"Because our Savior died at Calvary, death has no hold upon any one of us."
(This and other quotes taken from "I Know that My Redeemer Lives" by Thomas S. Monson)
Tomorrow celebrates the 14th birthday of my sweet brother Zach. I never thought we would have to celebrate this day without him. But here it is. I am determined that, even though Zach is no longer here, this day will always be special. It will always be the day we welcomed him into the world. The day he was born was special. I was lucky enough to watch him come into the world. It was an amazing experience that taught me at the age of 12, how miraculous life is. I remember, as soon as he came, I burst into tears, with an emotion that was beyond my control. I was so excited to be a part of everything that day--his first diaper change, his first bath, watching the nurses check his vitals. I was a proud sister. He was an adorable baby that grew into an adorable little boy. Since I only lived at home until he was about 7, I remember him mostly as a cute little kid that I tried to keep from growing up. Somewhere between that time and the last 6 years of his life, he grew into this hilarious teenager. Now, as I think back on the last few months I had with him, I remember his endless random stories, his constant, contagious laughter, and his zest for life. At my other brother's wedding, Zach really go into the dancing and took turns spinning me and Rachel around the floor. At one point, he even dropped me. He thought it was so funny, that he did it to Rachel too. That is one of my most treasured memories with him, because we both just let go and enjoyed the moment. My other special moment with him was last summer at the beach. We went on a walk together, just the two of us. He talked nonstop the entire time. I seriously had a hard time following what he was talking about. But he had his arm around me the whole time we were walking, and even then, I treasured that simple show of affection. I have always felt that he and I shared a special bond, because I was there when he was born. He always made sure to tell me that he loved me. Well, I love you forever and always bud.
I try not to focus too much on the things that will never be in this life. I suppose that's why I find so much comfort in the promise stated at the beginning of this post. Our Savior overcame death for us all, and "this is the knowledge that sustains. This is the truth that comforts. This is the assurance that guides those who are bowed down with grief--out of the shadows and into the light." Christ teaches: "I am the resurrection and the life." "He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." Through the Savior, "There is assurance that life is everlasting." I have experienced the incredible comforting and sustaining power of the
Atonement of our Savior. I am so grateful for this Gospel, through
which I have been taught countless truths such as these, that have strengthened me, and
helped me to find peace with the loss of my dear brother Zach. Because I have felt the truth of these teachings in my heart, I have never really felt that Zach is totally gone. Zach's presence continues to be felt by myself, and by many who know and love him. I know that his journey continues on the other side. I know that he was welcomed home by those who have gone before, including the Savior Himself. I know that at this time, he is performing many miracles for people on both sides of the veil, and that he is one of Heavenly Father's special angels. He is my special angel as well.
Happy Birthday Zach. Thank you for the life you shared with us, and thank you for your continued love. I hope you know how much you mean to me. I will always love and miss you, and I look forward to our sweet reunion someday.