Monday, June 16, 2008

Our 12 Days in June...

Dear friends and family,

Zachary James Tate's new life began last night. At approximately 6:40pm, 12-day old Zach went to be with our Lord.

It was the perfect worst experience of our lives.

Our day began with a sermon (delivered by our adorable Youth Minister, Shaun Hartsell) so fitting, it seemed to be tailor made for Jimmy and I.

Zach's day was spent in the arms of family. Jimmy's mom, "Bebe", spent most of the morning holding him, singing to him, and reading to him. He was peaceful and content. Carter, Jimmy, my mom (Paula), and I came to the hospital for the second shift of holding, cuddling, and singing. We even got to give him a bath!

On the way home from the hospital, we received a call that we should return. Zachary was fighting for his little life. It was as though he waited for us to leave to make his own departure. Upon our return, Sarah, our amazing nurse, had him cuddled in her arms and was surrounded by 2 other nurses. We held him in our arms as he took his last breaths.

It was unbelievably peaceful. No pain, no suffering, only God's will - just as we have been praying for.

We had 12 delightful days with Zach. He hung on for Father's Day...and split the day with Jimmy and our ultimate Father.

It rained last night for a bit, followed by the most glorious sunset. I swear I saw the letter "Z" in the clouds.

We'll update you soon with our plans for a celebration of Little Z's life! Think balloons, champagne, and bare feet...Additionally, we are setting up a foundation in honor of Zachary.

With love and unfathomable gratitude,

Kristen, Jimmy, Carter, Addison, and Zachary

Click on the link below to listen to Shaun’s sermon from yesterday speaking of the ultimate sacrifice: A father putting his faith in God above all else (Genesis 22: 1-13) (It will take a minute to load, but it’s worth it. Make sure your volume is on, because it just starts playing.)


Cheryl Davis said...

Dear Beautiful Tate Family, My heart breaks for you and all you have had to go through. I too heard Shaun's sermon yesterday morning mentioning your names at least twice throughout the morning. I also felt the strength that God was going to be giving you that day. It was a comfort. Little Z has so touched our hearts, our lives and our reasons to continue with our journey until we can join him and our own loved ones. Z's name has left my lips in prayer so many times through out the days. May God continue to give you the strength you will need. And your Twelve days in June will become a celebration of life each year. God Bless you Always. Lovingly, Cheryl Davis

The Browands said...

I am Caroline Kane's sister and she has asked us to pray for your family and has kept us "in the loop" about Zachary's arrival and the love that he was shown during his twelve short days.

What a lucky boy! The love he must have felt over those 12 days is a blessing and a gift. His presence on Earth was powerful and his new life in heaven is filled with joy and celebration!

- Meredith Browand

Anonymous said...

Hi. I am a friend of a friend of a friend who was sent an email to read your blog. I sat here and read every word and I am moved to tears and therefore felt I needed to write a little something. I am so deeply touched by your story and by the way you have chosen to lift God up through it all. I have always hoped that I would respond in a similar way if something of this magnitude should ever happen to me and my family. Now I know it can be done. I am in complete awe and admiration of the way you are choosing to give glory to God, even through your pain. Please know that I will be praying for you and your family over the next several days. Thank you being brave and open and for sharing your beautiful story. God Bless.

Nicole Johnson Photography said...

To the Tate Family,

I have recently been contacted by Terri at Terri Z Photo (business relationship in photography) who shared with me the life of Zach and Zach's blog. I wanted to drop a quick line to let you know that even though I do not know Zach or the Tate family; Zach has impacted my life. He has shown me that love of God and Family is so important. He was such a blessing and an angel that has touched my heart with strength and perseverance. Thank you for sharing your life with us Zach and we will see you later...My prayers and sympathy are with the Tate Family. Sincerely,
Nicole Johnson
Nicole Johnson Photography

Anonymous said...

As a nurse in the NICU, I was lucky enough to be touched by your precious son and by your unbelievably strong family. Though I was not assigned Zachary as a patient, I met him soon after he arrived and went to see him each evening I was at work. Your family’s faith in god is an inspiration to us all. I look forward to celebrating Zachary’s life with you! Alexis

The Kane Family said...

Jimmy and Kristen – our hearts are broken for you, our souls are heavy, but we KNOW that Zachary is home with our Lord. He is healed, he is raised and he is waiting for you both to join him. Remember, there is no time in heaven and he will not have to wait long for you ….

In His Love,

Caroline & Sean

Leah Sams said...

What a journey, dear friends. We have been holding you in our hearts every moment since we heard of Zachary's birth. We are so incredibly humbled and honored to have known Baby Z through your loving words and pictures. We love you and continue to lift your whole family up in prayer.

All our love,
The Sams Family

terri said...

kristen and jimmy ,
spending just a brief time with you both the other night , i could feel your joy, pain and peacefulness of little z........... may you treasure your 12 days together with zachary and may those same 12 days every year be a celebration of his life with you ....... you are an amazing family and have shown amazing strength and faith ...... little z was blessed to have you as his parents .......

Team Pifer said...

