that Zack was smiling right along with you, Ernie, Nick and his friends. What a great way to celebrate together the miracle you have in Nick – what a special little boy! I look forward to reading your posts and wish you all a wonderful, fun summer. I still think of Zack every day – especially this past week, as my daughter, Peyton, graduated from 5th grade at Parsley. I realize that every day is special, and many of the things that I stress about (messy rooms, my girls arguing, never-ending laundry, etc.) are so unimportant. Spending time with family, loving others and finding out and doing what God has us on this earth to do is what counts. I will still pray for your family every day and know that you have the love and support of so many people behind you. God bless you all on this next journey, and thanks for letting us come along!

  16. Way to GO Wendy!

    Always remember…….YOU and the LORD>>>>>>>YOU’RE A MAJORITY OF ONE!

    God is still GOOOOOOD!

    Stan Knowles

  17. Wendy,

    If you come to the Washington D.C. area, please give me a call. 703-903-9830. I have four boys (ages 16,15, 13 and 11) and I would love to meet you, Ernie and Nick. We could show you the sites!

    Nancy Rau

  18. Dear Wendy,
    I was sorry to read the above comment….obviously someone who has not lost someone close to them. Everyone has their own way of handling their grief. I am very glad to hear that Nick had a wonderful birthday party, and that is what everyone needed, a little bit of laughther and friendship. I have lost a brother and just a few years later, a cousin, who happened to be very close to my brother. They were best friends. We would spend every summer with them, they would come stay in our house for all of their summer vacation. It was 5 kids, so many wonderful memories. When my cousin passed away, he had been living on a very small island rota where his dad is from. For the funeral, I went with my other two cousins, his siblings, to really be there for my aunt (it’s a very far trip, so not many from my side of the family could make it) But I wanted to share with you, the 3 weeks we where there, was one of the sadest times of my life, of course, but I have so many memories of how we all pulled togehter. Instead of all sleeping in seperate bedrooms at my uncles house, all the girls pilled in one room to keep each other company. We would stay up late and share all of our wonderful memories. We watched the silliest movie, The hot chick, over and over and over and everyone laughed histarically at the movie. (It was the last movie my cousin had rented and was still in the vcr) To this day me and my cousin maria quote from the move and laugh. Us being there toghether, looking back, it was as though my cousin that passed was there the whole time. We keept his memory alive, we ate his favorite foods and went to his favorite beach park, and spent time toghter with family and friends.
    I wanted to share some of my favorite memories of Zack, with you. We have a similar “movie” story, Nick, Zack and I watched Pee Wee herman over and over and over! So much that I learned to love that movie! And I remeber Zack coming home from school and he loved to make a big bowl of rice crispies! And then it was out to play, of course! He just love the outdoors so much!
    I am glad you guys are pulling toghter to be there for each other, and that Nicks party was wonderful.
    Please tell him happy belated birthday!

  19. I am glad you had a party for Nick- he deserves all your attention! We enjoyed giving him a birthday party last year. All of our kids still talk about Zack. We talk about him carrying Emma around the yard like a football. He was so gentle with her and she still has a sparkle when she talks about him. She had her ‘ Pray for Zack ‘bracelet on this week and said Mama, I’m still praying for Zack. I said Honey, Zack is all perfect now! The boys wanted to talk about the capabilities of a resurrected body…they are so.excited about that part of heaven and Zack got a head start on us! We also remember pool games played with Zack, errands we would run (even going to the Harris Teeter) when Zack would go.with us and therefore make it more fun…even wearing Emma’s hair bow into the store to make everyone laugh. I would always invite Zack to have any dinner I was cooking (besides…he’d carried Emma for hours as the neighborhood and my kids played together-he needed refueling!) He rarely said no, and liked most anything..especially the chicken alfredo. Of which, if he was there, I would give him my portion so he could have seconds and I would eat a salad :) On his last visit to our house, I told Zack we would do whatever he wanted. It started with playing with the dogs, then throwing mini-foam footballs at each.other. He.laughed hysterically at my dodging his throws. Then we wanted to see how.the foam would burn if we put them in the fire pit. Next he requested marshmellows and I didnt have any:( So I emptied the pantry trying to give him what he wanted. The hot dogs were the favorite. And of course, he couldn’t come to our house without playing hide n seek! Chad and I pushed him around to make it fun even on wheels…and of course I gave him clues because I wanted to make sure he won! He enjoyed it. We enjoyed his friendship and having him around..even when it meant full army gear and dirty, stinky ditch hiking boots!

  20. May God keep you & bless you on your adventure!!! You are doing an awesome thing, this trip without solid plans. You are so totally right…you have God, Bibles, faith & each other. My prayer is for this trip to bring you healing & peace.
    Thank you so much for sharing. I look forward to hearing about your stops along the way.