Zach Gabbard's Journal
Written Jan 10, 2012 2:35pm
This is a copy of the Thank You letter from my Dad that was printed in the 'Letter to the Editor' section of the Perham newspaper.
Is thank you enough?
Not a week goes by without a story or an update about Zachary in some sort of media, so I am sure everyone knows what I am talking about here. I have said thank you more times in the past 11 months than I am sure I have up until that point in my life. However, is thank you enough? Some think so, some do not, yet others really enjoy giving and doing things for others without ever requiring a thank you, but still enjoy it. I was raised like most everyone else to say thank you at every appropriate opportunity. Not until January 20th, 2011, did I ever question the words ‘thank you’ or the sincerity behind those words. Just the other day I had one of those opportunities to thank someone from out of town who not only helped with one of the out-of-town fundraisers but have posted on Zachary’s Caringbridge Site sending their prayers. My thank you to these out of town people came from deep inside my heart and after thanking them I had to step outside to catch my composure. As I stepped outside, someone held the door open for me and being polite, I said “Thank You”. That’s when it hit me, I just said thank you twice in less than 5 minutes with it not even being close to meaning the same thing.
So how do you say thank you to people without it sounding like just a polite gesture? I am hoping if the people who have done and given so much know just how much they have helped Zach and I, they will realize just how sincere I believe ‘thank you’ is not enough.
I said thank you many times to the doctors and nurses who saved my son’s life and I am sure they know just how sincere I was. I said a very public thank you at the State Basketball Tournament to the doctors and nurses who were in attendance at the DGF game, along with the emergency rescue workers who kept my son alive until he reached the hospital. Although it was a wrong forum for a thank you to come across as sincere, I hope they realize that without them, I would not have Zachary with me today, and for that I thank them again. I said a very private thank you to my cousin Randy, his wife Liz, along with the rest of my family; and even though their support is still strong today, for the first two weeks I don’t think they ever left my side. That support helped keep me strong and focus on Zachary. There was a very close group of Zachary’s friends and their parents, along with coaches, who never missed an opportunity to visit Zach in both hospitals in Minneapolis, and still today they are there to support Zachary in his full recovery. This close group of Zachary’s friends and their parents, the coaches, and my family would never require a thank you, but too bad, they are getting one: “Thank You”.
Most everyone above I have personally thanked, but how do I thank the thousands of people who have said a prayer or donated money for the Zach Gabbard Benefit Fund. Again, I hope if they know what it has done for Zachary and I, they will know how sincere my thank you is. For the thousands of people who have set up, worked at, and donated to the Zach Gabbard Benefit Fund, please know they have truly helped out and without the donations, Zachary would not have been able to receive the extended health care, physical therapy, insurance co-pays and so much more above and beyond insurance coverage. Although the financial help was needed, it was still hard for me to accept help. Because of that, I have kept a spreadsheet detailing all expenses in my care and am willing to share it with anyone who would like to see it. For everyone who joined me in prayers, thank you. Although my faith in God has never wavered, I may have forgotten how powerful prayer is. I am sure many people saw me or even heard me while I was kneeling next to Zachary at the DGF school; I said the first of many personal and private prayers. There was over ½ million hits and prayers on the Zach Gabbard Caring Bridge Page and there have been too many coincidences to believe everyone’s prayers did not help. There were just too many times when personal or group prayers were said and within 5 minutes good news came from the doctors and nurses. So I thank everyone for their prayers and reconfirming my faith in the power of prayer.
Back to my first question, is thank you enough? I wish I had come up with this quote but I am just repeating it; “if thank you is all you got, then it is more than enough.” But know my thank you also comes with a prayer that everyone and their family has as many friends and family who come to help, if needed, just as Zachary and I have had.
Steve & Zachary Gabbard
Written Jan 1, 2012 10:32am
Zach has been working hard in basketball practice to get back the muscle he lost and also working on ‘drilling’ his 3’s. He is happy to be in uniform and warming-up with the team. When he and coach feel he is ready to play, it will happen. Our visit with the cardiologist in California, along with observing the extensive testing, and the great results of those tests, my perspective in life has changed dramatically. I no longer have any concerns about Zach playing ball. Zach is truly a miracle and there is a ‘higher power’ watching over him. Again, thank you for all your prayers and support through this past year. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
As you know, Zach has had a lot of publicity and media ‘in his face’ since the first day of his cardiac arrest. At times he is tired of it, but for the most part is okay with it. He has been cordial and gone with the flow, so to speak; never letting it ‘go to his head’ or thinking he is better than anyone else. Unfortunately, some people continue to tell him that ‘he owes them.’ “Why do I owe them?” he asks. I wondered that same thing – for surviving? He is also saddened and disgusted that people just don’t understand the full extent of what he and his family have gone through. Even though friendships have been broken and lies have been told, Zach remains cordial and polite to everyone. He is more competent and mature than a lot of adults I know. Too many people make judgements without knowing the TRUTH.
Doctors didn’t expect him to survive. He survived. Yes, he has ONE minor problem with his short term memory, which is improving every day. ONE! Only one issue after what he went through! Again, he is a MIRACLE and we are so blessed that the Lord didn’t take him from us. He is now 18, a legal adult, and wants to enjoy his life. Steve, Myself, Courtney, and Zach appreciate everything that friends, relatives, communities, and even strangers have done for the Gabbards. OUR SINCERE THANK YOU!
Written Dec 11, 2011 11:16am
A few days ago, Zach and I flew to Los Angeles to meet with a Cardiologist downtown LA, who did extensive testing on his heart. He found NOTHING wrong with Zach's heart and has cleared him to play MSHSL basketball. We are looking forward to his first game!
Once again,Thank you to everyone who has followed Zach's journey! Your prayers and contributions are greatly appreciated. This past year has been very stressful and emotional in more ways than you could ever imagine!
I encourage all parents of athletes to become knowledgable about sudden cardiac arrest. I certainly NEVER thought it would happen to Zach, who has always been strong and healthy.
AGAIN, THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!