Saturday, June 29, 2013


Zach's Aunt Michelle, more like a sister as she lived with us from seventh grade through college, wrote this for his memorial service.  She wasn't able to be present at the service as she had just given birth to Cooper, Zach's new cousin who he never would meet.   On this year anniversary, Yahrzeit, I post it here:

For those of you who do not know me, I am Zachary’s Aunt Michelle whom he called Mouse or Mish.  I called him Zach, Zachary, Zachy and often, I just called him Meat.   Zachary was the first little boy I ever fell in love with.  He was sweet, sensitive, funny as hell, full of love, incredibly stubborn, protective of his family and we all loved him deeply.

To you Zachary,

I will remain forever grateful for the childhood I was able to experience because of you and Katy.

I will miss our days of watching X-Men together after school.

I will always remember singing you and Katy lullabies and tickling your leg (and back and arm and leg again).

(Okay, the leg tickling never stopped.)

 I will never forget you and your mom cuddling and telling jokes in our living room in Lowville.  Your bond was always so dear to behold.

I will never forget you and your dad playing video games and how excited you would get when you met the next challenge together.

I will never forget the silly games and chants you and Katy made up.  Cockle doodle fun day long, Sweaty Pa, Awuga…just to name a few.

 I will never forget the long car rides of being forced to sit between you two and how, after a good fight, you would both end up falling asleep on me.

I will never forget your chubby baby faces and your high school graduations. 

I will always remember your trip to see me in Syracuse and in New York City when I first moved.  It was such an achievement to treat you as I started to grow up.

I will miss the months of thinking about what to do for you for Christmas.  You always gave me such unique challenges – probably better if we keep those an inside family joke.

I will forever be honored by the sweet poem you wrote for my wedding.

I will forever cherish the thought of your smile, the sound of your laugh,

And how it felt to be loved by you.

When I used to leave our home in Lowville to head back to college Zachary would stand at the door and make a sad face just so I would cry.  And I always did.  I hated leaving my Shuck family and Zachy always made it harder on me.  I know, real sweet kid.  ;  )

Today, I see that I am the one standing at the door making a sad face.  And I fear that I will be crying for you, Zachary, for the rest of my life.

I know that I will be looking to find you in this world.  I am not sure how we will understand life without you.  I all ready see you in the dimple in my son’s right check.  I think of you when I tickle his little 6 day-old leg and he stops crying.  If he offers me his arm or back I think I ‘ll freak out.  I see you in the pictures in my home and think of you every time I want to tell a dirty joke  - which we all know is quite often.  You were my buddy, my brother, my friend, and most simply my beautiful nephew.  Thank you Beverly and John for giving this world Zach.  My heart will always be suffering the loss of his light in this world and will forever be filled with the love and laughter of his memory.

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