A couple years ago, Zach and one of his best friends, Marqus had a school project to build a catapult. Him and his best friends/brothers Justin, Marqus and Thomas, used to spend afternoons shooting things out of it while they ate snacks and talked about what Zach always called "boy stuff". Zach brought the catapult here a few months before his passing because he wanted to "pimp" it out and make it more powerful.
He tried a few different ways but never did get to finish. It was still taken apart from the last experiment.
I asked the boys if they would want the catapult. It hurts to give up anything that belonged to my son, but it just feels like that is where it belongs with Zach's best friends and brothers.
It was part of their bond. The boys could hardly believe I still had it and were very excited. I told them I would try to get it put back together for them and bring it along for my next visit to WI.
It was very important to me to do this right for them. The thing is my repair skills are so hideous I've actually had folks give me discounts on repairs in exchange for letting them take snapshots of what I did.
Somehow duct tape and/or super glue ended up in the mix of things. Zach loved giving me grief and giggling about it. The last thing I wanted was for him to be looking down and seeing his mom going anywhere near his catapult with duct tape or glue.
So I went to the Home Depot in Alsip IL #6822 on 1/24/14 armed with a list of sorts. A gentleman named Keith showed me a few parts but I had a lot of questions about how to brace it correctly, etc. I was worried the boys would get hurt if I didn't do something right. We got to talking and he said he had an idea and wanted to know if I could wait for a few minutes.
Keith came backed and asked if him and his coworkers could take over the project. Dean, Jose, Keith and Brian all teamed up for this. I brought Zach's catapult in for them. They all showed a great deal of compassion. A few showed me photos of their own children. It was hard not to cry when I would visit the store.
The script you can see is hand done by the young man Jose. He added Zach's name and the names of the boys as part of the finishing touches. They gave me a beautiful photograph of all of them with the catapult standing in front of a Home Depot sign about doing the right thing.
The boys did not know about the catapult until a whole month later, only Marqus's grandparents knew. It takes me two paydays to save enough to visit WI, and I finally had enough by 2/24/12.
The angels of Home Depot said time and time again that they didn't need or want any recognition for doing what they did. The truth is that what they did can't be measured, repaid, or recognized properly no matter what.
Justin, Thomas, Marqus and Lexi
Marqus, Justin, Thomas, Zach's mom and Lexi
Home Depot #6822 Alsip, IL From left to right: Dean, Jose, Keith & Brian
On 2/26/2012, we all got to gather one more time to celebrate our memories of time with Zach. We went to the Kiel Public Cemetery by the river where Zach used to go fishing and now rests. This time with smiles. Cassi MacDonald, Zach's oldest sister, gathered some flat stones from Lake Michigan. I brought some permanent markers. We all wrote messages to Zach on the rocks. The boys, Justin, Marqus, Thomas, Lexi and Eli helped get them aimed into the river. The kids all played together just like they used to. I thought I could feel Zach smile for a moment.
In attendance: George & Bonnie Dietsche (Marqus's grandparents), Marqus's mom, Marqus O., Thomas Winkel, Justin DeVillers, Lexi (my lil one/Zach's little sis), Cassi MacDonald (my oldest/Zach's big sis), Eli (my grandbaby/Zach's nephew), Theresa Maxey (my mom/Zach's Gramma), Wendy Renard (my sister/Zach's Aunt), Malique Coole (my nephew/Zach's cousin), Ebby Coole (my niece/Zach's cousin).