Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May 18, 1984 - May 19, 2008


My brother, Zac, drowned in a local river yesterday in a tragic boating accident. A day after he turned 24. A day after I forgot to call and wish him "happy birthday." 2 days after he called to chat and I had to cut him short and I said I would call him back, but never did. 3 months before him and his wife's first baby...a little girl...is due. A day much too soon.

Zac, I miss you. I am trying so hard to be strong, but I just can't. You are my only brother. My only sibling. The one I've confided in over the last 2 months from dealing with our crazy family. Zac, I can't begin to describe how much it hurts to know that I will never be able to see you again...at least in this lifetime. Anna Lynn and Tripp will miss out on getting to know a wonderful uncle. Uncle "Dack." I miss you, Zac. I always always will. I will miss the opportunity of seeing your face when you would have introduced Rosalina Maria Barber to us in August. Though I know you will be with her every step of her life. She will know you through the stories we will tell her of her handsome, crazy, kind father. You can bet she'll hear what a pain in the butt you were as well! :)

You are in a better place. I know that and you know that. For more reasons than one, Zac. I will always hold it close to my heart that the last words we spoke to each other...even though I was in a hurry...were three words too often taken for granted..."I love you." I will end this post with one of your favorite songs. I never knew how true this was to your life and your personal struggles that you no longer have to battle. You are in a way...free. This is the only thing that gives me peace...knowing that the demons you battled for so long no longer have a hold of you. Rest in peace my brother. You are always in my heart. Every day. This is for you.

Arms of an Angel
Sarah McLachlan

Spend all your time waiting for that second chance
For the break that will make it ok
There's always some reason to feel “not good enough"?
And it's hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction, oh beautiful release
Memories seep from my veins
They may be empty and weightless, and maybe
I'll find some peace tonight

In the arms of an Angel, fly away from here
From this dark, cold hotel room, and the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here

So tired of the straight line, and everywhere you turn
There's vultures and thieves at your back
The storm keeps on twisting, you keep on building the lies
That you make up for all that you lack
It don't make no difference, escaping one last time
It's easier to believe
In this sweet madness, oh this glorious sadness
That brings me to my knees

In the arms of an Angel, far away from here
From this dark, cold hotel room, and the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie
In the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here

I love you Zac


leawhitrn said...

Thinking of you every minute! My heart and prayers are with you and your family!!

Lana said...

You are on my mind and in my heart as you and your family morn the loss of your precious brother.

Rachel Sloan said...

So sorry for your loss! You and your family are in our prayers.

Amber Jones said...

Hey there my best friend! I'm here for you guys. Thought of something I wanted to tell you. All those search teams and volunteers have been so wonderful and working their butts off to find Zac. Just an idea, when you guys make funeral arrangements, you should say "In Leiu of flowers, please send donations to any of the following: Leon County Sheriff's Dive Tactics Team, Bay County..., Red Cross, that volunteer team, etc." (I forgot all the exact full names of all the different help groups. Also remember Mr. Gene Revell that was in charge of the whole thing. I'm sure it's hard to remember everyone!
Love you
Amber "Ber"

Katie Phillips said...

I am praying for you and your family..As I was reading your blog I started to weap thinking of the loss of such a strong free spirit. I know that he will walk every step with his beautiful daughter and I am sure when our family meets her Sterling will also be able to tell her what a GREAT DADDY she HAS!!! He is at peace now.
Sterling and Katie Phillips

Karrie in Ohio said...

Dee, I have been reading your blog because I love your work and I have never commented but I had to tell you how very sorry I am to hear about the loss of your brother.

I wish I had some magic words of wisdom, but I don't.

I just wanted to say how sad I was to hear.

Anonymous said...

Our love and prayers are with you and your family. Life is so precious, thank you for having the strength to share you pain.

Melissa said...

Hey Dee, this is Melissa Gentry. I came across your blog as I was looking at your website of the great pictures you take. I am so sorry for your loss and our prayers are with you and your family.

Sara said...

Oh Dee. I can't even begin to imagine the pain you are feeling right now. Please know that you and your entire family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

It breaks my heart to hear of the pain you and your family must be suffering. My mom and I will continue to pray for you all. Truly sorry to hear of your loss.

(PHI 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.)

Brittany Maxwell

Terah said...

hey dee...you guys are in our thoughts and prayers. we love that crazy brother of yours!
duncan & terah shuler rudd

Monica Welles said...

Dee, I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family during this tragic time. The poem was so heartfelt. I could never know the feelings that you are feeling but know that many people love you.

Monica Kent

Anonymous said...

Dee, I am so sorry for you and your family's loss. I hate that this happened. All my love and prayers to your family! You guys are on my mind and in my thoughts!