Dear Tate family,

I am saddened to hear the news about Zach but I am uplifted reading your words and knowing your faith and strength. What an unbelievable time in your lives, I hope that God will hold you in the palm of His hand and comfort you with His everlasting love.

We are sorry to have never known Zach but we appreciate you sharing your incredible story with us and all of your friends so that we too were touched by your special little boy.

May Zach's memory live on in our hearts forever.

Much love,

The Pifer Family

The Hay Family said...

Your strength, courage and love is unlike anything I have ever witnessed! Your spirit through it all was so brave and heroic........Zachary is so lucky to call you his own. My heart is aching and know that I am here morning, noon and night (even in the middle of the night). The Hays will continue to pray.....we love you!

Susie said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your little man. He's beautiful. I regret to say I just found you today, after he's already gone. My son Joshua went to meet Jesus March 15th this year. They are special parents - the ones God chooses to bless for a time with a little one.

Thinking and praying -
Susie Sams,
- Joshua Matthew's Mum

Christina Ganley said...

I have had the pleasure the past 2 Wednesdays to spend some time at the Tate house with Addison, now affectionately know to me as "My Addie Girl." While some might view this as a service I am giving, please let me share what I have received. Time at a home where I had no laundry to do, meals to cook, house to clean and no computer to tie me down has given me perspective. You see, my only responsibility was to care for Addison and give her love while her parents were giving their love to Little Z. It made me yearn for my own children.

So Zachary James Tate, thank you for giving me time with your big sister. I finally had the heart felt lesson and the perspective I needed to carry home to my own family. Get on the floor and play, the dishes can wait. Go for a walk and enjoy the sunset, as long as there are still clothes in the closet, the laundry needn’t be done. Roll around on the floor and giggle, having fast food for dinner is OK once in a while. We hear advice like this all the time but in today’s hurried life, it is so hard to wrap our arms around it. While it is unrealistic to spend every moment being available to your children, you can spend a moment every day.

“I lift up my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121: 1-2

My help came from the LORD through the life of little Zachary James Tate.

Much Love - Christina Ganley and the Whole Ganley Gang

Steve Glose said...


John had just told me of the loss of your new born son. I know there are no words that I can think of to help you and your family through this difficult time. Just know that you and your family are in my prayers. Your family is foremost your first priority but know that you have a second family with Keller Williams that is also here to support you as well.

Jimmy Rivenburg said...

Hi Jimmy and Kristen,

Thank you for sharing your joy and sorrow regarding baby Zach. I pray that your testimony of the love of our Father will draw us all closer to His loving arms.

I pray also for you that God will continue to fill you and your family with peace and comfort. What a blessing to have Zach despite such a short life. I think it serves to remind us how short our physical life is compared to the eternal life we have with God.

Knowing your source of strength and how grounded you are in your faith, I know you will be ok.

In the love of Christ,

Kathryn Rubert said...

Jimmy and family: My deepest sympathy goes out to your beautiful family. May God be with you at this time and feel his strength which I know has been a tremendous comfort for you all.

Let us know what we can do. Kathryn and family.

Heather Robbins said...

Oh Jimmy & Kristen, I am in anguish for your loss...

I know that the last 12 days have been filled not only with the harsh realities of this earth, but with the pleasure of knowing God’s wonderfully perfect creation in Zachary... and I cannot wait to celebrate his earthy life with you as Zachary celebrates with his Heavenly Father.

Love you guys,

Heather & family

Rebecca Davis said...

Jimmy and Kristen -- Bruce and I are so very, very sorry for your loss. Words cannot even express how deeply saddened we are for you, but how grateful we are to know that Little Z is embraced in the arms of our Lord, watching down on you and Carter and Addison as a miraculous angel. I cannot even begin to imagine the range or depth of your emotions right now; however, I can continue to be inspired and stand in awe of your strength, love, wisdom, spirituality and continued faith in and following of God and Christ. Little Zachary had such a significant, forever lasting impact on our individual family, and I have seen first hand what an impact he has had and will continue to have on our church family and on the entire community of friends and neighbors who have rallied together to lift Zachary up in prayer and to try to find ways to offer you the support and love that you need to survive this trying time. If there is anything -- anything at all -- that Bruce and/or I can do to help or assist in any way, please let us know.

As Shaun stated in his fitting, memorable sermon yesterday, your relationship with the Lord will be strengthened by this testing experience. "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and has made the Lord his hope and confidence" (Jeremiah 17:7).

God bless Zachary and your entire family, Rebecca

Ashley Hill said...

Tate Family,

Your faith is so incredibly inspiring to me. Zachary's story will not be forgotten and we would be honored to celebrate his life with you all. My heart hurts for you and I pray God continues to give you strength.

God Bless,
Ashley Hill and Family,
Zoe's Mom

Jasmine Polanski said...

Our hearts and prayers are with your whole family.

Scott and Jasmine

Joan Bresee said...

Dear Kristen and Jimmy,

I am so very sorry for the loss of your little Z. I know you know that even though you do not have his physical presence with you, his dear little spirit will be with you always. I am very sad for you, but relieved and happy that he doesn't have to experience anymore pain and discomfort. His little earth life was all too short, but his early departure only gives him more precious time to be with our heavenly Father.

