Friday, December 24, 2010

The Bitter and the Sweet

Well... Here we are.  Another December 24th.  I'm not quite sure that I can actually form the words for "Six Years".  How can it be??

Today has been a very quiet day in Italy.  Yesterday the propane was finally delivered and the temperature in the house jumped almost ten degrees right away.  With the house warmed up and hot showers taken the three of us just hung out together reading books, cooking our big lunch and playing games.  It was very mellow... sooo different from the work day Doug usually has.  Today (of all days) I was really experiencing the Sabbatical.

The three of us took some time together this evening to look at all of the photos on the "Friends of Zachary Bunnell" page on Facebook.  If you haven't joined you should (and feel free to add any photos you have)!  So many great memories that bring amazing joy and amazing sadness.

I thought that I had the Zachary slide show from the memorial service on my laptop.  It has been a tradition to watch it every Christmas Eve.  Turns out it's not on here!  So instead we just thought through all of the categories we put the photos into and shared memories.  Here are some of mine:

  • Family Guy:  Zachary loved his family.  We have so many great photos of him with Grandmas and Grandpas, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins.  One funny memory we have is when we took him to Arkansas when he was probably 18 months old (see my FB profile pic).  Doug's side of the family was gathering for his Grandpa's memorial service and Zach got everybody sick. Now when we laugh about it we call it the season of "heaving and grieving"! 
  • Big Brother:  We have Zachary on video "showing" his new sister their room, right before we left for VietNam. He was pretty clear with which side of the room was his, and that he didn't want her to "suck on his stuff".  He did, however give her brown bear when we were in VietNam (he took it back later - but the thought was magnanimous for a 4 year old!)  He loved Zoe with all of his heart and the wonderful photos we have of them together tell the story
  • Great Friend:  We always say that Zachary was picky about who he liked to hang out with... but he always chose wisely.  One of my dear friends called him an old soul... I tend to agree.  From his earliest friends like Dave, Calvin, Jacob and Nolan (the list could go on and on) to his friends he made in B'ham right before he got sick like or neighbor Alec, Zachary always had great friends.
  • Theater lover:  I think the first Musical Zachary ever went to was Annie in maybe the first grade. But it was really teacher Juanita encouraging him through "Daughter of the Regiment" and the Martin Luther King play that set him on fire!  Who knew that he would be singing and dancing in Oliver and Pirates of Penzance a few years later.  Even his blindness couldn't keep him off of the stage.
  • Music/Sports/Disney... The list of all of Zachary's wonderful attributes could go on.  I remember when he was really small, we were listening to the Hanging of the Greens concert at First Pres Berkeley.  Every time one of the choirs would stop and the applause had died down Zachary would yell out "More Music"!  He wasn't the best athlete, but he had a deep love for basketball, for watching football with Doug and for all things Stanford.  He was a great fan.  Zach's love for Disney was admittedly thrust upon him, but he truly enjoyed the happiest place... At age 10 he had been to Disneyland, Disneyland Paris,, and took his Make a Wish trip to Disney World.
I could keep going on... but I can't go on... 
He would have loved Italy... I really miss that guy.


  1. Beautiful and fun memories of our dear, dear friend and neighbor, Zachary.
    Here in Berkeley, CA at 1:00 12/24, 21 of us gathered in the garden there with the stepping stones of Zach's and dear Jesse in the middle of our circle. Penny, Lucy and Sarah W. read a poem by Dublin, CA poet laureate called "We Pause". A couple of the dad's commented how much it meant to them that all of the kids continue to come and wondered allowed what Jesse and Zach would look like as we looked around at the other teens.
    It was pretty special and you four were all in our hearts.

  2. Thanks for sharing the memories, Laurie. We were thinking of him on Xmas Eve in particular. As I enjoy your posts about Italy, I think of your last Sabatical in Scotland & how great your kids were there. It was a big leap to go to another country at ages 8 & 5, but they did it! You're right, Zach would have been loving this latest adventure in Italy.

  3. Laurie, what wonderful memories. Sending love to you all.

  4. Laurie... what a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your wonderful memories of Zach.

  5. Laurie...Thank you so much for filling my heart with Zachary (though he is always there)--I love hearing your words. Love you all! Sarah