Rachel Manspeaker said...


You are such a strong lady, just like your mother. Your strength and our Lord will get you and your family through this difficult time. I will continue to pray for all of you.

Thoughts and Prayers,

Anonymous said...

We are so sorry for your loss. May God comfort you and your family with His love as only He can do.
Sherry, Katie & Sarah Kelly

KYLIA said...

Dee - just wanted you and your family to know that y'all are in our prayers. Let us know if there is anything that we can do to lighten your load! Love y'all!

Miguela Barber said...

Dee, I just want you to know that I love you and we'll get through this hard heartbreaking time together. I pray that you continue to remember ALL the wonderful things that my baby told you.I know that he loved you very much and was proud of you for getting so much accomplished with your family, photography business, but most of all the relationship bond that you both had. I love you and I'm here if you need me.

Miguela " Michelle"

Erica said...

Praying for you and your family, specifically your sister in law and their unborn daughter. What a tragic, tragic loss... I'm sure no words can describe the pain you are feeling right now. Your blog made tears run down my face, what a loving tribute to your brother.

Please wrap your arms of comfort around Dee and her family right now. Please help them find peace in this tragedy, hope for the future, and the joy in past memories. Please watch over them and protect them during this vulnerable and heartbreaking time.
in His Holy Name,

Anonymous said...

Dee, I just want you to know that Joseph and I have been praying for Zac and your Dad for the past year or so. We continue to pray for your entire family as you grieve the loss of your brother. We are so sorry. Words cannot express the pain you must feel. The funeral was so beautiful. I got to know Zaz when he went to school at RFM in Quincy. He is a great guy. I know he'll be a part of his daughter's life and she'll know of his love for her. Hang in there. Pray when you feel overwhelmed. Love y'all, Becky and Joseph Shuler

Spiff said...

Dee ... You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. When I lost my wife this poem helped ease some of the pain for me. May it do the same for you.

“The Ship”
I am standing on the sea shore. A ship sails and spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the ocean.
She is an object of beauty and I stand watching her till at last she fades on the horizon, and someone at my side says, ‘She is gone’,
Gone where?
Gone from my sight, that is all;
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as she was when I saw her, and just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her,
and just at the moment when someone at my side says, ‘She is gone,’ there are other who are watching her coming,
and other voices take a glad shout ‘There she comes’,
And that is dying.

Bishop Brent (1862-1926)

Paula said...

My heart goes out to you in this time of sorrow. Know that even complete strangers have you in their prayers.

Katheryn said...


As I sit here trying to fight through the tears, wondering what to say I am at a loss for words. The truth is, there is nothing that anyone can say that will ease your pain or make things any easier right now. Take comfort in knowing that, with time, things will get easier. The old saying, the Lord never gives us more than we can handle is sometimes thought to be a cliche' but you will look back, even if it is years from now, and know that in the end something beautiful will come from this sad time in your life. My prayers and thoughts will forever be with you and your family!

Katheryn Hinton

mannm5 said...

I know this is an old blog but I just read it and couldn't help but comment. I am very sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to your family. I hope to see you someday and catch up. Everytime I think of you I remember one of your birthday parties when we were a whole lot younger. You wanted to take us girls to see the 5 little hills you liked to play on. I don't remember if it was at your house or maybe your grandmother's. Anyhow we got there and you showed us and of course being the blunt mean little girl I remember myself as, I said "That's It"? I remember I think Cassie yelled at me and told me I was mean or something and we ended up having to go talk to your mom about it. Crazy the things I remember...the things that stick out in our minds as we grow. People forget so much but remember the oddest things. It seems like I have at least one memory like that for everyone so there's yours...LOL. I remember Zack as a fun person...very outgoing. A people person. I just remember he was always smiling and wouldn't think twice to walk right up and put his arm around your shoulder and carry on a conversation. I've seen other people point it out and I will as well...he was a very strong personality and will be missed and remembered by a lot of people.
Mary Ann Mayo

ellegirl said...

I'm soooo sorry for the loss of your brother. So so so sad. :-(

Anonymous said...

I know that it has been a while since I have seen or spoken to you or your family but looking through your blogs and pics I wanted to take a moment and let ya'll know how sorry I am about Zac and that we prayed (still do) for you guys. I can only imagine what that whole thing has been like and all I know for sure is that the world is a little smaller now without him around. He was always a very happy and friendly person around me and I considered him a good person. He had his moments as well as I so I guess I understood him better than some. He was truly a good young man and I feel very confident that there is only one opinion that matters and that is God's so Zac's big heart will make him a welcomed presence in heaven.

We love ya'll and good luck with whatever you do....

Thornton Davis and Family (Cassie, Lindsey "6" and Lauren "17 mos")