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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Zack Carpenter: A Loving "A+" Life!

I didn’t know my young cousin Zack Carpenter all that well.  I met him only a few times.  But I remember him, because he’s memorable.  And while his presence is ingrained in my psyche, a friend just reminded me that the name "Zachary," means "God has remembered."

So, it all fits. 

Zack was a quiet type; always smiling.  He never had a cross-word to say about anyone.  He never bullied anyone.  He was someone with a purpose greater than the average individual, because he wasn’t an average individual.  He didn’t have time to fret about the small stuff or the little things that so many of us worry about.  He didn’t have time to trifle in the pettiness of name-calling, or the judgment in any way of his fellow human beings.  He was too “good” for those things; his was a higher calling; his was a different path…a path that would lead to enlightenment and productivity – for so many.  In all, he struck me as the kind of human being that let people be and became a part of their lives if only to contribute to their lives; the kind of human being…who was a kind human being.
When I heard that he was tragically killed I immediately thought of his Mom, his brother Billy, his Uncle Jim, and so many others in our family who knew and loved him so very much.

Mary, of course, is devastated at the loss of her son, as is his father William.  This isn’t how it’s supposed to be; your children aren’t supposed to leave this world before you.  And Jim, who shared a special bond with Zack, is equally heartbroken over losing his nephew.  When I spoke with Robin, Mary’s sister-in-law, she said, “We lost our Zack.”

He was “our Zack,” indeed, even to those who did not know him well or at all. 

People like Zack touch countless lives, sometimes, without even knowing it.  But Zach knew it.  As I look back now, I can tell.  When someone has that kind of angelic face, and is that quiet, not boastful, and not littered with overt pride, you know they’re doing God’s work.  They don’t have time to talk about how the world needs to change; they’re too busy changing it.
They say the good die young.  Well, that’s clearly been confirmed by Zack’s early exit.  He was only 30-years-old.  Some of us live way past that; long, empty lives without affecting others in positive ways; by never attaining even the C+ grade in worthy existence.  But those like Zack start living their A+ lives from the second they’re born.

That said, the amount of Love that Zack leaves behind - and there’s a ton of it (as further evidenced by the Sports Illustrated article below) - is made up of the graceful pieces of his heart that he placed in everyone who was blessed by his presence. 

Assuredly, this is the additional confirmation that he now lives forever – in Heaven – with all of the other angels.

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