You have our deepest sympathy.

With prayers and love,
Joan, Doreen, Mike, Danielle, Alexandria and Devin

The Shelby Family said...

Dear Kristen & Jimmy,

May the Lord bless you and your beautiful family with his peace.

We are keeping you in our prayers.


The Shelby Family, Don, Shauna & Tyson

Amy Lowell said...

Jimmy & Kristen,

Thank you for communicating to us so eloquently. We feel that Zachary has touched our lives...what a blessing. We admired your strength - it is unbelievable to us. Your family is our thoughts & prayers.

Much love,

Amy, Lee, Sydney, Josie & Griffin

Gregory Schroeder said...

Dear Kristen & Jimmy,

I just finished reading "Our 12 days in June"...and I want you both to know that I am praying for you and your family. If there is anything else I can do, please do not hesitate to ask.

As I listened to Shaun's sermon yesterday, I too felt it seemed so fitting for you. It was so beautiful and as Shaun concluded at the 8:30 service I said to myself...if only Kristen & Jimmy could be here for the next service, how comforting it would be for them. I did not know that you were at the 11:00 service until I was walking out and saw many of our church family surrounding you with love and hugs. I wanted to do the same, but was hesitant because I knew I would be very emotional. Please forgive me.

I am glad that you were able to spend yesterday afternoon with Zach in your arms. As I have read all of your beautiful notes, I am amazed at your peace and unwavering faith. You are an inspiration to me and I truly believe that through you, God used Zachary's 12 days to strengthen all of us. I the midst of "the perfect worst experience of your lives" you allowed God to use you as a vessel to help us put things in perspective and make us better.

Thank you and your family for sharing this 12 day journey with us. God's purpose for Zachary's very short life has been accomplished in ways, yet to be seen. I saw the sunset last night and was amazed at how beautiful and peaceful it was.

I wish you peace and comfort.

Louis De Jesus said...

Jimmy $ Kristen,

I am moved by the Lord's never ending mercy. Z is in His loving arms. Our prayers remain strong for you, your family and friends. Rest as God's will has been accomplished. I my deepest condolences...

Jean Gallagher said...

All my prayers today go to Zach! And I'll keep him, you two and his siblings in my prayers!

God is great!

Norma McVan said...

Dear Kristen, Jimmy, Carter, Addison and Little Angel Zachary,

My heart goes out to you all. Your family continues to be in my prayers. God bless. Norma

Louis De Jesus said...

Dear Kristen & Jimmy,

I am so sorry for your loss. I wanted to share a brief story that has always helped me in these times when we don't understand certain events. It is a true story.

When I was 19, I was keeping vigil with an 85 year old Monk who was dying. I noticed that he was smiling even though in great pain and about to die. I asked him why he felt so happy. He asked me if I had ever seen the back of a Tapestry and noticed that the back of the Tapestry was nothing by strings and knots seemingly making no sense. I said yes, I did. He said he was happy because he was about to die and to walk around to the other side and see the beautiful picture God had made and how these events which made no sense from our perspective were the golden threads that made the beautiful picture. Your little Zachary is surely one of those golden threads. God bless. John

Please let Louis know what you wish to say to our Agents. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Z-Man

Kari Rattigan said...

Kristen and Jimmy,

Thank you for sharing the last 12 days of your lives with us. WE are all soo blessed. Zachary will be forever in all of our hearts.


The Pifer Family said...

Dear Tate family,

I am saddened to hear the news about Zach but I am uplifted reading your words and knowing your faith and strength. What an unbelievable time in your lives, I hope that God will hold ou in the palm of His hand and comfort you with His everlasting love.

We are sorry to have never known Zach but we appreciate you sharing your incredible story with us and all of your friends so that we too were touched by your special little boy.

May Zach's memory live on in our hearts forever.

Much love,

The Pifer Family

Michael Eckhoff said...

Dear Jimmy, Kristen, Carter and Addison,

We are very sorry for your loss. We have been out of town and wanted to know we are thinking of your whole family. Please let us know how we can help you in any way. We draw great strength from your family and respect the journey you are taking.

Much love, Suzanne, Michael
and Elise Eckhoff

Kristin Olson said...

Dear Jimmy & Kristen,

We wanted to reach out to you to let you know how deeply sorry we are for your loss. We've been so touched over the past 12 days by your roller-coaster journey and incredibly moved by your deep faith. It has been inspiring and we feel blessed to have witnessed such love. How fortunate we feel to know two such courageous people. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

Please know that even though we're far away, you're close in our minds and hearts.

God bless,
Kristin & Eric

P.S. - as a pastor told me after a pregnancy loss, I believe that your little one is in Heaven serving out God's purpose. We may never know what that purpose is, but know that it is good

Brent Baldasare said...

God Bless you and your family. Zachary and your family are all in our prayers!

Hilde Ziegler said...

Yes, you were clearly on my mind during the sermon on Sunday. I can't imagine what you've been through but please accept a remote hug until I can see you. The loss of a child has got to be the hardest of all possible losses. Love to each of you. Hilde

Kim Hawk said...

Much love my friends. Let me know if there is anything we can do for you. Blessings, Kim