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 –

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…

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….