Sunday, December 26, 2010
Christmas day 2010 Kurtis and I are driving home to Fullerton from Fresno. My Dad called right as we were hitting the grapevine
"There has been a tragedy in the family Zach is dead." Zach is a solider who went to Iraq as apart of the troop surge, he left this summer as a part of the official last group of solider to leave Iraq, he died on Christmas Eve.
Zach was just a few years older then me, the cousin directly above me in age. My first memory of Zach is being 5 years old at a Lafon family reunion. I teased him, he punched me in the stomach, I cried he gave me a hug and we were friends again.
We have a large family. My father is child #5 of 10. And then each of the 10 had kids resulting in 30 something first cousins. We live all over the world, but mostly in Utah, Arizona and Oklahoma. But when someone dies we all gather around and stop, those who aren't really the praying kind anymore stop and pray,we all scramble and try to find the cheapest flights or we gas up the car and drive as fast as we can. We may be a little strange but we are family, and I am so grateful for them. We may live in different cities, and believe different things but we all have the same noise and same feet and eyes. We are all equally heartbroken.
This is the second child that my Aunt Debbie had buried. She is the strongest woman that I know. She is kind and loving and an amazing Mom, Grandma and Aunt. I have learned so much from her example of quite strength and faith. Our family though seeks comfort in the fact that Zachary was so happy, that he was doing the right thing. Heaven is a better place know that he is there. We know that we will see him again someday. That his Dad and Big brother Jeremy welcomed him with open arms.